ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Weed, pot, grass, dope… whatever you call it, more and more people are doing it. Some for stress relief, others to ease their pain. It used to be a young person’s drug. But now, more older adults are firing one up.
According to a study published in Jama, the number of Americans over age 65 who smoked marijuana or used edibles doubled between 2015 and 2018. So, what do seniors who smoke need to know?
Weed isn’t just for teens! New research shows more senior citizens are turning to marijuana than ever before. “I would like to try it,” said Richard Corse, who suffers with chronic back pain.
In 2006, only 0.4 percent of those over 65 reported using marijuana. That number jumped to 4.2 percent in 2018! Experts say the pain and chronic medical conditions are driving seniors to seek alternative approaches. “They’ve told me that it just makes them feel better and it reduces the need to take the other medications,” said Shirley Zelikovsky, MD, a Family Medicine Physician at Bethesda Health.
But there are risks. More pot consumption may lead to dizziness and falls. Also, marijuana can interact with other medications. For instance, combining it with the popular blood thinner Warfarin could up the risk of bleeding. Some studies have also shown that using cannabis after a heart attack can be dangerous. And experts say marijuana has gotten more potent over the past few decades, which can have a stronger effect on an aging body.
Researchers found marijuana use rose drastically in seniors who were female, married, or college-educated. It also increased in households making more than 75,000 dollars a year or between 20,000 and 50,000 a year.
Contributor(s) to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Bob Walko, Videographer and Editor.