Kitchener-Waterloo

Seniors and pot: Panel to educate older adults about risks and benefits of cannabis use

The Cambridge Council on Aging hopes to better educate older adults on the use of cannabis. An expert panel in March will focus on the risks and benefits of using cannabis while taking other medications.

Not a lot of information for older adults who are considering cannabis, group says

The Cambridge Council on Aging is hosting an experts panel in March that will tackle the risks and benefits of cannabis for older adults who are taking other medication. (Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press)

When cannabis became legal, there was a lot of information for youth and families, but not very much for seniors, says Sharon Livingtsone.

It's why the Cambridge Council on Aging will host an expert panel on how to safely use cannabis if you're an older adult.

Those interested can register for the panel, which aims to look at the risks and benefits of adding medicinal or recreational cannabis to a person's list of medications. There will be time set aside for questions from the audience.

"What we have heard through the Waterloo Region Integrated Drug Strategy, who are the experts in the area, is that the fastest growing group using cannabis and medical marijuana are older adults," Livingstone, chair of the Cambridge Council on Aging, told CBC's Craig Norris on The Morning Edition.

Pharmacists, representatives from public health, a nurse from Cambridge's rapid access clinic and someone with lived experience will make up the experts panel, set to go on March 21 at Cambridge city hall.

Livingstone adds pharmacists and the nurses at Cambridge's rapid access clinic are good resources for older adults who are considering cannabis use, but many seniors may not know they are available to them.

She hopes older adults and those who provide services to seniors will come out to the panel and walk away having learned a thing or two.

"Our experience with older adults is that they're really smart folks so if we give them the information, they'll figure it out and use it," she said.

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