What do older adults use recreational cannabis for?

Have you ever wondered how recreational cannabis legalization has affected older adults? Apparently, older adults use cannabis primarily for medicinal purposes, but buy it from recreational retailers without a prescription, according to a recent UBC study. (1)

What are the most common uses?

The study, conducted by researchers from the UBC Vancouver School of Nursing, enrolled 12 adults, ages 71 to 85. Each participant had one or more medical diagnoses such as arthritis, high blood pressure, and insomnia.

In line with this study, a 2019 Statistics Canada report suggests that older adults who are new to cannabis use frequently use it for medicinal purposes. (2) Research shows that older adults use cannabis for pain or sleep. Many use cannabis products as an alternative to certain prescription drugs. It’s crazy to try cannabis and see if it would work for you. “I had been to a chiropractor, I had been to a physiotherapist. I had never done that in my life … so I guess I figured for a cent, for a pound. I go to a chiropractor. What – you know, I’m sitting around his office and – with all the other nuts – why don’t I try? [cannabis]? “Said a 71-year-old male participant.

What kind of cannabis products do older adults take and do they meet their expectations?

As opposed to smoking cannabis or eating food, older adults prefer to consume cannabis in the form of oil, tincture drops, or oil capsules. Topical creams are also very popular. Interestingly, such methods of consumption help them control and track their doses, which would not be easy with smoking cannabis.

By consuming cannabis, most older adults feel positive and satisfied with the effects. Since many products contain THC in certain amounts, people often end up with an undesirable high. “I was assured that this is a kind of starter dose and would only affect arthritis. But in fact I got up and it worked very well on arthritis, I’ll say that. But I also got up and didn’t really want it, ”reported a 73-year-old patient.

How do older adults get cannabis?

According to the study, most older adults get their cannabis without a prescription from licensed or unlicensed stores. You will find fewer product options in licensed stores. Can you believe that Only one participant bought it on prescription from a pharmacy. Many rely on others to get their cannabis. Very often, they get their cannabis from recreational stores that also sell medicines. “I tried the licensed place and they said free time. And then when I googled it, a lot of them said free time, and if it was medical it was out of date. It was like medical, but it was taken, ”said a 76-year-old participant. Confusion about licensed and unlicensed businesses and recreational and medicinal cannabis is very common among older adults.

This could possibly be due to the fact that their source of information is friends and acquaintances, employees of the cannabis business, and the various media because general practitioners do not have enough information about cannabis or do not support cannabis use, the study found. Well, this explains why many don’t use a prescription to buy cannabis products.

Footnote (s)

Jennifer Baumbusch & Isabel Sloan Yip (2021) Research into new cannabis use in older adults, Clinical Gerontologist, 44: 1, 25-31, DOI: 10.1080 / 07317115.2020.1746720
Government of Canada, Statistics Canada. “The Daily – National Cannabis Survey, 3rd Quarter 2019.” Www150.Statcan.gc.ca, October 30, 2019, www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/191030/dq191030a-eng.htm?HPA=1.

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