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Australian Researchers Find Cannabis Oils To Be Effective For Symptom Management In Older Patients

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Neurological disorders affect many people around the globe. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 1 billion people across the globe suffer from some type of neurological disorder. People over 50 years old are more likely to develop a neurological condition compared to younger people.

Neurological disorders are diseases that affect the central and peripheral nervous systems, including the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junction, and muscles.

Various pharmaceutical medications are regularly prescribed to help address symptoms of neurological conditions among elderly patients. Just as symptoms are wide-ranging, so too are the medications. One medication that is showing promise is cannabis, as demonstrated in a recent study out of Australia. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Sydney, Australia: The use of plant-derived cannabis oils containing balanced ratios of THC and CBD is generally safe and effective for patients suffering from neurological diseases, according to observational trial data published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Australian researchers assessed the sustained use of cannabis extracts in 157 patients with treatment-resistant neurological, musculoskeletal, autoimmune, or anti-inflammatory disorders. (Under Australian law, physicians may only authorize medical cannabis to patients that have been unresponsive to conventional prescription treatments.)

Investigators reported that patients age 65 or older and/or those suffering from neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, and multiple sclerosis, perceived the greatest overall benefits from cannabis therapy. Their findings are consistent with those of several other studies reporting health-related quality of life benefits among older patients who consume cannabis.

Subjects were most likely to report cannabis to be effective for improving sleep and for reducing pain – findings that are consistent with other studies. By contrast, patients suffering from spondylosis were least likely to perceive benefits from cannabis therapy.

Authors concluded: “This retrospective medical record review describes the population characteristics of patients using medicinal cannabis at a clinic in Sydney, Australia and provides data on the effectiveness and safety of medicinal cannabis treatment on patient conditions and indications. … [Its findings] indicate that medicinal cannabis, in a balanced formulation, may address a variety of non-cancer conditions and indications concurrently and can be safely prescribed by a medical doctor.”

Full text of the study, “A retrospective medical record review of adults with non-cancer diagnoses prescribed medical cannabis,” appears in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. Additional information on cannabis use among older populations is available from NORML Fact Sheet ‘Cannabis Use by Older Populations.’