Analysis: Medical Cannabis Products Safe and Effective for Older Adults

Ontario, Canada: Medical cannabis products are safe and effective for older adults with chronic pain conditions, according to data published in The Journal of Cannabis Research

Researchers assessed the safety and efficacy of cannabis products in a cohort of medically authorized Canadian patients age 65 or older. Subjects in the study used cannabis for at least three months.

Consistent with other studies assessing the use of cannabis by seniors, investigators reported that marijuana treatments were safe, well-tolerated, and associated with meaningful reductions in pain. “No serious AEs (adverse events) were reported, and non-serious AEs were experienced in less than 12 percent of the cohort,” they acknowledged. 

Most patients in the study reported no prior experience with cannabis. Most initially purchased cannabis products either high in CBD or containing equal ratios of CBD and THC. Participants typically preferred cannabis oils over other formulations. 

Authors concluded, “Our findings inform the underexplored area of medical cannabis use in this population and suggest that medical cannabis is associated with therapeutic effects on pain in older adults with an acceptable safety profile.”

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis authorization patterns, safety, and associated effects in older adults,” appears in The Journal of Cannabis Research. Additional information is available in NORML’s fact sheet, ‘Cannabis Use by Older Adult Populations.’