Numerous ailments in older adults which are not currently covered by Israel's medically approved therapies may be treated with medical cannabis, Ben Gurion University of the Negev researchers have discovered.The study, titled "Medical Cannabis for Older Patients-Treatment Protocol and Initial Results," was published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine and presents a new treatment protocol that improved the general condition of the geriatric patients. "We developed our own approach based on close follow-up of effects, adverse events, and slow introduction of THC oil, CBD oil or a combination," said Dr. Ran Abuhasira, member of the university's Faculty of Health Sciences and Soroka's Cannabis Clinical Research Institute.Certain symptoms were evaluated, which led to the realization that the use of cannabis may alleviate them. The 184 patients studied with a median age of 82 began cannabis treatment at a specialized clinic. However, 41.9% stopped using the drug sometime throughout the first six months of treatment.Due to the range of ages, the protocols nonetheless urge extra caution in older adults in case of multiple drug interactions.“Once treatment is initiated and the therapeutic dose is achieved, we recommend at least monthly follow-up at first to assess adverse events and treatment efficacy,” Abuhasira said. “If treatment is effective and well-tolerated, consideration can then be given to revising the current concomitant drug regimen, especially with respect to the use and dosage of opioids, benzodiazepines and other psychotropic or analgesic medications."Abuhasira explained that cannabis has the potential to reduce the need to use other medications, and therein calls for the immediate implementation of the protocol in clinical practice.The research was partially funded by NiaMedic, a medical data company. It specializes in integrating medical cannabis treatment with conventional care in older adults.