Legalization might not be increasing teen use, but it's certainly bringing Baby Boomers back into the smoke-friendly fold. According to a 2018 study in Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, "The greatest increase in marijuana use was observed among those in the older adult population 50 years or older, and those 65 years or older had the greatest increase in marijuana use in the older adult population."
Why the increase? A study in the European Journal of Internal Medicine suggests it's the medical and wellness components of the plant that has Baby Boomers lighting up again in record numbers.
Researchers sent questionnaires to patients over 65 years of age who sought medical cannabis treatment in a specialized clinic between January 2015 and October 2017. They received responses from 2,736 patients with an average age just under 75, and the most commonly cited reasons for the treatment were pain (66.6 percent) and cancer (60.8 percent).
After six months of cannabis care, an astonishing 93.7 percent of the patients reported improvement in their conditions, and the average reported pain level (on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most pain) dropped from 8 to 4. Moreover, 18.1 percent either stopped taking opioids or reduced their dosage, and the number of falls reported by the patients was “significantly reduced.”
The researchers concluded, “Our study finds that the therapeutic use of cannabis is safe and efficacious in the elderly population. Cannabis use may decrease the use of other prescription medicines, including opioids.”