15 Side Effects of Cannabis After 50


As we age, our bodies become more sensitive to various substances, and cannabis is no exception. For those over 50, cannabis can have surprising and often detrimental effects. Understanding these impacts is important for making informed decisions about its use and safeguarding your health.

Cognitive Impairment


Cannabis use might worsen existing memory and thinking problems. THC, the active ingredient, slows thinking, making it harder to remember things which impacts daily tasks.

Increased Heart Rate


Older adults with heart problems should be cautious with cannabis, as THC causes increased heart rate. This puts them at higher risk for a heart attack or stroke. The increased heart rate can also worsen anxiety.

High Blood Pressure


Consuming cannabis may raise blood pressure, which is particularly dangerous for seniors already managing hypertension. Heightened blood pressure increases cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, and complicates the management of existing heart conditions.

Respiratory Issues


Smoking cannabis irritates the lungs, leading to chronic bronchitis and other respiratory problems. For seniors with reduced lung capacity or existing respiratory conditions, this can result in severe breathing difficulties and exacerbate conditions like COPD or asthma.

Balance and Coordination Problems


Cannabis affects balance and coordination, increasing the risk of falls. Older adults, especially those with bone density issues such as osteoporosis, are more likely to suffer severe injuries from falls, including fractures and head injuries, which can have long-term consequences.

Mood Swings

Jacob Wackerhausen/Getty

While cannabis can provide temporary relief from anxiety or depression, it can also cause mood swings and emotional instability. This complicates the management of mental health issues in seniors.

Paranoia and Anxiety


THC heightens feelings of paranoia and anxiety, making it harder for older adults to manage these conditions. It is particularly concerning for those with a history of mental health issues, as it causes stress and discomfort.

Interaction with Medications


Cannabis interacts with medications commonly prescribed to seniors, including blood thinners, sedatives, and diabetes medications. These interactions may cause adverse reactions, reduce drug effectiveness, and complicate the management of chronic conditions.

Dizziness and Lightheadedness


Cannabis use can cause dizziness and lightheadedness, which increases fall risk and related injuries in older adults. The sensations can be particularly unsettling and dangerous, especially for those with already compromised balance or mobility.

Sleep Disturbances


While some use cannabis to help with sleep, it disrupts sleep patterns and causes poor-quality sleep. This results in fatigue and decreased daytime alertness and impacts overall health and daily functioning.

Appetite Changes


Changes in appetite can occur with cannabis use, leading to either overeating or a reduced interest in food. Weight loss or gain can be problematic for seniors, potentially bringing nutritional deficiencies or exacerbating existing health conditions.

Dry Mouth and Dental Issues

Drazen Zigic/Getty

Dry mouth commonly results from consuming cannabis. It contributes to dental issues like tooth decay and gum disease. In older adults, compromised oral health can significantly affect overall well-being, heightening the risk of infections and other complications.


Images we create and what actually happens are always beautiful when we have imagination/Getty

Older adults can develop a dependency on cannabis, and withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, lack of sleep, and loss of appetite are experienced when trying to quit. The dependency on cannabis complicates other health issues.



Prolonged fatigue from cannabis and chronic tiredness decrease physical activity. Hence, poses challenges for older adults to stay engaged in daily activities.

Impaired Motor Skills

Amorn Suriyan/Getty

Impaired motor skills from cannabis use affect the ability to perform everyday tasks safely, presenting particular risks for seniors who need to drive, operate machinery, or navigate their homes without injury.


Leave a Comment