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‘The Doctors’ Ask: Why Are So Many Seniors Using Marijuana?

Tuesday’s episode of the daytime talk show “The Doctors” examined the skyrocketing use of senior citizens turning to cannabis for medicinal purposes. Producer Leslie Marcus traveled to one of the biggest retirement communities in the nation, where she met a group of seniors who say they are now choosing marijuana instead of prescription meds.

Marcus talks with seniors who say cannabis has been a big help for ailments such as Parkinson’s, back pain, leg pain, sleeping issues, teeth grinding, anxiety, and depression.

“The Doctors” note the science surrounding cannabis use for these issues are still hazy and that the exact effect marijuana has on health conditions like dementia is still unknown. There are also some concerns that cannabis can interact with other medications and increase falls in seniors.

Marcus says the seniors she spoke with told her that while the pot was not a cure-all for their ailments, they said it drastically improved their quality of life.

Dr. Bonni Goldstein, chief medical officer for Canna-Centers, joined the panel to share that many of her patients have found that using cannabis has helped them get off many different medications. She says that dosage is a concern among seniors and recommends, “Start low and go slow.”

Dr. Goldstein feels that all doctors should be able to speak with their patients about cannabis and says, “It’s just another tool in the toolbox.”

A recent survey conducted by Eaze, a California cannabis delivery company, revealed Baby Boomers are the fastest-growing demographic while Millennials are using less. According to the survey, Boomers purchased 25 percent more cannabis in 2016 than the previous year. Gen Xers purchases rose eight percent; Millennials dipped three percent. Boomers, according to the report, spend 36 percent more per month on weed than Millennials.

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