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Cannabis Products Have Multiple Health Benefits For Older Adults, Study Finds

The benefits of cannabis-based products for older adults were highlighted in a new study, according to a report in Marijuana Moment.

The research was published in the journal Drugs and Aging last week and indicated significant improvement in the health and well-being of those 65 and older who have been using medical marijuana.

The authors pointed out there has been a lack of high-quality research on the effects of cannabis on this age group, because they have often been left out of clinical trials despite their growing use of medical marijuana.

“International evidence that older individuals may be the fastest-growing increase in the use of medical marijuana, coupled with their frequent exclusion from controlled trials, indicates a growing need for real-world evidence to assess the effectiveness and safety of these drugs for older individuals,” the paper says.

The study was carried out by a five-person research team from the UK-based organization Drug Science and Imperial College London’s Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology.

It focused on cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) prescribed for patients in the UK for a range of conditions.

The research indicated the CBMPs may provide multiple therapeutic benefits, including for health, well-being, sleep and mood, finding “sizable reductions in pain severity and pain interference among older aged patients [reporting] chronic pain as their primary condition.”

“There were consistent improvements across measures of general health and well-being after 3 months of treatment,” the authors reported.  “Older aged individuals experience considerable improvement in health and well-being when prescribed cannabis-based medicinal products.”   Among the improvements were the areas of depressed mood and sleep difficulties.

While the extent of improvement for older adults was less than for those under 65, it was still reported to be substantial and “together with improvements in general health and sleep, suggests that older aged individuals may derive multiple health benefits from CBMPs.”

The authors noted that population data on marijuana use by people older than 59 is not collected by the UK’s Office for National Statistics.

Patients over 64 were “more likely to receive CBD dominant oil and less likely to receive THC dominant flower by prescription.”

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