(WTVO) — Health experts are warning Baby Boomers they can’t smoke marijuana the way they used to in the ’60s, as more seniors using cannabis and ending up in the emergency room.
“They think they know from the sixties and seventies, I know how to do marijuana,” said Harris Stratyner, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
The number of senior citizens visiting ERs because of marijuana has soared in the past few years. Stratyner said Boomers may be unaware of how potent pot is in 2023.
“Particularly since the presence of gummies, edibles, because you don’t know how long it’s going to take for an edible to affect you,” he said.
According to the U.S. Department of Human Services, marijuana that is currently cultivated and sold legally contains three times more THC compared to 25 years ago.
Stratyner also said individuals over the age of 60 are also more likely to be on medication for high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
“We haven’t done enough research to know what the synergistic the combined effects of of marijuana are with T-H-C Tetrahydrocannabinol with other medications,” Stratyner said.
A new study, but the University of California San Diego, revealed that cannabis-related ER visits have shot up a whopping 1800% among Californians over the age of 65.
“A lot of oh baby boomers are ending up in the hospital with cyclical vomiting syndrome? They’re just not nauseous, vomiting. They go into renal failure because they become dehydrated… we have to give them fluids,” said Dr. Nicolas Hernandez, associate director for Glen Cove Hospital.
“It could be considered an overdose, you know, with marijuana. Marijuana theoretically is very helpful to cancer patients,” Stratyner added.
Both experts say other side effects could include dizziness, balance issues, disorientation, extreme paranoia, anxiety, and even early signs of dementia.
“It’s basically mostly metabolized by the liver, some excreted by the kidneys. But the liver can last for up to 72 hours before it completely leaves your system. So an older person that may have a little bit more slower process, it could be six days for them as opposed to three days,” Hernandez said.