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Marijuana use is on the rise among older adults

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New research analyzing the data reported by thousands of adults aged 65 and older suggests that cannabis use has been distinctly on the rise in this age group.

older woman smoking marijuana

According to an article in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, more and more people of all ages are using cannabis in the United States, especially since its legalization — for medical or recreational purposes — across several states.

A significant number of people use marijuana for medical reasons, as research and anecdotal evidence indicate that it can provide pain relief, thus working as a therapeutic aid for various chronic conditions.

Previous research — looking at data from 2005–2016 — indicated that an ever-increasing number of older adults started using cannabis.

Now, a new study from the New York University College of Global Public Health, NY, confirms that this upward trend has continued. Over the past few years, the number of people aged 65 and over who use marijuana has been increasing.

The researchers who conducted the study — Dr. Benjamin Han and Joseph Palamar, Ph.D. — analyzed the data of 14, 896 older adults who responded to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) in the years 2015–2018.

The two authors report their findings in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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