Marijuana use is becoming relatively common among those over 65 years of age who reside in legal marijuana states, according to recent data published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Investigators from the University of Colorado anonymously surveyed seniors at geriatric primary care facilities in Colorado, NORML reported, and they found that:
- 32% of respondents reported having used marijuana following legalization
- 16% of respondents reported that they were current marijuana users
The respondents reported using marijuana to mitigate symptoms of:
- chronic pain
- appetite stimulant
“[O]ur survey of ambulatory older adults from Colorado demonstrated that marijuana use in this population was common” the survey’s authors concluded. “Respondents reported using recreational marijuana to target a variety of medical symptoms and conditions with few reported adverse effects. Thus, it is prudent for primary care providers of older adults to inquire specifically about marijuana use before considering prescription changes or additions.”
Separate studies found that self-reported marijuana use among older Americans is rising dramatically, and that many seniors reduce their use of prescription drugs, particularly opioids, following their marijuana use.
According to another study assessing seniors’ long-term use of marijuana, consumption is safe and is associated with a “significant improvement” in subjects’ “overall quality of life.”