Study Finds That Seniors Are Using Weed More Than Ever

More and More Boomers Are Using Weed Medicinally

If you think of the stereotypical stoner, you’re probably thinking of a teenager in his basement or a college student at a party. But new research has revealed that cannabis has a huge fanbase you may have overlooked: It turns out, more seniors are using cannabis than ever before.


The Annals of Internal Medicine published a study in September called “Recent Trends in Cannabis Use in Older Americans.” The study includes research conducted within the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is packed full of revelations.

The study looks at data self-reported by more than 170,000 seniors – a number unheard of in most research magazines. One noteworthy finding: seniors love weed. They want easier access to it, too.

The study, which was led by Colleen J. Maxwell, Bill M. Jesdale, and Kate L. Lapane, begins with the following message:

“Eleven states and the District of Columbia have implemented laws allowing for the use of cannabis, which is prompting studies of the patterns, determinants, and health outcomes of its use, primarily among young adults. Cannabis use is less prevalent among older adults, and studies of its use in this population are scarce. We believe more investigations are warranted.”

They continue by highlighting one of the reasons that older populations might have a piqued interest in cannabis:

“Some older adults use cannabis for the management of pain, disorders of mood, anxiety, and sleep, and other medical conditions,” they write.

Specifically, the study found that seniors became more interested in cannabis from 2016 to 2018. Within the 65-69 age group, cannabis use almost doubled, increasing from 4.3 percent to 8.2 percent in men, and 2.1 percent to 3.8 percent in women.

Boomers Love Their Bud – Here’s Why


Cannabis advocacy group NORML commented on the research. NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said:

These results are to be expected. Many seniors likely experimented first-hand with cannabis during their youth and are now returning to it as a potential therapy to mitigate many of the health-related symptoms associated with older age, including chronic pain. Many seniors are well aware of the litany of serious adverse side-effects associated with available prescription drugs, like opioids, and they perceive medical cannabis to be a viable alternative.”

Plenty of recent studies have looked at the link between medical cannabis use and senior populations. One study associated cannabis with improved quality of life, while another found that the plant was specifically helpful to chronic disease patients.

With seniors on board, it seems like the whole world is being won over by weed. Hopefully, the plant can bring generations together, and the fight to legalize medicinal and recreational weed everywhere becomes an easier fight.