By Chris Moore
A new study on the use of medical cannabis by elderly patients has found that the drug is safe and effective, and can also help wean chronic pain sufferers off of addictive opioid medications. Researchers from Hebrew University and the Ben Gurion University of Negrev distributed questionnaires to 2736 patients aged 65 or older who were receiving medical cannabis treatments in a clinic in Israel. Six months later, the patients received a second questionnaire asking them to self-report changes in their pain intensity and quality of life after receiving the cannabis-based treatment.
“After six months of treatment, 93.7 percent of the respondents reported improvement in their condition, and the reported pain level was reduced from a median of 8 on a scale of 0-10 to a median of 4,” the researchers wrote, according to a preview of the upcoming report that will be published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine. Most of the respondents also reported an improvement in their overall quality of life. The majority of these patients were using cannabis to treat chronic pain or cancer, and after six months of medical cannabis use, around 18% of these patients were able to reduce their dosage of opioid medications or even stop using them entirely.
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