Goal is to help steer medical professionals through possible risks and benefits of pot for seniors.
The generation of Canadians who rocked out to the 1960s song Marijuana by Country Joe and the Fish are seniors now, and some of them are newly curious about the drug ahead of its legalization on Oct. 17.
But seniors, many of whom take multiple medications, also have questions about how cannabis will interact with their prescription drugs and otherwise affect their health
To try to address those and other questions, the Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health is developing cannabis guidelines to help clinicians advise older adults.
Seniors’ concerns include not just interaction with prescriptions but also the potential of the drug to increase heart rate and the risk of confusion and falls.
And as with many health claims about cannabis, there hasn’t been enough scientific research done to make definitive claims.
“The marketing of marijuana has really overshadowed the science,” said Rand Teed, a drug and alcohol counsellor and consultant in Regina who is part of the coalition.
“The information that doctors have received so far has been quite confusing for them in many cases. Initially, Health Canada approved cannabis for use with anxiety, but in lots and lots of cases, cannabis increases anxiety.”
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