Studies show that older and younger generations share a love for cannabis use. Photo credit: Envato.
The future generations of the world are quickly overcoming the growth of the rest of the world’s population. In fact, millennials — or those born between 1981 and 1997 — now outnumber Baby Boomers in America, reports Pew Research.
Furthermore, more than half of the U.S. population are millennials, Generation Z, or younger, according to the Brookings Institute. Not only do young people account for a majority of America’s population, they have serious buying power.
According to the HQ Affinity Report, Gen Z will soon account for 40% of all customers. Gen Z is the age group generally born between 1997 and 2015 and is also known for being the first “digitally native” generation, meaning they are driven by their ability to pick up newer forms of technology quickly.
So what does this mean for generational consumption of cannabis? The HQ Affinity Report also states that 38% of cannabis users are Millenials and Gen Z. Subsequently, 62% of cannabis users are made up of older generations.
Women Drive Consumption
Among generations, users who consume cannabis for the first time are more experimental than ever. However, according to Forbes, women are more indulgent users than men.
Headset states that female cannabis users prefer edibles, topicals and tinctures, and sublinguals. They also speculate that wellness drives this consumption.
According to the Medical Cannabis Network, the wellness cannabis industry has grown to include products such as carbonated beverages, massage oils, and bath bombs.
Men on the other hand, prefer concentrates and vapor pens, according to Headset.
Despite these numbers, governmental regulation and access to cannabis still differs depending on the state. Forbes also found that cannabis legalization has gained momentum since the 2020 presidential election. With a Democrat president in office, many believe there will be progress towards decriminalization.
Even as the federal government seems hesitant to legalize cannabis, a study completed by Brightfield Group shows that the general population is more than ready to dive into recreational cannabis. Brightfield’s Legalization and Consumer Trends report found that 91% of Americans want medicinal cannabis use legalized, with 60% agreeing it should be recreational.
Further Into Generational Cannabis Trends
Research has also found that as members of the Baby Boomer generation age, people become more tolerant to cannabis, and increase their usage rates. NBC has seen that older individuals have turned to cannabis use as a sleep and pain aid.
While Baby Boomer cannabis use is on the rise, adults 18 to 25 still remain the biggest cannabis users, according to NBC.
According to Very Well Mind, cannabis usage rates increased in adolescents due to a number of reasons. Many consumed cannabis as a way to self-treat sleep issues, trouble concentrating academically, and anxiety relief.
Another interesting trend found by the Brightfield Group is that amongst all generations, cannabis legalization is no longer a bipartisan group. Most Republicans and Democrats believe officials should legalize cannabis use federally.
Pew Research has found that among the group of Republicans 65 and older, only 12% say that cannabis use should be illegal for adults. This is a drastic change in opinion made up over decades of the fight for legalization.
Brightfield found that throughout the pandemic, 81% of cannabis users say cannabis helped with stress related to COVID-19. Their report also found that 44% of cannabis consumers increased their usage during the pandemic.
According to Brightfield, cannabis use at family gatherings also rose from 23% to 45% from 2020 to 2021.
From these numerous trends, one can see that the majority of America is ready for cannabis legalization and decriminalization.