Send to

Choose Destination
Maturitas. 2018 Dec;118:56-59. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2018.10.010. Epub 2018 Oct 25.

Medical cannabis use in older patients: Update on medical knowledge.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Sir Mortimer B. Davis - Jewish General Hospital and Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Dr. Joseph Kaufmann Chair in Geriatric Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Centre of Excellence on Longevity of McGill integrated University Health Network, Quebec, Canada; Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Electronic address:



There is increasing scientific data suggesting that cannabis is beneficial for a large range of medical conditions. Physicians need up-to-date medical knowledge (i.e., indications, dose and safety properties) before prescribing cannabis for older patients, who are, a priori, more prone to its adverse effects than younger patients. A mini-review was conducted to examine the evidence on medical cannabis use in older patients.


An English and French systematic Medline (PubMed) search, from January 1, 2001 to October 15, 2018, was conducted using the MeSH terms "Cannabis"[Mesh] OR "Marijuana Abuse"[Mesh] OR "Medical Marijuana"[Mesh] OR "Marijuana Smoking"[Mesh] combined with the MeSH terms ("Aged"[Mesh]) OR "Aged, 80 and over"[Mesh]. A total of 451 abstracts were identified and full relevant articles were retrieved and analysed.


Even with a growing body of data showing positive effects of medical cannabis use, mixed results have been reported. Most clinical studies have had small samples and there are few randomized controlled trials. This lack of evidence on the positive clinical effects of medical cannabis use is especially marked for older patients, few of whom have been examined.


There is a lack of consistent data on the clinical effects of medical cannabis use in older patients to guide cannabis prescription for this group of patients.


Cannabis; Medical use; Older adult; Review

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center