The generational divide between baby boomers and millennials is vast when it comes to social attitudes, economics, and even marijuana use. Verilife recently surveyed 1,000 baby boomers and 1,000 millennials who consume marijuana regularly to break down the similarities and differences between how both generations consume marijuana. Let’s take a deeper dive into the results from the survey that looked at consumption trends, how each demographic uses (recreational vs medical), consumption preferences as well as how Covid-19 has impacted both usage and spending on cannabis.
Medical vs Recreational
The two most common uses of marijuana are medical reasons and recreational reasons. Some states have legalized use for both where others are strictly medical or even still illegal for both medical and recreational. Verilife wanted to see how usage differed between millennials and baby boomers.
One of the biggest differences between how millennials and boomers consume marijuana lies within the reason why each generation consumes. 49% of millennials consume recreationally vs 28% for boomers. Boomers on the other hand are twice as likely to use marijuana solely for medical reasons. Let’s examine the full numbers for each demographic.
Millennials – 49% recreational usage, 22% medical usage, and 29% use both recreationally and medically.
Baby Boomers – 50% medical usage, 28% recreational usage, and 22% use both recreationally and medically.
The study found that baby boomers were twice as likely to use cannabis solely for medical reasons as millennials.
Top Medical Reasons: Millennials
1. Chronic Pain (27%)
2. Migraines (13%)
3. Manage Nausea (11%)
4. Arthritis (8%)
5. Manage Weight Loss (8%)
6. Autism (8%)
7. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (4%)
Top Medical Reasons: Baby Boomers
1. Arthritis (15%)
2. Chronic Pain (13%)
3. Cancer (11%)
4. Migraines (8%) 5. Manage Weight Loss (8%)
6. Manage Nausea (8%)
Top Recreational Reasons: Millennials
1. Relaxation (34%)
2. Social Use (23%)
3. Anxiety (22%)
4. Using as A Sleep Aid (9%)
5. Enhance Physical Activity (5%)
Top Recreational Reasons: Baby Boomers
1. Relaxation (42%)
2. Anxiety (17%)
3. Social Use (17%)
4. Enhance Physical Activity (17%)
5. Other (8%)
When it comes to using medical marijuana, Millennials use to deal with chronic pain, migraines, and nausea. Boomers use medical marijuana for arthritis, chronic pain, and cancer. When it comes to using recreational marijuana, both Millennials and Boomers use it for relaxation, anxiety, and for social reasons. While millennials and baby boomers may have some differences in their reasons for using cannabis, they both agree that there is a cultural stigma surrounding cannabis use. 57% of all total respondents said that they feel there is a cultural stigma surrounding cannabis use.
Verilife also asked about how much millennials and baby boomers are spending monthly on average on cannabis. The average monthly spend on cannabis among both generations was $76. They also asked about whether or not that monthly spending increased during Covid-19 and we will touch on that later in this post.
Marijuana Consumption Preferences
The next part of the survey from Verlife asked about the preferred time of day to consume cannabis. This section should some similarities but found that Baby Boomers are twice as likely to use cannabis in the morning, where millennials are more likely to use it in the evening. A more detailed breakdown is provided below:
Morning – Baby Boomers 22%, Millennials 10%
Afternoon – Baby Boomers 16%, Millennials 9%
Mid-day – Millennials 19%, Baby Boomers 14%
Evening – Millennials 30%, Baby Boomers 26%
Night – Millennials 25%, Baby Boomers 14%
It Varies – Millennials 18%, Baby Boomers 9%
As you can see both Baby Boomers and Millennials use the most in the evening time, however, Baby Boomers also have a strong preference for use in the morning as well, especially when compared to millennial usage.
Most Preferred Ways to Consume
The next part of the survey asked both Baby Boomers and Millennials the manner in which they prefer to consume cannabis. Not surprisingly, inhaling (by pipe, joint, blunt, etc…) was the most common response from both Baby Boomers and Millennials. After inhaling there was some disagreement on the second most popular way to consume cannabis. Millennials preferred edibles where Baby Boomers prefer to consume via capsules. After that Millennials prefer to vaporize their cannabis where Baby Boomers prefer edibles. The full breakdown of how both Millennials and Baby Boomers consume cannabis can be seen below and you'll notice some stark differences between the two generations and their consumption preferences.
1. Inhale (a pipe, joint blunt) 50%
2. Edibles 18%
3. Vaporize 14%
4. Capsules 10%
5. Tincture 4%
6. Dabs 2%
7. Topical 1%
8. Other 1%
1. Inhale 39%
2. Capsules 23%
3. Edibles 14%
4. Vaporize 11%
5. Tincture 7%
6. Topical 2%
7. Other 2%
8. Dabs 1%
Cannabis usage during Covid-19
The study from Verlife found that both marijuana use and personal spending on marijuana have increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. 44% of Baby Boomers reported consuming more cannabis since the start of Covid-19 compared to 33% of Millennials who also reported consuming more cannabis since the start of Covid-19. The average monthly spend on cannabis among both generations is $76. During Covid-19 that number has increased by $27 a month on average.
Who Millennials and Baby Boomers Consume With
The next part of the survey asked about who Millennials and Baby Boomers prefer to consume cannabis with. 63% of Baby Boomers said they’ve consumed cannabis with a family member compared to 60% of Millennials. 62% of Baby Boomers said they’ve consumed cannabis with a coworker when compared to 54% of Millennials. Even more surprising, 47% of Baby Boomers said they’ve consumed with a boss or manager. Only 31% of Millennials said they’ve done that. 25% of Baby Boomers said they are not open about their cannabis use with their significant other.
Marijuana and Primary Care
The last part of the survey talked about marijuana use and whether or not they were open about their use with their doctor. 60% of Baby Boomers talked to their doctor about their use when compared to 46% of Millennials. Both generations strongly believe medical cannabis has medical benefits and would prefer cannabis over a prescription to relieve pain if given the option.
The full survey results from Verlife can be seen in the graphic below.
Infographic by: www.verilife.com