Baby Boomers and Cannabis Edibles

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Baby Boomers and Cannabis Edibles - Top Products

The top cannabis products succeeding among baby boomers are flowers for smoking, CBD products, edibles, capsules/pills, tinctures, oils, and topical creams and gels. The most popular brand of cannabis products in Washington among baby boomers is Phat Panda, but other brands mentioned across the United States include Blue Dream, Bubba Kush, Cresco, Terrapin Whole Flower, Chill, and Stratos. Below is a deeper look at our findings.

Smoking/Flower

  • Of non-medical cannabis products, 67% of consumers in the age bracket of 54-75 purchased cannabis flowers.
  • The most popular flower purchased by baby boomers is hybrid, at 61%.
  • The second- and third-most popular flowers purchased by baby boomers are "shake and trim" and sativa, both at 19%.
  • Of non-medical cannabis products, consumers in the age bracket of 54-75, 8% purchased pre-rolled cannabis for smoking.
  • Older seniors who use cannabis recreationally and only "partake a few times a year or less," prefer to smoke joints and will typically not consider any form other than flower.
  • Shari Horne, age 66, "smokes 'a few hits' of a cannabis brand called Blue Dream to help her relax after dinner.
  • Catherine McCormick, age 53, was able to wean herself off of high doses of ibuprofen, oxycodone, benzodiazepines, and an antidepressant that she was taking to alleviate pain after knee replacement surgery by smoking cannabis instead.
  • An anonymous 71-year-old attorney in Los Angeles smokes the cannabis strain known as Bubba Kush to ease the pain and insomnia from "polymyalgia rheumatica, an inflammatory autoimmune disease."
  • Bob, an anonymous 71-year-old in East Bay, San Francisco, suffers from a prostate ailment that forces him to get up several times a night to go to the bathroom. When he can't fall asleep again right away, he takes "a couple hits of cannabis and get[s] back to sleep."
  • Mark Dresnin, 71, smokes Cresco dry leaf during the day to "get a lift" and Terrapin Whole Flower at night to help him fall asleep.

CBD Products

  • The 2018 "State of Cannabis" report shows that among baby boomers, "CBD [was] the breakout star of the year" and "baby boomers are the most common CBD enthusiasts of all age groups (8.4% in 2018)."
  • The 2018 "State of Cannabis" report also found that "baby boomers [are] driving growth by using CBD for anxiety, sleep, and pain relief.
  • Of Leber's clientele, senior women are "particularly interested in CBD medicines."
  • According to Eaze Insight's 2018 "State of Cannabis," boomer women are responsible for 21% of CBD purchases.
  • Products that contain CBD rather than THC are popular among senior citizens, especially when they first try cannabis products because they "don't want to get high." Other seniors have said, "If I could get the medical benefit from the plant without the high, I’d consider it."
  • Dr. Joseph Cohen, a 71-year-old who founded Holos Health in Colorado, "recommends CBD for age-related diseases, such as Parkinson’s, dementia, osteoarthritis, and chronic inflammation."
  • Dr. Cohen, who is a member of the baby boomer generation, also uses CBD products to "make sure [he] stay[s] calm" before his presentations.
  • Bob Leber, a baby boomer founder of Golden Angels Seniors Collective, a delivery service for medical cannabis that primarily serves senior citizens in California, stated that "his senior patient base leans heavily towards CBD-rich strains and products."
  • Nancy Giacobbe, a 61-year-old in California, "uses topical CBD for her arthritis, which has the potential to severely hinder her work as an aesthetician because she uses her hands every day."
  • Sixty-five-year-old Terry Huffman in Colorado has used CBD products since he "hurt [his] knee a couple years ago" and it "took the pain right out of [his] knee."
  • Rabi Ahmed, owner of Smokers Plus in Ohio, stated, "Senior citizens mostly buy the CBD. The young kids, they don’t buy CBD at all."

Edibles

Capsules/Pills

  • In a study conducted on 150 seniors with an average age between 61 and 70 who used medical marijuana for pain, 28% "used a medical marijuana pill."
  • Jim Levy, along with the topical cream he uses, also "ingests cannabis gelatin capsules and lozenges." According to Levy, the combination of products "gets rid of 90 percent of the pain."
  • Sara Suter, a quadriplegic baby boomer in Colorado, "suffers from spinal cord neuropathy, rotator cuff pain and tendonitis" and found that "taking cannabis in the pill" relaxes her and provides an effective alternative to Tylenol and opioids.
  • Harold Pearman, who only reveals he is "60-something", takes Stratos brand cannabis pills to help treat his renal cell carcinoma.
  • Pearman's wife, Debbie, also 60-something, takes Stratos cannabis pills to ease her anxiety and help her sleep.
  • According to Ryan Smith, chief operating officer of Cure Pennsylvania, a company that runs three dispensaries in the state, "Traditionally, pills have been a very popular form of medical marijuana, for seniors in particular."
  • Helen Narke, a baby boomer (exact age unknown), "takes medical marijuana capsules throughout the day — one in the morning, a second around 2 p.m. and a third before bed."

Tincture

  • Shari Horne, a 66-year-old living in California, uses a "tincture of cannabidiol mixed with T.H.C., the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis" to ease bursitis in her shoulder.
  • Joy Kavianian, a 55-year-old in Laguna Woods, California who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, uses a tincture to "reduce her right-side tremors" for four hours so she is able to craft ceramics.
  • Ron Atkin, age 76 (again, just one year older than the oldest baby boomer), also uses cannabis sublingual drops (tincture) to help ease the pain from his spinal stenosis "since the prescription opiates he had been taking quit working."
  • Sue Taylor, age 61, "uses small doses of a tincture that’s high in CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, and low in THC" to help her sleep through the night.
  • Barbara Blaser, a 71-year-old registered nurse who assists seniors in choosing cannabis products, often recommends they use the same treatment she uses for herself to combat "anxiety-induced insomnia," which is "a 5-mg dose of 18:1 CBD-THC tincture" in addition to 5 milligrams of an edible.
  • Dr. Vanessa Niles, age 61, takes a "tincture that’s a combination CBD and THC, a 1:1 ratio" along with an edible to treat her sleep issues.

Oil

  • Of non-medical cannabis products, 8% of consumers in the age bracket of 54-75 purchased vape pens.
  • Of non-medical cannabis products, 6% of consumers in the age bracket of 54-75 purchased concentrated cannabis oil for vaping.
  • In a study of 150 baby boomers ranging in age from 61 to 70, 45% "used a vaporized oil in an e-cigarette device."
  • An unnamed baby boomer from Boulder, Colorado makes her own CBD oil to ease anxiety, and when she shared it with her baby boomer friends, some reported relief from acid reflux and arthritis. However, about 40% said they felt no effect.
  • Kay Nelson, 75, "uses a vaporizer and oils" to "ease her chronic back pain."

Topical Creams and gels

  • Jim Levy, age 71, uses a topical cream infused with cannabis to ease the pain from a "pinched nerve that shoots pain down both his legs."
  • A senior citizen at Balfour Senior Living Center in California uses "[marijuana] topically" for his inflammatory arthritis.
  • Brian Grode, age 59, uses "topical gels to ease his osteoarthritis and the degenerative disc in his back."
  • Kirsten Barbers, manager at Vela Cannabis in Seattle says that in her cannabis dispensary "most seniors go to topical products."
  • Mark Dresnin, a 71-year-old in Philadelphia, uses topical cannabis creams to "relieve pain caused by arthritis and glaucoma."

Top brands for seniors

  • Based on "real-time sales reporting by participating Washington State cannabis retailers via their point-of-sale systems," Headset determined the following non-medical cannabis products to be most popular among baby boomers:
    • Note that Phat Panda is also the top non-medical cannabis products for gen Xers and millennials; however, the silent generation (age 76+) prefer Project M the best.

    Research Strategy

    Our research began by identifying the age group for baby boomers. Using information from Kasasa on generation breakdowns by age, we established that baby boomers are currently between the ages of 55 and 75, as they were born between 1944 and 1964. While most information in our brief relates to this age group, we did include data from one person who is 76 because he was so close to the age cut-off.

    To identify the 7-10 of the top cannabis products currently in high demand among baby boomers, we first began our search with official surveys and studies. We found a 2017 study from Headset that showed exactly what types of cannabis products baby boomers are buying, which were primarily flowers at 67%. This data also showed statistics for how many baby boomers purchased edibles, oil, and vape pens, but these were all significantly smaller percentages than flowers. Therefore, we assumed that flowers (and by extension, smoking) are the most popular cannabis products among baby boomers. We do note that flowers can be used in other ways besides smoking, but our research indicated that smoking is the primary ingestion method for flowers.

    In addition, we were able to identify the top 10 cannabis brands purchased by baby boomers in Washington, which were provided as additional findings. This study provided us with hard data, but it did not allow us to identify at least five products. In addition, the study was limited to cannabis consumers in Washington, so while we found the data useful and included it in our findings, we did not feel it fully represented the baby boomer cannabis-buying demographic. Note that we had to register with Headset to download this study, so it is not fully accessible without registration. Therefore, we provided screenshots of the data contained in the study.

    We found a second study conducted in 2018 by Eaze that found that baby boomers were the number one demographic for purchasing CBD products at 8.4%. This study was much larger (pulled from "Eaze’s database of 450,000 cannabis consumers" and survey data from 4,000 participants), so we determined that CBD products are also very popular among baby boomers, and with female boomers in particular. This became our second-most popular category because edibles were only consumed by 6% of baby boomers according to the Headset study. However, it is important to note that the Headset study was conducted a year earlier than the Eaze study, which means the percentage of baby boomers consuming edibles might also have increased.

    A third study conducted by Dr. Diana Martins-Welch on 150 medical cannabis patients who received their products from New York or Minnesota dispensaries provided some hard data on how many baby boomers use cannabis pills and oil for vaping. We included these results in our findings, but the sample size was so small that we did not use these percentages to rank the products. We found later that both pills and oil are further down on the preference list for most baby boomers than this study would indicate.

    At this point, we only had hard data for four categories (flowers, CBD products, edibles, and oil), and the data was limited for edibles and oil. However, despite searching through additional cannabis research companies like the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research, Leafly, and the Journal of Cannabis Research, among others, we were unable to find recent studies on which cannabis products are succeeding among baby boomers. Most of this research was on the effects of cannabis on the body and mind. There was an older NCBI study from 2015 that may have offered some insights into what types of cannabis products seniors use to relieve pain, but we deemed it too old given that baby boomers have been identified as the fastest-growing demographic for cannabis use. This indicates that preferences have likely changed since that study was conducted.

    In an effort to find more data to supplement our current findings and identify three more popular cannabis categories among baby boomers, we switched gears and began looking for case studies and examples of baby boomers who are actively using cannabis to take an unofficial survey of the products that are succeeding with this age group. This was much more successful, as we found numerous media articles and cannabis-industry blogs that highlighted specific baby boomers and their cannabis product preferences. We collected the anecdotal evidence from more than 20 sources and, based on the number of times products were mentioned by baby boomers as items they currently use, ranked them to determine the top seven.

    Despite extensive searching through surveys, studies, case studies, and media articles, we were unable to identify actual brands that are most popular among baby boomers. We did find the top 10 most popular brands among this age group in Washington, which again, we included as relevant findings, but there were no brands repeated among active cannabis users in the rest of the country to provide us with clear favorites. We also attempted to triangulate this information by researching cannabis sales data to determine the most popular brands of cannabis among baby boomers, but all data found was aggregated across all age groups, with no way to break down the sales by generation. We could also find the average "basket size" for baby boomers and the percentage of this generation that is using cannabis, but individual products were elusive.

    As a third attempt to find actual brands that are most popular among baby boomers, we looked for directly available data from cannabis companies with the hope of finding lists of best-selling brands for this generation. We found many lists, but all were based on recommendations rather than actual sales. Thus, there was no way to determine if these companies were recommending these products based on what is in demand or for marketing reasons. It is interesting to note that both products mentioned in the research criteria (Whoopi and Maya and Kiva Confections) were often recommended as products for seniors and other consumers.

    Note that the primary use for cannabis among baby boomers is for medicinal purposes. Therefore, most of our results are based on medical cannabis products. We assumed that these products would be most in demand because of the various ailments this age group is seeking to treat. After extensive research, we have determined that medicinal cannabis products in various forms are the products succeeding most among baby boomers, but in states where recreational cannabis is legal, the most popular products among baby boomers seem to parallel those purchased by baby boomers in states where only medical cannabis is legal.
Part
02
of six
Part
02

Baby Boomers and Cannabis Edibles - Market Size

Total US cannabis market size is worth $12.9 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach over $26.3 billion by 2022. The US edible cannabis market is worth $2.3 billion as of 2018, and is projected to reach over $5.3 billion by 2023.
About 6.48 million or 9% of all baby boomers in the US consume cannabis, whereas over 48% or 3.11 million of all baby boomers who consume cannabis purchased edible cannabis products in 2017. The total market size of edible cannabis products among baby boomers is about $345 million or 15% of the total edible cannabis market valued at $2.3 billion.

CANNABIS Market size

  • According to recent reports by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, the global legal cannabis market is projected to reach $31.3 billion in 2022 from current $17 billion worldwide. The United States currently accounts for over 75% of the global market or $12.9 billion; it is also expected to cross over $26.3 billion by 2025.
  • In the United States, about 115 million or 48.2% of all adults have consumed cannabis in their lifetimes, while 9.9% or 24 million regularly consume cannabis.

CANNABIS EDIBLES MARKET SIZE

  • According to Brightfield Research Group, the total market size of edible cannabis products in the US was over $1 billion in 2017, and it crossed $2.3 billion in 2018. The cannabis edibles market is expected to reach $5.3 billion by 2023.
  • The break down of the US cannabis edibles market by product type for 2017 is as follows: Total market: $988 million; candy: $405 million; chocolate: $193 million; general foods: $122 million; beverages: $58 million; pills, tinctures, and others: $209 million.
  • The contribution of edible cannabis products to the total cannabis market has increased from 5.4% in 2011 to about 12% in 2018. Further, it is projected to contribute about 14% to the total cannabis market in the US by 2022, while the market share of flower will drop from 50% to 36% by 2022.

Baby boomers market share

  • As of 2019, over 72 million baby boomers reside in the US. Around 9% of all baby boomers in the US have consumed cannabis at some point in the year. Among those aged 65+, about 3% of have used cannabis.
  • It is found that past-year prevalence of marijuana use among baby boomers ranged from 5.6% to 9.1%, and 1.3% to 2.0% among those 65 years or older. Another survey by Bloomberg confirmed this finding by stating that 7% of all baby boomers have consumed cannabis.
  • Among medical marijuana users about 29.8% of all users are 50 years or older, and baby boomers also represent 16.9% of all non-medical marijuana users in the US.
  • According to recent report by Headset, baby boomers contribute about 15% of the total cannabis sales across all generations.
  • According to the recent report by Eaze Insights, around 48% of cannabis consuming baby boomers have purchased edible cannabis products in 2017.
  • The purchase share of baby boomers by product type is as follows: Concentrates 6%, Edible 6%, Flower 67%, Pre-roll 8%, Vapor Pens 8%, Beverage, capsule, tincture, topical — less than 5%.
  • The average purchase value of a cannabis product by a baby boomer range from $32 to $42, with an average item price of $17.16.
  • An average cannabis consuming baby boomer spends about $95.04 every month on cannabis products.
Part
03
of six
Part
03

Baby Boomers and Cannabis Edibles - Market Drivers

The main drivers or factors encouraging the use of cannabis and cannabis-infused products among baby boomers in the US include legalization, medical reasons, high disposable income, easy to control, and dose recreation.

LEGALIZATION

  • Since the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use in 2012, the use of cannabis and cannabis-infused products has steeply increased among older Americans.
  • The legalization came into place when baby boomers had just entered into their golden years. Baby Boomers were strong supporters of cannabis in the late 60s and 70s and now in their retirement they use cannabis and cannabis-infused products to revisit their nostalgic experiences during their youths.
  • According to a 2019 report by Eaze Insights, Baby Boomers have been the fastest growing segment among cannabis consumers.
  • Over the past year, the Baby Boomers segment of cannabis consumers has increased by 25%.

MEDICAL REASONS

  • Research has found that marijuana is effective in the treatment of chronic pain, which is usually common among the elderly population.
  • According to a research study by Benjamin Han and Joseph Palamar, 20% of Baby Boomers who use marijuana claimed that they were recommended to try it by their doctors.
  • 76% of Baby Boomers have a higher likelihood of reducing over-the-counter medical options while 49% have reduced their reliance on prescription pain drugs in favor of cannabis and cannabis-infused drugs.
  • At least 67% of the Baby Boomer generation use cannabis and cannabis-infused drugs for medical reasons.
  • The elderly population in the US use marijuana as natural alternatives to medical and pharmaceutical products.
  • Marijuana is also taken as a relaxant to reduce anxiety and depression, hasten sleep, improve libido and creativity.

HIGH DISPOSABLE INCOME

  • Baby Boomers are not only the fastest-growing population of cannabis consumers, but they constitute the biggest spenders.
  • Baby Boomers spend 53% more on cannabis and cannabis-infused products than Gen Z.
  • According to AARP, the US has about 77 million Baby Boomers who are projected to wield at least 70% of all the disposable income in the coming four years.

EASY TO CONTROL DOSE

  • The elderly opt for cannabis-infused edibles such as confections like gummies since they are rather discreet, comfortable to administer and typically the dose can be easily controlled.
  • Baby Boomers perceive cannabis-infused products to be low-dose and easy to use.
  • The effects of cannabis-infused products are generally predictable and repeatable if the users microdose them with candies and other confections that have about three milligrams of THC or CBD.

RECREATION

  • At least 60% of Baby Boomers claim that "unwinding and having a good time" as a major motivator for their tendency to consume cannabis and cannabis-infused products.
  • Silver Dabblers, (persona identified by New Frontier data as "typically white, single or divorced older men who live alone") generally indulge in cannabis and cannabis-infused products couple of times a month for relaxation and social purposes.


YOUR RESEARCH TEAM APPLIED THE FOLLOWING STRATEGY:

In order to identify the main drivers or factors encouraging the use of cannabis and cannabis-infused products among baby boomers in the US, we scanned through authoritative journals, research studies, surveys, and industry reports. We were able to obtain the factors that experts and scholars perceive to motivate the use of cannabis and cannabis-infused products among the elderly in the US.


Part
04
of six
Part
04

Baby Boomers and Cannabis Edibles - Purchasing Challenges

There are insufficient official medical guidelines or dosage aimed to guide baby boomers when they are buying or considering cannabis. Since Medicare insurance does not cover any CBD products, any of the over 70 million baby boomers intending to buy or considering cannabis or medical CBD products has to pay out-of-pocket.

1. LACK OF DOCTOR'S RECOMMENDATIONS

  • According to the results of a survey published in a 2018 edition of the Journal of American Medical Writers Association, practicing doctors are reluctant to recommend or prescribe cannabis due to federal restrictions as well as the registration requirements.
  • Existing data also reveals that many seniors utilize marijuana products for medical purposes. However, the majority of doctors are still hesitant when it comes to prescribing cannabis to baby boomers.
  • Experts reveal that the medical system that requires people (including baby boomers) to obtain a doctor's recommendations is barrier-focused.
  • A study conducted among 17,608 adults aged 50 years and older in a 2015-2016 National Survey on the use of drugs revealed that only 15% of users aged between 50 and 64years had a doctor recommend marijuana to them. This data implies that about 85% of American adults aged between 50 and 64 years consume marijuana products without a prescription or recommendation from a doctor.
  • Recent survey reports reveal that only 23% of Americans aged 65 and older consuming marijuana products have the recommendation of a medical doctor.

2. INADEQUATE MEDICAL GUIDELINES FOR CANNABIS PRODUCTS

  • One significant challenge that baby boomers face when buying or considering cannabis products such as pills among others is the lack of official medical guidelines on dosage.
  • Patients are often left to determine by themselves the quantity to take or how to adjust their ratio. Identifying the adequate amount which will make them comfortable is a general problem for most baby boomers amongst other consumers of cannabis products in America.

3. FEW PRODUCT OPTIONS

  • In those states across America where Cannabis products are not legal, the products to choose from are few. Because there is no FDA approval for these products, it is hard to think that what baby boomers are buying is actually what has been advertised.
  • Since products with THC containing products are banned in states where cannabis consumption is illegalized, available product options that baby boomers can choose from are limited.

4. OFFICIAL LIMIT ON PURCHASE QUANTITY

  • In some parts of America such as Canada, new federal laws allow adults to possess up to 30 g of dried cannabis products, or it's equivalent in the form of oil. Individuals can purchase seeds to grow a limited number of plants (usually four) for recreation. The various provinces of Canada still have variations in laws regarding possession of cannabis products.
  • Technically, edibles containing THC may not be legal in Canada until October 2019, and products are sold mainly through "the grey or black markets."

5. LITTLE OR NO INSURANCE COVERAGE

  • Depending on an individual's dosage, strain, and dispensary, the cost of CBD products for baby boomers can range from $100 to about $1,000 monthly.
  • Baby boomers have to pay for cannabis products out of their pockets. This self-payment option often constitutes a barrier when they are considering cannabis as a treatment option as both private health insurance and Medicare do not cover CBD. Federal laws prohibit insurance and Medicare companies from covering cannabis treatment options due to their illegality.
  • Medicare insurance does not cover any CBD products. Any of the over 70 million baby boomers intending to use medical CBD products will have to pay out-of-pocket.

6. DOSAGE: UNSURE WHERE TO START

  • Marijuana/cannabis products consumption can be a tough decision for baby boomers and other Americans as practitioners have failed to "provide the patient with a specific dose, route or frequency of use."
  • There is very little access to research reports or even approved agent for research regarding cannabis prescription. Consumers, nurses and physicians have little or no empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of cannabis and this can be a challenge to baby boomers considering cannabis.
  • Cannabis dispensaries vary widely in product quality, strength as well as labeling and this can be a challenge to consumers including baby boomers.
  • According to an expert Smith, American consumers are left to "titrate" their doses and administer the same in whatever fashion they feel is suitable for them.

7. STIGMA

  • Recent survey reports reveal that there is some stigma associated with those patronizing cannabis products or market. Although there is a significant growth of female baby boomers patronizing the cannabis market, they are stigmatized. However, states like California, where legalization has occurred, have witnessed a considerable impact.
  • About 3% of cannabis users in America are veterans. The number of female consumers of cannabis products (which include female baby boomers) went up by 92% in 2019, accounting for 38% of all cannabis product consumers.
  • State arrest data which reveals that thousands of people have been arrested across the United States for the possession and sale of marijuana products as made available by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Knowledge of this arrest data can constitute a barrier to American residents (including baby boomers) when considering cannabis products.
  • In the state of Washington alone, about 1,834 arrests were effected in 2016 for the possession and sales of marijuana. This history of arrest reported by the FBI can negatively impact the choice of baby boomers when they consider cannabis products.
  • According to a recent Medical News Today report, marijuana/cannabis is generally considered to be one among the most commonly used illicit drugs and classified under Schedule 1 as a controlled substance.

8. FEDERAL LEGALIZATION & LOCAL LAWS

  • The legalization of cannabis by the federal government or by all state government can reduce the effect of denying baby boomers access to their medical cannabinoid prescription requests and help cement doctor-patient relationships.
  • Experts believe that legalization of cannabis has the potential of decreasing the current number of requests for the prescription of medical cannabinoids, which are often difficult to justify scientifically.
  • The controlled substance act (CSA) classifies cannabinoids as a schedule I substances that have no accepted medicinal use. This can be a challenge to baby boomers when they are buying or considering cannabis.
  • Baby boomers are faced with "potential legal risks of use" when they reside in states where marijuana is illegal.
  • A 2019 report reveals that the states across America where cannabis/marijuana products are fully-illegal are more in number than states where the use of marijuana/cannabis products is legalized. Millions of baby boomers living in those states where cannabis is yet to be legalized face some challenge including legal risks when buying cannabis.
  • Americans aged 55 to73 years make up a significant number of marijuana consumers and are in favor of its legalization. According to reports accredited to Pew, 56% of baby boomers favor the legalization of cannabis. A survey recently conducted by Eaze in the state of California shows that on average, baby boomers are the fastest growing group of people consuming cannabis and spend the most significant amount of money per month on cannabis product averaging $95.04 per person.
Part
05
of six
Part
05

Baby Boomers and Cannabis Edibles - Low Dosage Cannabis Edibles Market

In searching for the total annual spend by baby boomers on "low dosage" cannabis products in the US, your research team was able to find that that baby boomers spend $95.04 per month on cannabis. However, specific information on what the spend on "low dosage" cannabis products is couldn't be found. This is explained in more detail below.

RELEVANT INSIGHTS

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Our research started with searching through surveys and articles on sites such as Pew Research, Forbes, Eaze Insights, and BS Insights to find any information on how baby boomers consume "low dosage" cannabis products. In this search, we found interesting information such as the fact that approximately 67% of baby boomers consume cannabis for health and medical reasons, and that there has been a 35% increase in consumption by baby boomers. However, information on "low dosage" cannabis consumption was lacking, hence, we changed strategy.

Our next strategy involved looking for news articles on sources such as Business Insider and PR Newswire to see if we could find any mention of what we were looking for. We found information about marijuana usage in 50 to 64-year-olds and those over 65 years old, but the information was still lacking in the consumption of "low dosage" cannabis. We then changed our focus to some government sources such as the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health, which mentioned the preference for edibles with 10 mg of THC per serving among general cannabis users. Because we needed to find more information on "low dosage" cannabis consumption, we switched strategy again.

In this strategy, we broadened our scope to include global market information, and we hoped to use that to deduce US market information. In this search, we looked through reports by Transparency Market Research, Zion Market Research, and Market & Market. We believe some relevant information is in these reports, but because they were behind a paywall, we could not access them.

In this strategy, we attempted to calculate the number of baby boomers that consume "low dosage" cannabis annually by way of calculation using the information we got on how much 10mg THC cannabis edibles are consumed. The first thing we did was to look through websites like Forbes, Green Entrepreneur, and Cannabis Consumer Report for the proportion of different forms of cannabis edibles such as cookies, teas, and pills. Since edibles come in all kinds of THC-dosages, we were hoping to separate the low-dosage types so that we could make some calculations to determine how many baby boomers consume. This search did bring up some interesting information, but we did not find anything about the proportion or the percent dosage of these edibles. We decided to end our search here. We believe that this answer may be found in one of the premium reports that were found.

Part
06
of six
Part
06

Baby Boomers and Cannabis Edibles - Ailments

Examples of common ailments baby boomers treat with cannabis include pain, insomnia, cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, anxiety, and depression. Below, you will find more details.

Pains

  • Pain is the number one ailment that older population treat with cannabis.
  • About 87% of baby boomers who apply to use cannabis are using it for pain relief either as a primary or secondary concern.

Insomnia

  • A survey found that 32% of the older population use medical cannabis to treat insomnia.
  • Another survey found that one of the top five uses of cannabis among the older population is to treat insomnia.

Cancer

  • The percentage of the older population using cannabis that use it to treat cancer is 13%.

Glaucoma

  • The percentage of the older population using cannabis that use it to treat glaucoma is 13%.

HIV/AIDS

  • The percentage of the older population using cannabis that use it to treat HIV/AIDS is 13%.
  • Anxiety

    • A survey found that using cannabis to treat anxiety is one of the top five uses of cannabis by the older population.
    • A similar survey of the older population and their use of cannabis to treat anxiety rated it as 7.9 (3.9) on the IDAS-Anxiety scale.
    • A study into the use of cannabis among different age groups noted that there isn't any significant difference in the proportion of people using cannabis to treat depression among the different age groups. A study found that among those using cannabis for medicinal purpose, 51.7% use it to treat anxiety.

    Depression

    • A survey of the older population and their use of cannabis to treat depression rated it as 39.0 (13.1) on the IDAS-General depression scale.
    • The study also found that there isn't any significant difference in the proportion of people using cannabis to treat depression among the different age groups. A general study found among those using cannabis for medicinal purpose, 50.3% use it to treat depression.
    Sources
    Sources

    From Part 01
    From Part 02
    Quotes
    • "In 2015, women accounted for 25 percent of the cannabis market. In 2018, that number jumped to 38 percent."
    • "And while millennials continue to be the biggest group of cannabis consumers, baby boomers are one the fastest growing age group, climbing 25 percent in 2018. Boomers also spend the most each month on average, dropping 53 percent more on cannabis products than Gen Z consumers."
    • "Veterans make up 3 percent of the market share of cannabis customers."
    • "Among the most common CBD and CBD oil users of all age groups are baby boomers, who now make up 8.4 percent of customers. Female boomers make up 21 percent of cannabis customers who primarily purchase CBD."
    Quotes
    • "A report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics recently estimated that spending growth on legal cannabis will speed up this year, hitting almost $17 billion worldwide, and ballooning to $31.3 billion in 2022."
    • "25 percent That’s how much the number of baby boomer — or age 50 or older — consumers grew last year, making them one of the fastest growing demographics for cannabis use."
    • "$95.04 That’s how much baby boomers spent each month, on average — the most of any age demographic. (By comparison: Generation X-ers spent $89.24, millennials spent $72.94 and members of Generation Z spent $62.35.)"
    • "In fact, the report found, here’s the share of consumers who primarily use CBD products who are baby boomer women: 21 percent."
    Quotes
    • "A recent survey of nearly 18,000 adult Americans found that cannabis is becoming increasingly popular among the older generation. "
    • "The number of cannabis users in the United States has nearly doubled over the past decade, despite it still being illegal in several states and only available for medical use in most."
    • " Around 9 percent of those aged 50 to 64 had used cannabis at some point in the year preceding the survey. Among those aged 65 and above, the figure was 3 percent. "
    Quotes
    • "Federal legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis will create $86 billion in additional U.S. tax revenue and a $26 billion annual U.S. cannabis market by 2025, according to a report released Jan. 29."
    • "Currently, 33 U.S. states have legalized cannabis to varying degrees. Another 14 have approved use of products with the nonhallucinogenic compound cannabidiol (CBD)."
    • "“Cannabis legalization and decriminalization has not only occurred in nearly 60 percent of the United States; it is now being explored or adopted in over 60 nations around the world," "
    • "There are an estimated 272 million cannabis consumers globally, equivalent to 4 percent of the world’s population."
    • "In the United States, over 24 million, or 9.9 percent of adults age 18-plus consume cannabis regularly, and 115 million (48.2 percent) report consuming it in their lifetimes."
    • "In states where cannabis is currently legal, medical and adult use sales are forecast to grow from $12.9 billion in 2019 to $26.3 billion in 2025."
    Quotes
    • "Past-year prevalence of marijuana use ranged from 5.6% to 9.1% among those 50 to 64 years old and 1.3% to 2.0% among those 65 years or older "
    • "Trend analysis determined that past-year marijuana use among those 50 to 64 years old increased 10.1% annually, and past-year marijuana use among those 65 years or older increased 15.3% annually after adjusting for sociodemographic factors, substance use, and risk factors (Salas-Wright et al., 2017)"
    • "Among medical marijuana users, 18 years or older, 29.8% of users were adults, 50 years or older. Adults 50 years or older represented 16.9% of nonmedical marijuana users "
    Quotes
    • "Still, only 7 percent of Baby Boomers use it, a survey by Bloomberg and Morning Consult found."
    Quotes
    • "It seems far from a pie-in-the-sky estimate considering consumers in both countries spent $1 billion on edibles in 2017. "
    • "Other than the stunning $4.1 billion number by 2022, highlights from the report’s other findings included the following."
    • "Edibles are projected to grow from 12 percent to 14 percent of the total cannabis market by 2022, while flower drops from 50 percent to 36 percent"
    • "Edibles’ share of the total cannabis market has already more than doubled, from 5.4 percent in 2011 to the current 12 percent"
    Quotes
    • "The cannabis-infused edibles market is projected to make up a $2.3-billion market in 2018 and to become a $5.3-billion market within the next five years, according to data from cannabis market research firm Brightfield Group. "
    Quotes
    • "An important thing to consider is that baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are reaching retirement are and by 2030, all of them will be over the age of 65. According to the chart above, combined, people between the ages of 46 – 65 make up 28.76% of Cannabis consumers. "
    • "In fact, baby boomers are the fastest growing Cannabis consumers with a NYU study reporting a 71% increase in usage by those over the age of 50 during 2006 – 2013."
    Quotes
    • "Millennials are expected to overtake Boomers in population in 2019 as their numbers swell to 73 million and Boomers decline to 72 million. "
    From Part 03
    Quotes
    • "Nine states plus the District have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use since 2012. It’s only natural that those laws would boost use among older Americans while having little effect among younger ones."
    • "A recent study conducted by Benjamin Han and Joseph Palamar of New York University found that more than 20 percent of marijuana users over age 65 said a doctor recommended they try the drug."
    Quotes
    • "Baby Boomers were one of the fastest growing segments, increasing by 25% over the past year."
    • "Baby Boomers are one of the fastest-growing groups of cannabis consumers. They’re also the biggest spenders by a fairly wide margin – a trend that follows closely along generational lines. On average, Boomers spend 53% more than Gen Z consumers."
    Quotes
    • "Older cannabis consumers do turn to cannabis to help with medical issues, but they also use it to just have a good time."
    Quotes
    • "That’s because these products tick a few boxes for this generation in terms of being low-dose, discreet and approachable. Users can microdose with candies that contain as little as three milligrams of THC or CBD. The effects are predictable and repeatable. "
    Quotes
    • "Divorced Dads often (48%) use cannabis on a daily basis, particularly while relaxing at home, doing chores and outdoor activities. "
    • "Silver Dabblers generally indulge in cannabis use only occasionally, a couple of times a month or less, mainly to relax or enjoy social situations."
    From Part 04
    Quotes
    • "All cannabis is illegal on the federal level. But cannabis-based CBD products with THC are widely available in states where it is legal. These products have varying ratios of CBD to THC, and because there are no official medical guidelines on dosage, patients are left to determine for themselves how much to take or how to modify their ratio. "You have to find the point at which you're comfortable, hopefully, and that will include as much THC as works per person," Lee says. "Some people do better at higher doses of CBD. Some people can tolerate higher doses of THC.""
    • "For those in states where it is not legal, however, the CBD available is derived from industrial hemp, which is cannabis with a negligible amount of THC. This makes it impossible to modify the ratio as there is no THC present, which means there are fewer products to choose from. And since there is no FDA approval of these products, it can be hard to trust that what you're buying actually is what's advertised."
    • "CBD’s cost is not uniform either. Depending on the dosage, strain and dispensary, it can cost from $100 to $1,000 a month. In California, for example, there is a 15 percent excise tax, plus an additional cultivation tax, which means a $50 bottle of CBD oil can cost about $65. You also have to pay for it out of pocket; private health insurance and Medicare don't cover CBD due to the federal illegality of cannabis."
    Quotes
    • "As more states move towards legalizing cannabis, it only makes sense that more people tried the drug in 2018 compared to the previous year— in fact, first-time usage was up 140 percent—according to a new report from Eaze, a cannabis marketplace in California."
    • "I think [that] legalization has had a huge impact,” said Peter Gigante, head of policy research at Eaze. “The medical system required people to get doctor recommendations and it was more barrier-focused. You’re now in a legal market, [which] frees people up to explore the question of, ‘how do I access this"
    • "Cannabis users are made up of people with a wide array of uses for the product According to the report, 3 percent of cannabis users are veterans, 11 percent are people with disabilities and the number of female consumers went up by 92 percent this year, with Eaze estimating that “equal gender representation” will happen by 2022. Currently, women make up 38 percent of all cannabis users."
    • "There’s still some stigma that cannabis is a young male product or market. [The] cannabis consumer is diversifying and we’re seeing this in the large growth of female participation and also in boomers"
    Quotes
    • "Under the new federal law, adults can possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis, or the equivalent in oil, and purchase seeds to grow up to four plants for recreational purposes. There are, however, provincial variations on all the rules. There is also a separate system for purchasing cannabis for medicinal purposes with a prescription, where many of those restrictions don’t apply."
    • "Many products will continue to be sold only on the grey or black markets, from gummy bear edibles through to shatter and dube kits, and distillate cartridges. (Dabbing is the act of ingesting concentrates, some of which, like shatter, can be up to 80-per-cent THC.) Technically, edibles will not be legal until October, 2019."
    Quotes
    • "Baby Boomers There’s no question about it: the generation of people born post-WWII are a dominant buying force in the U.S. economy. That means that as legalization spreads from state to state, Baby Boomers remain the fastest growing group of patients and consumers, tossing aside the old stigma for a new lease on health and wellness. "
    Quotes
    • "Nearly all marijuana users aged 50 to 64 and more than half those aged 65 or older first tried pot when they were 21 or younger, the study found."
    • "Tough drug laws and the responsibilities of adulthood might have caused these people to stop using marijuana from the 1980s onward, he explained."
    • "Now that states are legalizing it, perhaps they feel empowered to resume their usage," said Brennan, who was not involved with the research. For the study, the researchers analyzed responses from 17,608 adults aged 50 and older from the 2015-2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Participants were asked about marijuana use, including when they first used it and whether they used it in the past year. Brennan found it concerning that some of these older people used marijuana on a doctor's recommendation."
    • "About 15 percent of users aged 50 to 64 and 23 percent of those 65 and older said a doctor had recommended it to them."
    Quotes
    • "Meanwhile, cannabis is still illegal and considered a schedule 1 drug by the US Federal government along with heroin, cocaine, LSD, etc."
    • "The Federal Government has articulated via the Cole Memorandum that if a state passes a law to decriminalize cannabis for recreational or medical use, it can do so, under the condition that a regulation system for cannabis is in place. The incredible pace of growth has led to a wide variety of rules and regulations from state to state"
    • "Projected Shortfalls & Surpluses Because products cannot be transported across state lines, some states are building up surpluses while other experience shortages. It will be difficult to find solutions to these issues."
    • "Meanwhile, Massachusetts is expecting a shortage."
    • "According to Peter Bernard, the president of the Massachusetts Grower Advocacy Council.” – Merry Jane, Experts Warn That Massachusetts Will Likely Face Recreational Marijuana Supply Shortage"
    • "Across the board, in states which have legal marijuana programs, use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs has fallen. A 2016 study by the University of Georgia found an 11% reduction in annual drug prescriptions in states legalizing medical cannabis as compared to those which prohibit it."
    Quotes
    • "BABY BOOMERS Those aged 55-73 make up a significant portion of marijuana consumers and generally favor its legalization. According to Pew, 56% of Baby Boomers are in favor of pot legalization. A survey conducted by Eaze on California cannabis consumers shows that on average, Boomers, the fastest growing group of cannabis consumers, spend the most money per month on weed at $95.04 per person."
    Quotes
    • "Another concern? Baby boomers face "potential legal risks of use if they live in a state where marijuana is illegal," Palamar said."
    • "For now, though, it is "hard for us as providers to recommend it aside for very specific clinical indications (especially compared to well-studied other options)," Han wrote. "Especially if we do not fully understand its risks for older adults or those with multiple chronic medical conditions.""
    • "Marijuana may be therapeutically useful for a variety of symptoms and medical conditions, but the research in this area is extremely limited"
    • "With a growing number of states legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, health care professionals find themselves in a bind, Han said."
    Quotes
    • "Researchers are finding that older populations are consuming more cannabis than ever before. Data also shows that many seniors use marijuana for medical purposes. Despite this, most doctors are still hesitant to prescribe cannabis to seniors."
    • "Despite the fact that many doctors are still hesitant to prescribe it, seniors are taking it upon themselves to self-treat. It is believed that marijuana’s advances as a credible medical treatment have significantly contributed to the recent spike in usage among seniors."
    Quotes
    • "We could discuss at length the benefits and risks of legalizing marijuana from a social perspective, but from a medical perspective legalization could at least reduce the effect of refusing medical cannabinoid prescription requests on our doctor-patient relationships. There are still benefits for people who have prescriptions, but it will ease the pressure on us as physicians. We no longer need to consider the legality of our patients’ recreational cannabis use."
    • "Only time will tell whether the legalization of cannabis will present more benefits than risks to society. However, I believe that, from a medical perspective, it has the potential to decrease the number of requests for prescription medical cannabinoids that are difficult to justify scientifically. This would at least benefit our doctor-physician relationships and our punctuality!"
    Quotes
    • "Patients can obtain cannabis from marijuana dispensaries through a state-issued marijuana ID. In clinics and hospitals, however, physicians are reluctant to prescribe cannabis because of federal restrictions and registration requirements. Moreover, medical cannabis is not reimbursed through private or government insurance, making cannabis treatment harder to access for patients."
    • " The CSA classifies tetrahydrocannabinols as a schedule I substance that “has no acceptable medicinal use”"
    Quotes
    • "The same study found that Americans differ in their opinion on marijuana legalization based on their generation. Legalization is favored by 39 percent of the Silent Generation (people born between the mid to late 1920s and the early to mid-1940s), 54 percent of Baby Boomers (early to mid-1940s to the early 1960s), 63 percent of Generation X (early to mid-1960s to the early 1980s), and 74 percent of Millennials (early 1980s to the early 2000s)."
    • "Building on the work of the Legal Cannabis Committee, and to address the lack of guidelines available to nurses caring for individuals using marijuana, in 2017 NCSBN formed and appointed members to the NCSBN Marijuana Regulatory Guidelines Committee."
    • "In order to create the requested guidelines and recommendations for education and care, a review of the relevant statistics, current legislation, scientific literature, and clinical research on cannabis as a therapeutic agent was required."
    • "Practitioners cannot provide the patient with a specific dose, route or frequency of use and dispensaries vary widely in the quality, strength and labeling of products” says Smith. “It’s really left up to the patient to titrate their dose and administer it in whatever fashion they think is best for them, often with input of dispensary staff."
    • "Marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug has stymied research into the efficacy of marijuana for medical use. Committee member Maureen Cahill, MSN, RN, APN-CNS, associate director, NCSBN, says, “It’s amazing to think about, that for an agent that’s been around for 5,000 years, and has been in use widely for so long, there is so little access to research or access to the approved agent for research"
    • "Cronquist adds, “Because the research is so limited, it’s challenging to find empirical evidence that will support the effectiveness of cannabis, whether it’s for different conditions, whether it’s for different populations. More research is needed on effective dosing. On the flipside, what are the downsides"
    From Part 05
    Quotes
    • "cannabis can switch out for a glass of wine in the evening. But older adults are just as likely to be using it as an alternative to the drugs that aren’t helping them cope with the common ills of aging"
    • "Older adults choose cannabis-infused edibles such as gummies or other confections because they are discreet, comfortable to administer and in many cases the dose can be easy to control"
    • "The laws governing what is a standard dose of THC for an edible vary from state to state."
    • "Finding edibles with 2.5 mg. of THC per serving – alone or with a CBD component - is not so simple."
    Quotes
    • "Baby Boomers and women continue to demonstrate remarkable market share growth and consumers are increasingly turning to cannabis as a wellness tool, with CBD the breakout star of the year."
    • "Baby Boomers were one of the fastest growing segments, increasing by 25% over the past year. There has been an increase in volume of cannabis by baby boomer by 35%."
    • "With female consumers nearly doubling, the growth of women entering the market outpaced men and continued the trend of increasing female participation, with women now 38% of cannabis consumers."
    • "Baby Boomers are the most common CBD enthusiasts of all age groups (8.4% in 2018), and female Boomers are the most likely CBD users."
    Quotes
    • "Marijuana use ranged from 5.6 % to 9.1 % among those 50 to 64 years old and 1.3 % to 2.0 % among those 65 years or older."
    • "marijuana use by age group, among those 50 to 64 years old increased 10.1 % annually, and past-year marijuana use among those 65 years or older increased 15.3 % annually. Prevalence is higher among marijuana users in the 50 to 64 age group; however, the largest increase in use has been found among those 65 years or older."
    Quotes
    • "Older generations, including Baby Boomers – an important and growing segment"
    • "--67 % of Boomers do consume for health and medical reasons --Boomers are much more likely to identify pains, aches and other medical problems as reasons for consuming --But nearly 60 % of Boomers also point toward unwinding and having a good time as reasons for consuming"