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Medical Cannabis for Older Patients—Treatment Protocol and Initial Results

Cannabis Clinical Research Institute, Soroka University Medical Center and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er-Sheva 8457108, Israel
NiaMedic Healthcare and Research Services, Bnei-Brak 5126107, Israel
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(11), 1819;
Received: 7 September 2019 / Revised: 25 October 2019 / Accepted: 27 October 2019 / Published: 1 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
Older adults may benefit from cannabis treatment for various symptoms such as chronic pain, sleep difficulties, and others, that are not adequately controlled with evidence-based therapies. However, currently, there is a dearth of evidence about the efficacy and safety of cannabis treatment for these patients. This article aims to present a pragmatic treatment protocol for medical cannabis in older adults. We followed consecutive patients above 65 years of age prospectively who were treated with medical cannabis from April 2017 to October 2018. The outcomes included treatment adherence, global assessment of efficacy and adverse events after six months of treatment. During the study period, 184 patients began cannabis treatment, 63.6% were female, and the mean age was 81.2 ± 7.5 years (median age-82). After six months of treatment, 58.1% were still using cannabis. Of these patients, 33.6% reported adverse events, the most common of which were dizziness (12.1%) and sleepiness and fatigue (11.2%). Of the respondents, 84.8% reported some degree of improvement in their general condition. Special caution is warranted in older adults due to polypharmacy, pharmacokinetic changes, nervous system impairment, and increased cardiovascular risk. Medical cannabis should still be considered carefully and individually for each patient after a risk-benefit analysis and followed by frequent monitoring for efficacy and adverse events. View Full-Text
Keywords: older adults; medical cannabis; marijuana; protocol older adults; medical cannabis; marijuana; protocol
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MDPI and ACS Style

Abuhasira, R.; Ron, A.; Sikorin, I.; Novack, V. Medical Cannabis for Older Patients—Treatment Protocol and Initial Results. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 1819.

AMA Style

Abuhasira R, Ron A, Sikorin I, Novack V. Medical Cannabis for Older Patients—Treatment Protocol and Initial Results. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2019; 8(11):1819.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abuhasira, Ran, Addie Ron, Inbal Sikorin, and Victor Novack. 2019. "Medical Cannabis for Older Patients—Treatment Protocol and Initial Results" Journal of Clinical Medicine 8, no. 11: 1819.

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