A new published clinical study out of Israel offers scientific evidence that the therapeutic use of cannabis can be a safe and effective treatment for elderly people, and is often a factor leading to the decreased use of other drugs, including opioids.
The groundbreaking article, “Epidemiological characteristics, safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly” published on February 7, 2018 in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, is the first of its kind. The study surveyed patients above 65 years of age who received medical cannabis at Tikun Olam clinics in Israel from January 2015 to October 2017. All 2,736 patients, with a median age of 74.5 years, were prescribed one or more of Tikun Olam’s proprietary cannabis strains, each developed over a number of years to address specific symptoms. The main strains used in the study were Erez, (53.2%), Avidekel (33.4%), Alaska (25.7%), and Midnight (20.4%).
The most common indications for cannabis treatment were pain (66.6%) and cancer 60.8%). After six months of treatment, 93.7% of the respondents reported improvement in their condition and the reported pain level was reduced by half — from a median of 8 on a scale of 0–10 to a median of 4. Adverse side effects were minor and rare and included dizziness (9.7%) and dry mouth (7.1%).
Importantly, after six months, 18.1% of the patients reduced their dose of opioid analgesics — or stopped using them entirely.
The largest supplier of medical cannabis in Israel, Tikun Olam partnered with Israel’s Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the study. Bernie Sucher, chief executive officer of Tikun Olam Global LLC, said, “This study is an unprecedented affirmation by the scientific community of the efficacy of medical marijuana in the elderly. These people are arguably the most medically vulnerable population and already a large and growing proportion of the users of medical cannabis.”
“This pioneering clinical study on the use of cannabis in the geriatric population is the first step in finding safer, and less toxic medications for use in our elderly populations,” Sucher added. “We are proud to have partnered with the scientific and academic communities for this release, and ongoing analysis and study will be a significant factor in improving and developing new cannabis products in both the traditional and the pharmaceutical markets.”
About Tikun Olam
Tikun Olam (“repair the world” in Hebrew) is the world’s leading cannabis brand and globally recognized as the pioneer of modern medical cannabis. The company’s global mission is to research, develop and provide efficacious, data-based cannabis treatments to help sufferers. Operating as a commercial venture for over 10 years, Tikun Olam’s products have been used since 2010 in ongoing clinical trials in Israel’s regulated medical cannabis market, treating over 10,000 patients for a variety of symptoms of medical conditions such as Cancer, PTSD, AIDS, epilepsy, Crohn’s Disease/Colitis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, chronic pain and neuropathy. Through this access to patients, medical personnel and data collection, Tikun Olam has developed multiple proprietary strains, including the first-ever, high-CBD, “high-less” strain Avidekel™, its high-THC strain Alaska™, and its “one-to-one” CBD/THC strain Midnight™. Tikun Olam’s U.S. operations, established in 2015 as T.O. Global LLC, are a joint venture with Tikun Olam Ltd. (Israel). Tikun Olam also operates similar partnerships in Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and South Africa.