In recent years, there has been a notable shift in the landscape of cannabis use among older Americans. A study conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation reveals that more seniors are turning to marijuana for its potential therapeutic benefits.
In this blog post, we explore the reasons behind this surge in cannabis adoption among older adults, the need for education and screening, and the relevance of medical marijuana in providing tailored relief. Additionally, we shed light on why obtaining a medical marijuana card is a strategic choice and how it ties back to the evolving landscape of recreational marijuana.
The Growing Trend of Cannabis Use Among Seniors
The study, published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoids Research, indicates a significant increase in cannabis use among older adults, with 12% reporting consumption of THC-containing substances in the past year. Notably, 4% of seniors admitted to using cannabis multiple times a week. This uptick in marijuana adoption is linked to factors such as the stress of the pandemic and the increased legalization of cannabis across states.
Anne Fernandez, Ph.D., an addiction psychologist who led the study, highlights the vulnerability of older adults to cannabis use due to potential interactions with medications, mental health impacts, risky driving, and increased risks of falls and memory issues. The findings underscore the importance of education and screening for older adults regarding cannabis-related risks.
A Shift Over the Years
The study's 12% overall past-year cannabis use rate surpasses the 9.5% reported in 2019 before the pandemic. This surge is particularly notable when compared to the 3% reported in 2006 when only 12 states had legalized medical cannabis. Even in 2017, when the National Poll on Healthy Aging found that 6% of older adults used cannabis for medical purposes, the current figures indicate a substantial increase.
In addition to the frequency of use, the study identifies patterns among older adults who turn to cannabis. Unemployed individuals, those without a partner, and alcohol consumers are more likely to report cannabis use. Particularly concerning is the link between high-risk alcohol use and cannabis consumption, where those with harmful alcohol consumption patterns are nearly eight times more likely to report cannabis use. Even those with low-risk alcohol drinking patterns are more than twice as likely to use cannabis.
The importance of addressing dual-substance users is emphasized, considering the increased risks associated with impaired driving, mental health issues, and substance use disorders. Screening for alcohol, cannabis, and other drug use becomes crucial for early intervention and risk reduction.
Lessons from Demographics
While no statistical differences were observed in terms of age, health status, mental health, income, or education, seniors with Hispanic backgrounds were less likely to report cannabis use. This aligns with broader research indicating lower cannabis use within the Latino community. Understanding demographic variations is essential for tailoring educational and screening initiatives.
Amidst the rise in recreational cannabis use, the role of medical marijuana becomes pivotal for seniors seeking therapeutic relief. Medical marijuana offers a tailored approach, providing legal access to diverse strains and formulations. Older adults who choose to use cannabis for medicinal purposes are encouraged to maintain open communication with their healthcare providers. This is particularly important if they consume alcohol or take specific medications, as healthcare professionals can offer insights into potential interactions.
As the landscape of marijuana evolves, obtaining a medical marijuana card emerges as a strategic choice for seniors. The card not only signifies legal authorization but also provides access to expert guidance on strains, dosages, and consumption methods. Seniors navigating the transition from medical to recreational use are encouraged to retain their medical marijuana cards for continued access to a broader range of products tailored to their health needs.
The increasing trend of cannabis use among seniors highlights a growing recognition of its potential therapeutic benefits. Education and screening initiatives become essential components of ensuring safe and informed cannabis use among older adults. As the landscape evolves, the role of medical marijuana remains steadfast, offering seniors a regulated and tailored approach to cannabis consumption.
Seniors considering cannabis, whether for medicinal or recreational purposes, are encouraged to be open with their healthcare providers. The proactive approach of obtaining a medical marijuana card ensures legal compliance and access to a spectrum of therapeutic options. In this dynamic era of changing cannabis perceptions, seniors can navigate the landscape with knowledge, caution, and a focus on personalized well-being.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today!
Medical marijuana is legal in the State of Louisiana, and you can get your medical marijuana card today! It is now easier than ever to get your card, so if you think cannabis may benefit you, what are you waiting for?
If you aren’t sure if you qualify for a card, we can help! Just give us a call and we can answer any questions you may have.
Marijuana is an excellent alternative medicine that offers natural, safe, and legal relief for an array of symptoms. If you think cannabis could help some of your symptoms, what are you waiting for?
Schedule an evaluation online today with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors to see if you qualify for your medical card. Not only will you discuss your condition and options, but you can do so through a virtual appointment in the safety of your own home!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
At Louisiana Marijuana Card, our mission is helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
Call us at (833) 253-2943, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!