Thursday, September 7, 2017
Despite their historical connections with the War on Drugs, the fastest-growing demographic group of marijuana consumers turns out to be aging Baby Boomers. According to study published in the journal Addiction, Demographic trends among older cannabis users in the United States, 2006-13, the number of 65-year-olds that admit to using marijuana products has risen approximately 250 percent between 2006 and 2013.
The majority of Baby Boomers that using cannabis products say they are doing so at least in part for medicinal reasons, and a recent research paper found that 90 percent of Colorado seniors were doing so due to chronic pain.
In HealthOnline's Why Are More Seniors Using Marijuana?, writer Temma Ehrenfeld explores the multiple issues that these changes are bringing, noting that some medical professionals remain skeptical:
However, marijuana can weaken balance and slow reaction time, noted Dr. Lynn Webster, the immediate past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
“I’m worried about falls,” he told Healthline. “I wish we had the science to understand who [marijuana] would help, and in what doses, and for whom it would be toxic.”
“We really know very little about the effects of marijuana in the elderly. Everything about medical marijuana needs better study, but especially this topic,” Dr. Daniel Clauw, a pain specialist at the University of Michigan, told Healthline.
Ehrenfeld's piece includes a great deal of information and some interesting anecdotes about use of cannabis by seniors, and it's well worth a full read.
-- Jake Wiggins