The idea that marketing cannabis to a younger crowd is a smarter plan has become a fallacy as new statistics are beginning to show. If there’s an assumption Millennials are the biggest market in buying cannabis products across the board, seniors would tell cannabis manufacturers otherwise.
Over the last couple of years, those 65+ are starting to become one of the top consumers of cannabis. There’s probably a good reason for this based on the generation they’re from.
Let’s take a closer look at what this means and whether this cannabis trend will change how marijuana companies will market their products. It may also create a larger populace of pain-free retirees in America.
How large has the spike in senior use grown?
According to Market Watch, seniors buying more cannabis products jumped 75% in just three years. More specifically, sales jumped from 2.4% in 2015 to 4.2% by 2018.
That says something about what seniors think of cannabis and its potential. Since pain is almost a prerequisite with age, no wonder seniors are looking into the drug as a way to prevent opioid addiction. Plus, with CBD being an additional option, seniors know they can gain the benefits of masking pain if they can’t hack THC.
Thanks to so many cannabis products being available, seniors can also consume it if they don’t have healthy enough lungs for smoking. What’s most interesting with the above statistics, though, is what seniors are using cannabis to treat. It’s not always about alleviating physical pain.
Because of this, seniors may be starting to shun standard medications in favor of cannabis to avoid side effects from pharmaceutical drugs.
Seniors are using cannabis for everything from mental health to diabetes
With mental health being far too ignored in America, seniors battling the same issues are now turning to cannabis to help them feel better. Most surprising of all is they’re also turning to cannabis to help the effects of diabetes, particularly nerve pain.
Does this point to a radical failure in what traditional medications are able to do? No doubt side effects are one reason, not including the cost. With many cannabis products being very affordable and usually working effectively in minutes, these additional statistics might not be much of a surprise.
The only concern right now from the medical community is how safe cannabis is for those over 65. Many of these people also have other medical conditions, and it’s not always known if THC or CBD would do those medical issues any good. Unfortunately, seniors are sometimes excluded from cannabis studies because it’s always been thought they aren’t the primary market.
There could be many more seniors taking cannabis than the statistics tell us. Had this been 50 years ago, such a scenario likely wouldn’t have existed. Let’s also remember the seniors of today were part of the counterculture at that time.
Seniors may have prior experience with cannabis from their early days
Baby Boomers are now long into retirement, though most of them grew up in the late 1960s when marijuana use was part of the social revolution of the time. No doubt many of the 65+ seniors taking cannabis products now are comfortable doing so because they’ve had experience with it.
Maybe some tried it recreationally 50 years ago and are just now going back after years of cannabis use being considered taboo. Now with medical marijuana being easy to acquire with specific medical conditions and more states becoming legal, seniors are jumping aboard.
Will future cannabis marketing to seniors play up on the nostalgia of when they consumed it half a century ago? More likely, cannabis manufacturers will use all the latest statistics to show how those older can live a quality life pain-free when consuming cannabis in a carefully measured way. Either way, it would be a mistake to ignore this older demographic of proven cannabis users.