Washington, DC: Twenty-one percent of Medicare recipients report consuming cannabis for therapeutic purposes, according to survey data compiled by the group MedicarePlans.com.
Survey respondents were most likely to report using cannabis products to address symptoms of anxiety, chronic pain, depression, glaucoma, and HIV/AIDS.
Two-thirds of respondents either “strongly agree” or “agree” that Medicare should cover the costs associated with medical cannabis products. Among those who opposed the idea, over a third said that their opposition was based upon concerns that doing so would drive up the cost of cannabis products.
About one-half of seniors consuming medical cannabis said that they spent $200 or less per month on marijuana-related products. Thirty-six percent of respondents reported spending between $200 and $500 per month.
In recent years, self-reported cannabis use among those ages 65 and older has increased significantly, particularly among those residing in legal states. Studies of older populations consistently report that seniors experience improvements in their health-related quality of life after initiating cannabis therapy.