Study: Older Patients Report Improved Quality of Life with Medical Cannabis

Chicago, IL: Medical cannabis consumers over the age of 60 report that cannabis therapy improves their quality of life and reduces their use of pharmaceutical medications, according to data published in the journal Clinical Gerontologist.

A pair of researchers affiliated with Concordia University, Center for Gerontology conducted a qualitative inquiry of state-registered medical cannabis patients age 64 and older.

Similar to the findings of prior studies assessing medical cannabis use among older adults – such as those here, here, here, and here – the majority of the study’s participants “reported satisfaction with being able to use medical cannabis to manage symptoms, get relief from pain, and have an improved quality of life all while lessening their dependence on pharmaceutical drugs.”

By contrast, many subjects expressed frustration with the lack of guidance on the subject of medical marijuana provided by their primary care physician. Health professionals frequently report being hesitant to speak to their patients about medical cannabis because of a lack of formal training in the subject.

Authors concluded: “Most of our participants were retired, unemployed, or receiving disability benefits due to a chronic condition, yet they did note improvements in their ability to manage symptoms and productivity. Pain control was consistently described as one of the most important outcomes of medical cannabis use, and this must be considered in relation to public policy, medical symptom management, and long-term care regulations.”

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis use: Exploring the perceptions and experiences of older adults with chronic conditions,” appears in Clinical Gerontologist.