Marijuana: where we are now
While we await further evidence of marijuana’s efficacy and safety as a treatment for agitation in cognitively impaired individuals,clinicians are well-advised to consider better documented behavioral or pharmacological treatments. In federal institutions or states that do not include Alzheimer disease as a qualifying condition for marijuana use, patients and caregivers can be made aware of the regulations that govern marijuana availability. Given the variety of marijuana species that dispensaries provide and the varying ratios of active alkaloids they contain, a reasonable alternative to a request for medical marijuana might be dronabinol, which is a standardized and more predictable medication with a limited but supportive evidence base. Further research into the risks and benefits of marijuana is well worth pursuing and will guide clinicians’ treatment choices.