Cannabis News: Research Found Older Americans Use Marijuana; No Health Risk, They Say

First Posted: Dec 09, 2016 03:20 AM EST

Cannabis has been legalized in so many states. Some are for the recreational purpose, while some for medicinal. Currently, researchers found that a number of older folks is using marijuana.

Dr. Benjamin Han, a geriatrician and health services researcher at the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR) at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, shared that "Given the unprecedented aging of the U.S. population, we are facing a never before seen cohort of older adults who use recreational drugs."

Dr. Han added that older people may use cannabis for different reasons, especially for medical purposes. However, the experts need to ensure they are not using marijuana in a hazardous manner, since older adults may be exposed to its possible negative effects, according to Health DayDr. Han noted that "One particular concern for older users is the risk of falls while using marijuana. However, this has not yet been studied."

In the new research that was published in the journal Addiction, the experts found that for people 50 years up, the cannabis users increased by 71 percent. The results also indicate that men who use marijuana are higher than women.

Only 5 percent of adults aged 50 and older felt that using marijuana once or twice a week was a threat to their health, the study authors reported. Dr. Han added that, "With the increased availability of legalized marijuana, there is an urgent need to understand the prevalence of its use and also its effects on older generations."

Meanwhile, in a report by The Independent, the research author and a CDUHR-affiliated researcher and an assistant professor of population health at the medical center Joseph Palamar said that for years, they have been worried about the potential effects of marijuana on the developing brains of teens. But now, they may need a bit more focus on their grandparents, who are increasingly more likely to be current users.

Palamar added that, "We found only five percent of these older adults felt using marijuana once or twice a week was a great risk to their health. Personally, I don't think we need to be very alarmed about most older people who are using marijuana, as our results suggest that only 4 percent started using after age 35."

However, the experts say that further research will be conducted. They need to study the effects of marijuana use and how it affects older people.

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