More older Americans use cannabis now than before the pandemic, with 12% saying they’ve consumed a THC-containing substance in the past year and 4% saying they do so multiple times a week, according to a new study of people aged 50 to 80. Those who drink alcohol at risky levels have a much higher rate of cannabis use.
The new findings, published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoids Research by a team from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, suggest a need for more education and screening of older adults for cannabis-related risks.
The data in the study come from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, which IHPI runs with funding from AARP and Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center. The national poll of 2,023 older adults was taken in January 2021, nine months into the official pandemic declaration and just as the first COVID-19 vaccines were being made available to the groups at the highest risk.