By MICHAEL C. PATTERSON
Based on a recent review of applicable studies published in the journal, Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, cannabis exposure appears to have no significant adverse impact on the cognitive function of older adults. See a link to the article here:
Adults over 50 years old represent the fastest-growing population of people who use cannabis. Given healthy aging and cannabis use are associated with cognitive decline, it is important to establish the effects of cannabis and cognition on healthy aging.
A team of researchers with the University of California at San Diego reviewed human studies and animal trials specific to the potential impact of cannabis on cognition. For the analysis, researchers analyzed six databases (PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Family and Society Studies Worldwide and CINAHL) and discovered over 1,000 relevant studies as of September 2019.
In the human trials, cannabis exposure revealed “predominantly null findings” in adults ages 50 and older. In animal models, cannabinoid dosing was associated with “improved cognition” with small amounts of THC and more potent amount of THC as well. The authors suggested using caution in interpreting the studies’ results because of their limited number and heterogeneity.
However, the authors concluded, “This systematic scoping review examined current research on the relationship between cannabis use and cognitive function in healthy aging and provides a starting point for future research. Ultimately, given the recent increase in cannabis use among older adults, future human research should examine the relationship between both early and later-life cannabis use on cognitive function within more homogenous, older adult samples of people who use cannabis.”
As more seniors look to cannabis as a medicine to help with multiple ailments, it is important for us to use as much research and data as possible to assist this demographic in feeling comfortable using an all-natural medicine in proper dosages to have a consistent result. In the largest medical cannabis market in the world, Florida, with almost 500,000 patients, the average age of patients is 52 years old. The number of patients in Florida is increasing by 5,000 each week!
The average senior citizen in the United States takes 13 prescription medicines per day. From my experience in working in the U.S. post-acute healthcare system for over 20 years in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, pharmacies and laboratories, I saw first-hand how over medication can be just as detrimental to health as not being treated for an ailment. With our bodies containing an endocannabinoid system (ECS), we naturally are predisposed to accept cannabis as a medicine. Therefore, I expect more and more seniors globally will begin to use cannabis as a medicine to decrease symptoms of many diseases, decrease use of other prescription drugs due to no longer needing them, and to not have harsh side effects from certain prescription drugs, and for a better quality of life.
Michael C. Patterson, founder and CEO of U.S. Cannabis Pharmaceutical Research & Development of Melbourne, is a consultant for the development of the medical marijuana industry nationwide and in Florida. He serves as a consultant to Gerson Lehrman Group, New York and helps educate GLG partners on specific investment strategies and public policy regarding Medical Marijuana in the U.S. and Internationally. He can be reached at email@example.com