Medical marijuana therapy can meaningfully reduce chronic pain in patients age 65 and older without adverse effects.

The new study found marijuana therapy is safe and efficacious for elderly patients who are seeking to address cancer symptoms, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other medical issues.

After monitoring patients 65 and older for six months, they found medical marijuana treatment meaningfully relieves pain and improves quality of life for seniors with minimal side effects reported.

This older population represents a growing segment of medical marijuana users, ranging from about seven percent to more than 33 percent, depending on the country. Recent U.S. polls indicate Americans over 65 represent 14 percent of the total population and use more than 30 percent of all prescription drugs, including highly addictive painkillers.

The most usually reported adverse effects were dizziness (9.7 percent) and dry mouth (7.1 percent). After six months, more than 18 percent of patients surveyed had stopped using opioid painkillers or had reduced their dosage.

All patients received a prescription after consulting with a doctor who prescribed treatment. More than 33 percent of patients used marijuana-infused oil; approximately 24 percent inhaled therapy by smoking, and approximately six percent used vaporization.

While the scientists state their findings to date indicate marijuana may reduce dependence on prescription medicines, including opioids, more evidence-based data from this special, aging population is imperious.