Survey: Boomers Use Cannabis Medically At Twice the Rate of Millennials

A recent survey of millennial and baby boomer cannabis consumers suggests that baby boomers use cannabis for medicinal purposes at twice the rate of millennials.

Full story after the jump.

A survey by cannabis company Verilife found that baby boomers – people aged 56 to 76 – use cannabis medically at twice the rates of millennials – those 22- to 38-years-old. Half of the boomers surveyed said they consumed cannabis primarily for medical reasons, with 28 percent saying they use solely for recreational reasons, and 22 percent saying they use for both.

The figures are completely flipped for millennials surveyed, as 49 percent said they used only recreationally, with 22 percent saying they use for medical purposes and 29 percent who use for both.

Twenty-seven percent of millennials who use cannabis medically say it helps their chronic pain, followed by migraines (13 percent), to manage nausea (11 percent), arthritis (8 percent), to manage weight loss (8 percent), autism (8 percent), and irritable bowel syndrome (4 percent). For boomers, arthritis was the most common reason for medical cannabis use (15 percent), followed by chronic pain (13 percent), cancer (11 percent), migraines (8 percent), to manage weight loss (8 percent), nausea management (8 percent), and autism (7 percent).

Among millennial recreational uses, 34 percent said they use cannabis to relax, while 23 percent said they use for social reasons, 22 percent for anxiety, 9 percent to help them sleep, and 5 percent to enhance physical activity. For boomers, relaxation was the primary reason for recreational use (42 percent), followed by anxiety (17 percent), socialization (17 percent), and physical activity enhancement (17 percent). Another 8 percent said it was for some other, unnamed, reason.

Both generations still prefer to smoking as their primary method, with half of millennials and 39 percent of boomers saying smoking is their top choice. Boomers prefer capsules at more than twice the rate of millennials (23 percent to 10 percent), while other methods such as edibles, vaping, and tinctures were preferred at similar rates.

Neither generation reported more than 2 percent preference for dabbing or topicals.

The survey suggests that boomers’ cannabis use is increasing more than millennials’ during the coronavirus pandemic, as 44 percent of boomers said their use has increased, compared to 36 percent of millennials.

The majority of respondents from both generations – 57 percent – said they believe there is still a cultural stigma surrounding cannabis and both generations believe that cannabis has medical benefits.

“In fact, 92 percent of millennials and 89 percent of boomers agree that there are medical benefits, and if given the option, 68 percent of millennials and 61 percent of boomers would prefer medical marijuana over a prescription medicine to relieve pain.” – “Marijuana & the Differences Between Millennials vs. Baby Boomers”

The survey was conducted from May 29 to June 5, 2020 and included 1,000 current cannabis consumers from each generation. For millennials, the average age was 31 with 54 percent male and 46 percent female respondents. Of this group, 63 percent were employed full-time and 80 percent completed some type of post-secondary education. For baby boomers, the average was 59 with 61 percent male and 39 percent female respondents. Within this group, 66 percent were employed full-time and 79 percent completed some type of post-secondary education.

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