Study: Long-Term Cannabis Use Not Associated With Cognitive Decline In Senior Patients

If you are an older adult using cannabis to treat chronic pain, you may very well experience no more cognitive deficiencies than someone who doesn’t use it.

That is the takeaway from a study conducted by Israeli researchers that was published late last month in Drug & Alcohol Review

The study sought to assess “the relationship between long-term medical cannabis (MC) use and cognitive function in a sample of middle-aged and old chronic pain patients,” and researchers carried out the study by assessing 63 chronic pain patients aged 50 and older who have medical cannabis licenses and a comparison group of 62 who do not have such a license. 

The researchers said they uncovered “no significant differences in cognitive function” between the two groups, noting that the “results suggest that use of whole plant [medical cannabis] does not have a widespread impact on cognition in older chronic pain patients.”

“Considering the increasing use of [medical cannabis] in older populations, this study could be a first step towards a better risk-benefit assessment of [medical cannabis] treatment in this population,” the researchers wrote. “Future studies are urgently needed to further clarify the implications of late-life cannabis use for brain health.”

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