Tilray supports new study on medical cannabis use in patients over 50 years old

People over 50 years of age are one of the fastest-growing demographics turning to medical cannabis as a treatment option, yet little is known about how they’re using it.

To fill that gap, researchers from Tilray Canada have teamed up with a physician to study medical cannabis use in older patients.

Tilray’s Philippe Lucas, vice-president of global patient research and access, and Kaye Ong, clinical research manager, partnered with Dr. Blake Pearson, founder and chief medical advisor for Greenly Health, launched the Medical Cannabis in Older Patients study earlier this week. The researchers aim to learn more about how the medical use of cannabis affects treatment outcomes in older patients by examining the impact of medical cannabis on chronic pain, sleep, and quality of life in patients over 50 years of age.

Although research suggests that older patients represent one of the fastest-growing groups turning to medical cannabis as a treatment option, little is known about their patterns of use. Specific health concerns and therapeutic opportunities may be unique to this population that can inform cannabis-based treatment.  

The study will use questionnaires administered at medical offices in Ontario and other provinces through regularly scheduled visits. The aim is to enroll 100 patients at each participating site and follow them for a six-month period.

The research has four primary goals:

  • To assess how patients over 50 use medical cannabis by tracking their patterns of use, such as frequency, dosage and type of cannabis product;
  • To assess impact of Tilray medical cannabis products on chronic pain, sleep, quality of life, health care utility and prescription drug use;
  • To gather detailed information on potential adverse events associated with medical cannabis use in older patients;
  • To assess if specific Tilray cannabis products or dosages may be associated with greater or lesser improvements in the conditions or symptoms of older patients.

To read more about this study, visit Medical cannabis research turns to seniors in long-term care facilities.

Dr. Pearson is a family physician who focused his clinic practice on cannabinoid medicine, accepting referrals from across Ontario and educating fellow medical professionals around the world. Greenly Health specializes in providing cannabinoid therapy in long-term care and retirement settings.

Lucas is a graduate researcher with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research who specializes in observational studies on patient patterns of use in the treatment of a number of conditions and symptoms. He has been invited to testify before the House of Commons and Senate multiple times as an expert on medical cannabis.

Ong specializes in the design, project management and monitoring of clinical trial, cohort and retrospective studies. She has been involved in the research and product development of medical cannabis and genome biomarkers and has co-authored 11 scientific journal publications.