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Medical Marijuana Use in Older Adults

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Full Article: Medical Marijuana Use in Older Adults

Briscoe J1, Casarett D1.


Symptom management in older adults, including pain and distressing non-pain symptoms, can be challenging. Medications can cause side effects that worsen quality of life or create other symptoms, and polypharmacy itself can be detrimental in older adults. Cannabinoids may offer a way of managing selected symptoms with fewer side effects. Medical marijuana is an important area of study for older adults because of the side effects of other medications. It is also important for Baby Boomers, who are likely to have more experience with marijuana than older adults of previous generations. Therefore, geriatricians should understand medical marijuana’s clinical indications, adverse effects, and legal context. This article reviews the evidence regarding indications for and risks of medical marijuana use in older adults.

Resource: J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 May;66(5):859-863.