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After marijuana gained legal status in various states, it was re-evaluated. People of all ages are now more open to trying the plant, be it for recreational or medicinal purposes. One of the fastest growing populations are baby boomers.
A survey of adults over the age of 55 between 2016 and 2018 found that men increase the amount of marijuana they use, especially between the ages of 60 and 64. According to NBC News:
Men aged 60 to 64 reported the highest rates of marijuana use. 12.6 percent of respondents said they had used the drug in the last 30 days in 2018, up from 8.9 percent in 2016. Over the same period, use almost doubled in men aged 65 to 69 Years (increase from 4.3 percent in 2016 to 8.2 percent in 2018) and men aged 70 to 74 years (from 3.2 percent to 6 percent). In women there were fewer changes in use.
Study co-author Bill Jesdale told NBC News that he had some theories about why more older adults are using weeds, such as: B. a greater willingness to allow use due to less stigma, increased availability of the drug, and decreased inhibitions to use.
There are other contributing factors as well, including a global propensity for more natural medicines and older adults specifically looking for pain relief and sleep aids, preferably those that don't have significant side effects.
While young adults are still the largest cannabis users in the US, some researchers are concerned about the rise in use by older adults and seniors. There are a few factors that can affect how marijuana affects you. Here are three of the most pressing ones:
Reactions with medication
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The most pressing issue that medical experts are addressing is the potential effect marijuana can have on common drugs used by older adults. A review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology states that marijuana can interact with popular heart medications like statins and blood thinners. Marijuana can change the time these drugs work and can also cause excessive bleeding.
People should also avoid combining marijuana with anti-seizure medications or other substances that produce potent effects. During surgery, it is important for older adults to report marijuana use to doctors, even if CBD is used. The link has also been linked to changes in the way the liver handles drug dosages.
Higher risk of falls and accidents
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While this should primarily affect seniors, marijuana use can lead to dizziness and a feeling of control over your body. This, in turn, could increase the risk of falling and becoming involved in all kinds of accidents. Falls are a serious risk for seniors. 1 in 5 results in a head injury or broken bones.
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Seniors and adults at higher risk for dementia and confusion should exercise caution when consuming marijuana, especially when consuming products that are high in THC. THC and its psychoactive effects can cause unexpected side effects in people who have developed or are predisposed to psychiatric illness.
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