University of Iowa professor looking for older adults to take part in medical marijuana study

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Published: Feb. 24, 2020 at 3:50 AM CST
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According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall.

Every 19 minutes, an older person dies from falling.

Now, a University of Iowa professor wants to see what the chances of falling are for older people who smoke medical marijuana. Professor Thorsten Rudroff says it may have to do with THC, which is the main psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that gives a high sensation.

Rudroff says THC can also hurt a person's cognitive skills which include memory, concentration and focus.

So they want to see the effects of medical marijuana on older adults who already have a greater risk of falling.

The university is looking for people between the ages of 50 and 80 to take part in the study.

Researchers will test medical marijuana smokers against non-smokers regarding their motor functions, for example, to compare how they walk.

Rudroff says people don't know how to use medical marijuana.

"It's self-medicated,” said Rudroff. “They don't know how to use medical cannabis. There are no guidelines, no recommendations out there. We want to find out what is the best and safest product”

Dr. Rudroff suggests people use more CBD products instead of smoking medical marijuana.

"We looked in one study how CBD affects the brain, and we found some really positive results. So it is very positive that CBD has some benefits to cognition to older people."

The study will last about 2 years. Those who take the study will receive $100.

Those interested in the study can email