Research presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Neurology suggests that medicinal cannabis may have utility for older people. The retrospective chart review involved people 75 years of age or older, who accessed products under the New York State Medical Marijuana Program. 204 people (average age was 81 years) had an average exposure time to medicinal cannabis for was 16.8 ± 12.1 weeks. At stable doses, following personalized changes in cannabinoid doses, a little over one third of those studied reported adverse events, and reactions that resolved after change in dosage were present in 13% of those in the study (most commonly somnolence (13%), disequilibrium (7%) and gastrointestinal disturbance (7%)). Symptomatic benefit was seen for nearly 70%, with relief in chronic pain (49%), sleep problems (18%), neuropathy (15%) and anxiety (10%) most commonly responding issues. For 32% the use of medicinal cannabinoids allowed reduction of opioid pain medications. Seven patients (3.4%) discontinued due treatment as a result of an adverse effect. A balanced tetrahydrocannabinol to cannabidiol tincture (1:1) was the most commonly reported formulation among patients who reported no side effects.
Medicinal cannabis may benefit older people
May 9, 2019