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Cannabis: Special Risks for Seniors

Saturday, May 27th 2023 10:00am 2 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

With the increasing use of cannabis among seniors, medical professionals are highlighting the potential risks that may affect this age group more than younger individuals.

As marijuana and CBD products become legal in more states and are more readily available in convenient forms like edibles, they are becoming increasingly popular among middle-aged and elderly adults. Seniors typically turn to these products to help manage issues such as pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

However, cannabis use can pose specific risks to older individuals, such as the potential to interfere with other medications they may be taking. This is especially concerning since seniors often require multiple prescription drugs. Additionally, marijuana use may increase the likelihood of falls, injuries, anxiety, and confusion. Complicating matters further, many seniors may be hesitant to inform their doctors about their cannabis use.

A study conducted by doctors at the University of California San Diego revealed that emergency room visits related to cannabis use in adults aged 65 and above increased from 20.7 per 100,000 visits in 2005 to 395.0 per 100,000 in 2019 in California.

While there are potential health risks associated with cannabis products, seniors are turning to them primarily to manage other health issues. A 2020 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society surveyed nearly 600 adults over 65, of whom 15% reported using cannabis within the past three years.

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