ith rising curiosity in its potential well being advantages and new laws favoring legalization in additional states, hashish use is turning into extra frequent amongst older adults.
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that older adults use hashish primarily for medical functions to deal with a wide range of frequent well being circumstances, together with ache, sleep disturbances and psychiatric circumstances like anxiousness and melancholy.
The examine, printed on-line October 7, 2020 within the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society , discovered that of 568 sufferers surveyed, 15 % had used hashish inside the previous three years, with half of customers reporting utilizing it often and largely for medical functions.
“Pain, insomnia and anxiety were the most common reasons for cannabis use and, for the most part, patients reported that cannabis was helping to address these issues, especially with insomnia and pain,” stated Christopher Kaufmann, PhD, co-first creator of the examine and assistant professor within the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology within the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego.
Patients surveyed within the examine had been seen on the Medicine for Seniors Clinic at UC San Diego Health over a interval of 10 weeks.
The researchers additionally discovered that 61 % of the sufferers who used hashish had initiated use after age 60.
“Surprisingly, we found that nearly three-fifths of cannabis users reported using cannabis for the first time as older adults. These individuals were a unique group compared to those who used cannabis in the past,” stated Kevin Yang, co-first creator and third-year medical scholar at UC San Diego.
“New users were more likely to use cannabis for medical reasons than for recreation. The route of cannabis use also differed with new users more likely to use it topically as a lotion rather than by smoking or ingesting as edibles. Also, they were more likely to inform their doctor about their cannabis use, which reflects that cannabis use is no longer as stigmatized as it was previously.”
Given the rise in availability of CBD-only merchandise, which is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid in distinction to THC-containing merchandise, the researchers stated it’s seemingly that future surveys will proceed to doc a bigger proportion of older adults utilizing hashish or cannabis-based merchandise for the primary time.
“The findings demonstrate the need for the clinical workforce to become aware of cannabis use by seniors and to gain awareness of both the benefits and risks of cannabis use in their patient population,” stated Alison Moore, MD, senior creator and chief of the Division of Geriatrics within the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “Given the prevalence of use, it may be important to incorporate evidence-backed information about cannabis use into medical school and use screening questions about cannabis as a regular part of clinic visits.”
The researchers stated future research are crucial to higher understanding the efficacy and security of various formulations of hashish in treating frequent circumstances in older adults, each to maximize profit and reduce hurt.
“There seems to be potential with cannabis, but we need more evidence-based research. We want to find out how cannabis compares to current medications available. Could cannabis be a safer alternative to treatments, such as opioids and benzodiazepines? Could cannabis help reduce the simultaneous use of multiple medications in older persons? We want to find out which conditions cannabis is most effective in treating. Only then can we better counsel older adults on cannabis use,” stated Kaufmann.
Geriatrics at UC San Diego Health was not too long ago ranked thirteenth within the nation within the 2020-2021 U.S. News & World Report survey. The geriatrics and gerontology staff at UC San Diego Health is dedicated to offering fine quality, evidence-based care to older adults.
Co-authors of the examine embrace: Reva Nafsu, Ella Lifset, Khai Nguyen and Michelle Sexton, all at UC San Diego; and Benjamin Han and Arum Kim, New York University School of Medicine.
Funding for this examine got here, partly, from the National Institutes of Health (T35AG26757, Okay01AG061239, P30AG059299, Okay23DA043651), the Stein Institute for Research on Aging, the Center for Healthy Aging and the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at UC San Diego.
(Originally printed on health.ucsd.edu)