With marijuana slowing becoming decriminalized across the country, research has found that weed usage amongst citizens 65-years-old and over has drastically increased. In recent years, cities like San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles and more have all implemented legislation in order to aid the movement of marijuana decriminalization. And now, with scientists and more research being funded into the study of cannabinoids, a compound has been discovered that is 30-times more potent than the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana known as THC. However, with marijuana more readily available than ever, our senior citizens are getting in on the action as well.  

Weed Use Amongst People 65 & Over Is Increasing

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According to CNN, research published in the JAMA peer-reviewed medical journal earlier this week (Feb. 24), the number of American seniors ages 65 and older has doubled from 2015 to 2018. Over the past decade, Dr. Benjamin Han, an assistant professor of geriatric medicine and palliative care at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and Joseph Palamar, an associate professor of population health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, have published several research papers about marijuana use amongst the senior citizen population around the country. 

In order to complete their research, Palamar and Dr. Han analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative survey of 15,000 people in the United States who do not live in an institution, such as a nursing home and live amongst themselves. 

In the research, they discovered that in 2006, only 0.4% of seniors over 65 reported using marijuana products in the past year. In a newer published study found that by 2015, the number had doubled to 2.4%. By 2018, it had doubled again, with 4.2% of seniors over 65 using cannabis. 

During their line of questioning, Palamar and Dr. Han directly asked senior citizens if they utilized "marijuana, hashish, pot, grass, and hash oil use either smoked or ingested," but did not reference the use of CBD or THC directly. 

Palamar, one of the co-authors of the study revealed in a statement:

"Marijuana use among seniors is not bouncing up and down like with other drugs. It's a straight line up."

Dr. Han then went on to add:

"I was curious to see if it was people who are more sick, with say, multiple chronic conditions, trying cannabis, or is it the healthier people, perhaps with only one health condition. And it appears it's the healthier older people who are trying cannabis more."

While more senior citizens might be out here getting blazed, the level of potency the marijuana of today is commonly known for is not of the same consistency of yesteryear which has become a cause of concern for researchers. But, if the medicinal qualities of weed continue to work wonders for our older patrons, it would only make sense for there to be an increase in usage of cannabis amongst the elderly community. 

Check out CCN’s segment with Dr. Sanjay Gupta about how marijuana may be safer than prescribed narcotics in the video provided below.