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BGU Researchers Develop Cannabis Protocol for Older Patients

BGU Researchers Develop Cannabis Protocol for Older Patients

December 10, 2019

Medical Research

Times of Israel — Older adults might benefit from cannabis treatment for conditions that are not adequately addressed using current medically approved therapies, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute at Soroka University Medical Center.

In the new study, “Medical Cannabis for Older Patients—Treatment Protocol and Initial Results,” published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, the researchers present their suggestions, developed in collaboration with NiaMedic Healthcare & Research Services Ltd.

Cannabis should be used to help older adults with chronic pain, sleep difficulties, reduced appetite, nausea, or post-traumatic stress disorder, the researchers said, as they set out a new roadmap for using the substance as treatment.

“Since well-established and evaluated protocols for treatment of older adults with medical cannabis do not exist, we developed our own approach based on close follow-up of effects, adverse events, and slow introduction of THC oil, CBD oil or a combination,” Dr. Ran Abuhasira of the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences and Soroka’s Cannabis Clinical Research Institute said in a statement.

In the paper, the researchers present a roadmap for the evaluation of symptoms and the ways cannabis could potentially alleviate these symptoms. During the study period, 184 patients with a median age of 82 began cannabis treatment at a specialized geriatric clinic. After six months of treatment, 58.1% of the patients were still using cannabis.

“Once treatment is initiated and the therapeutic dose is achieved, we recommend at least monthly follow-up at first to assess adverse events and treatment efficacy,” said Dr. Abuhasira.

“If treatment is effective and well-tolerated, consideration can then be given to revising the current concomitant drug regimen, especially with respect to the use and dosage of opioids, benzodiazepines and other psychotropic or analgesic medications.”

Read more on The Times of Israel website >>