The Older Generation are Smoking More Weed, and it Might be Good for Them!

Liz Filmer
01 Dec 2022

Cannabis use in older adults has allegedly quadrupled in the last seven years according to some reports. As cannabis users get older and weed consumption among seniors becomes more common, a group of scientists honed in on this large demographic. Their results suggest that whole-plant cannabis does not harm cognition.

The study from the University of Colorado Boulder studied the outcomes of cannabis use on adults aged 60 to 88 who had no history of alcohol or substance use disorder.

It was noted that while high THC levels can have adverse effects on the young developing brain, the opposite is true for older brains. Ageing cannabis users, compared to non-users, have enormously improved neuronal communication between the cerebellum and hippocampus regions of the brain.

 The ECS is a vital aspect of human physiology that helps maintain homeostasis. It is a complex cell-signalling system in the brain and body that interacts with all other body systems. The number of cannabinoid receptors decreases throughout the brain with age.

During normal ageing, the decrease in cannabinoid receptors connects with advanced levels of inflammation in these brain regions. This causes a loss of neurons in the hippocampus, which is essential for learning and memory. In short, this explains age-related memory problems. 

Laboratory studies indicated improved memory, reduced brain inflammation and boosted hippocampal neurogenesis in older brains following the daily incitement of cannabinoid receptors in the brain. 

"The potential benefits are important given that the cerebellum and hippocampus are highly vulnerable to the effects of ageing. The hippocampus is stable until around age 50. At this point, the hippocampus undergoes a rapid period of atrophy," wrote one of the study's authors.

Human studies investigating the effect of cannabis on the brain in those of middle age or older found very little or, in some cases, no adverse effects on cognitive function. Studies that compared pre- and post-exposure performance showed that cannabis was associated with improved cognitive task performance in adults of middle age. 

This research points toward the hope that low-dose, daily cannabis use over 55 may effectively decrease the degenerative effects of chronic brain inflammation. There you go, in case you needed a reason to continue smoking well into your old age.


Liz Filmer