The generational divide between Baby Boomers and Millennials has been well documented in the media. However, one lightly covered angle is the similarities and differences between how each generation consumes Marijuana.

Verilife, a chain of Marijuana dispensaries that operates in 6 states across the country, recently surveyed 1,000 Baby Boomers and 1,000 Millennials who consume marijuana regularly to learn more about the similarities and differences between how each generation consumes marijuana in 2020.

Their goal with this survey was to compare medical and recreational marijuana usage between generations as well as consumption preferences and also how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted usage and spending habits. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the results of the survey.

Medical vs. Recreational Marijuana

One of the biggest differences between how Millennials and Boomers consume marijuana lies within the reason why each generation consumes. The survey found that 49% of Millennials consume marijuana recreationally vs 28% for Boomers. Boomers on the other hand are twice as likely to use marijuana solely for medical reasons.

With medical marijuana, the survey found that Millennials use it to deal with chronic pain, migraines and nausea. Boomers use medical marijuana for arthritis, chronic pain and cancer. With recreational marijuana, both Millennials and Boomers use it for relaxation, anxiety and for social reasons.

Marijuana Consumption Preferences

The survey next looked at which generation consumes marijuana more and how they prefer to consume. According to the survey results, Millennials are using marijuana more than Baby Boomers with 1 in 5 Millennials reporting daily marijuana consumption.  Only 12% of Baby Boomers reported consuming daily.

Also analyzed was the time of day that both generations prefer to consume marijuana. Verilife found that the evening time was the most preferred time of day to consume for both generations, however Baby Boomers were also twice as likely to use marijuana in the morning as Millennials.

When it comes to the most preferred ways to consume marijuana, both generations prefer to inhale through common smoking devices like a joint, pipe or blunt. After that, Millennials prefer edibles, vaping, capsules, and tincture. Baby Boomers prefer capsules, edibles and vaping. Surprisingly dabs and concentrates were not a preferred consumption preference for either generation.

Who Millennials and Boomers Consume With

While it might not come as a surprise that both generations were most likely to consume with friends and family members, a surprising amount of both generations (62% of Baby Boomers vs 54% of Millennials) reported smoking with a colleague and even a boss or manager. Both generations also reported consuming before work (28% of Millennials vs 26% of Baby Boomers). 25% of Baby Boomers also reported that they were not completely open about their cannabis use with their significant other.

Marijuana and Primary Care

One point of agreement between both Baby Boomers and Millennials, is that both generations largely agree that cannabis provides medical benefits. If given the option between prescription drugs or marijuana for pain relief, both Millennials (68%) and Baby Boomers (61%) would choose marijuana over prescription drugs.

Baby Boomers were found to be far more trustworthy of their medical provider, both in terms of relying on their medical provider for accurate information on cannabis and as well as sharing their marijuana use with their doctor. Millennials were much more reluctant to share their marijuana use with their doctor and less likely to trust their information on the benefits of marijuana use.

Other Findings

  • Millennials and Baby Boomers both agreed that there is a cultural stigma surrounding cannabis. 57% of all respondents reported feeling this way.
  • The average monthly spend on cannabis among both generations is $76. During Covid-19 this number has increased by $27 more a month to a total spend of $103 monthly.
  • Consumption is also up during Covid-19. 44% of Baby Boomers reported consuming more cannabis during Covid-19 as opposed to 36% of Millennials.

The full survey results can be seen here