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Study Shows No Long-Term Negative Brain Effects For Older Marijuana Patients

Compared to non-users, data showed no differences in memory, new learning, and reaction time for medical marijuana patients.

Older adults have begun consuming cannabis more than ever, often using the plant to deal with chronic pain. Marijuana use almost doubled among adults ages 65 and older, a study published earlier this year found. In the United States, about 20% of medical cannabis patients are over 60.

New research out of Israel shows those adults should not expect any ill cognitive differences when compared to non-users. The study, published in the journal Drug & Alcohol Review, also found no disparities between older cannabis users and non-users when testing for cannabis use frequency, doses, years of use, and THC/CBD concentration.

“Moreover, both [medical cannabis] licensed and non-licensed patients performed relatively similar to a standardized population with no chronic pain,” the study’s authors wrote.

For the observational study, Israeli researchers gathered 63 long-term medical users and 62 non-users who all suffered from chronic pain, using cognitive tests to collect data on performance measures, such as reaction time, memory recall, and more.

No significant discrepancies were found between the two groups. Researchers, however, did note that the medical marijuana users were more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and depression. [Read more at The French Toast]

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