The use of Marijuana among older adults in the US surged ten times over this decade as many baby boomers are using it for treating ailments like pain, depression and anxiety, said a study by University of Colorado. According to the data of National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 3.7% US adults in the age of 65 and above had used cannabis in the previous year, a tenfold rise from 0.3% in the year 2007. Around 9.4% adults in the age group of 60-64 in 2017 used marijuana, from 1.9% around 10 years back.
The assistant professor of University of Colorado Dr. Hillary Lum said that as more states have legalized recreational and medical cannabis, it is expected that more people would start using it. Lum is also the author of a study that examined the use of pot in Americans who are above the age of 60. Her study was published in the journal of Drugs and Aging.
Recreational marijuana is legal in Columbia, Colorado and other 10 states, while medical marijuana use is legal in total 33 states. Lum said that even then many older adults find it difficult to get medical marijuana.
The research team of Lum examined 136 people above the age of 60 at the senior centers of Colorado, cannabis dispensaries and health clinics in 2017. The study participants said that they had issues getting medical cannabis. They added that as physicians are not very educated as far as treatment with marijuana is concerned. Other participants did not seek discuss about it with their doctors due to stigma. The participants said that the doctors need to learn more about medical marijuana including its dosage, usage and its benefits or risks in older adults. Some other said that their doctors were unable and unwilling to approve their card of medical marijuana that would let them buy the drug at dispensary.