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Oct. 29, 2020 | Thursday
Local News
Study examines effect of medical cannabis on seniors
Cannabis growing at Tweed Farms in NOTL. (File/Richard Harley)

Canopy Growth is looking to see if medical cannabis can benefit seniors living in long-term care homes.

The project, which is studying 500 residents in 21 long-term care facilities across Ontario, began in October 2019.

Some of those patients are at Upper Canada Lodge in Niagara-on-the-Lake, though a Canopy Growth spokesperson said for privacy reasons they would not disclose how many.

"We are looking at a variety of ratios of THC and CBD. And they are at a dose that is appropriate for residents and seniors," said Hilary Black, advocacy officer for Canopy Growth.

Seniors won't be smoking, though, Black adds.

"We're really looking at oils and soft gel capsules as a delivery system ... In a long term care facility, it's not realistic to use inhalation or vaporizers. But soft gel capsules, it's just like taking a medicine the way that you would with any other medicine."

She said the ongoing study is looking at the best ratios of THC and CBD to help seniors with pain, mood and sleep.

Black said she spent 20 years of her life, many of them breaking the law, creating access for patients to medical cannabis.

"For me as a patient advocate, I personally have spent 20 years, many of them breaking the law, dedicated to creating access for patients to medical cannabis. Seniors who live in long-term care facilities are one of the last patient groups that don't have access to medical cannabis. And it could tremendously improve their quality of life. So I'm really excited about this study, I think we have the potential to really improve quality of life for residents who live in long term care facilities across the country."

Black said her own grandmother, who is 103 years old, "takes a soft gel capsule with a little bit of THC and a little bit of CBD every afternoon."

"She says that it's the thing that's helped her to survive COVID in terms of her sleep, and her mood. So we're hoping that other grandparents and seniors across the country will eventually be able to have those same benefits," Black said.

 

 

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