Cannabis use among older adults is growing faster than any other age group but many report barriers to getting medical marijuana, a lack of communication with their doctors and a lingering stigma attached to the drug, according to researchers.
The study, the first to look at how older Americans use cannabis and the outcomes they experience, was published this month in the journal Drugs & Aging.
“Older Americans are using cannabis for a lot of different reasons,” said study co-author Hillary Lum, MD, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Some use it to manage pain while others use it for depression or anxiety.”
The 2016 National Survey of Drug Use and Health showed a ten-fold increase in cannabis use among adults over age 65.
The researchers set out to understand how older people perceived cannabis, how they used it and the positive and negative outcomes associated with it.