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  • Post Time Posted March 18, 2019
Senior neurology researcher Dr. Laszlo Mechtler said a 1:1 THC-to-CBD ratio was the most effective at treating symptoms of chronic illness and diminishing undesirable effects for seniors involved in the study.

Baby boomers are spending more on cannabis than any other group in the United States, and for a simple reason: the growing recognition among seniors and their caregivers that cannabis is an effective and safe alternative medicine. And thanks to the work of a team of neurological researchers in New York, there’s new evidence to support that conclusion. Their preliminary study of more than 200 elderly (75+) pain patients found that medical cannabis both reduced pain symptoms and reduced patients use of opioid painkillers.

Dr. Mechtler is the medical director of the Dent Neurological Institute in Amherst, New York. He is also the Chief of Neuro-Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and teaches courses in neurology and neuro-oncology at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Half of the 204 medical cannabis patients the study tracked said their chronic pain diminished. 18% said they had better sleep. 15% noted improvement in symptoms of nerve pain. And 10% said cannabis reduced their anxiety. In summary, seven out of 10 patients reported experiencing some form of symptom relief. About 75% of the study’s participants had received a chronic pain diagnosis. The remaining 25% represented a range of chronic diseases, from cancer to epilepsy to Parkinson’s.

The study strictly tracked patients 75 years and older. And for senior patients, the psychoactive effects of THC can be undesirable or rarely, debilitating. At first, more than a third of the study’s participants reported side effects, like sleepiness and coordination problems, from medical cannabis. However, after adjusting dosages for those patients, only 21% continued having issues. In the end, only 3% of the study’s participants stopped taking medical cannabis due to side effects.

In addition to the study’s positive findings about medical cannabis and chronic pain and illness, researchers also observed a significant reduction in patients’ use of opioid painkillers. According to the preliminary findings, a third of participants were able to reduce their use of prescription opioids by replacing them with medical cannabis.

“In the midst of an opioid epidemic in this country, with 115 people dying every day, anything that can decrease the potential for opiate use is a win/win situation. Nobody overdoses on medical cannabis,” Dr. Mechtler said.

Source: https://hightimes.com/news/study-finds-medical-marijuana-alleviates-seniors-pain-reduces-opioid-use/

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