Baby boomers have become a growing market segment in the legal cannabis industry as the acceptance of medical cannabis treatment continues to spread across the world, and now it appears that medical cannabis treatment may offer senior citizens a safer alternative to opioids in the treatment of chronic pain.
On Feb. 13, 2018, researchers with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute at Soroka University Medical Center announced the results of a study on the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis treatment in the elderly.
“After monitoring patients 65 and older for six months, we found medical cannabis treatment significantly relieves pain and improves quality of life for seniors with minimal side effects reported,” said Prof. Victor Novack, M.D., a professor of medicine in the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences and head of the Soroka Cannabis Clinical Research Institute, in a press release.
Of the 2,736 surveyed Israeli medical cannabis patients 65-years-old and older, more than 60% had been prescribed medical cannabis to treat chronic pain, with 901 of those reporting that their chronic pain had decreased from a pain level of eight to a pain level of four on a 10-point pain scale.
According to the study, “After six months, 18.1% stopped using opioid analgesics or reduced their dose,” leading researchers to believe that medical cannabis treatment could help some elderly patients reduce their use of opioids.