Cannabis has been used for medicinal, recreational, and industrial purposes for centuries. The number of cannabis consumers in any given generation have fluctuated over time, but a strong trend is slowly building where those of legal consumption age (21+) are choosing cannabis in ever higher numbers . Young adults using cannabis is becoming mainstream– even over alcohol.
In recent times, a growing number of adults between the ages of 21 and 30 have been exploring various cannabis products due to changing social attitudes, legislative changes, and surprisingly, national health disruptions.
Young Adults Cannabis Use Research
A recent survey by cannabis research firm New Frontier Data found that for people aged 18 to 24, 69% prefer cannabis products to alcohol. Consumers up to age 44 have a similar stance.
“Gen Z is the first generation to be of legal consumption age in an environment with widespread adult-use cannabis access,” Amanda Reiman, New Frontier Data’s vice president of public policy research, was quoted as saying in a Bloomberg news article.
The top reasons cited for young adults using cannabis are relaxation, sleep, emotional release and recreational fun, according to Brightfield Group – another cannabis research firm. Many respondents stated that they may be reducing alcohol consumption in lieu of cannabis because they view cannabis as a healthier alternative.
According to Brightfield’s study, Gen Z came of age during the pandemic which caused a rise in anxiety and depression in this younger generation. During this time, people also shifted their social congregation to home rather than in public – home being where cannabis consumption tends to be a more preferential environment.
Younger adults use cannabis products in a number of ways for a number of reasons:
Recreational Cannabis Products
In states where cannabis is legal, young adults often use products for general recreation and social gatherings. They choose to smoke cannabis flower or vape cannabis oil as both offer a wide range of strains with various aromas, taste, effects and potency. Edibles and concentrates (like wax or shatter) have both increased in popularity as more quality lab-tested products in multiple assortments have come on the market.
Medicinal Cannabis Products
Some young adults use cannabis for medicinal purposes in the form of oils (vapes or tinctures), capsules, or topical creams. They use it to manage chronic pain, alleviate anxiety and depression, improve sleep, or as an appetite stimulant for certain medical issues.
Consumption methods vary depending on the preferred effects and lifestyle. Smoking, vaping, and using edibles are popular choices. Smoking and vaping offer quick onset but may have respiratory drawbacks. Edibles take longer to take effect but offer a longer-lasting experience and are more discreet. Tinctures and topicals offer precise dosing and targeted effects for everyday ailments.
For both recreational and medicinal users, cannabis may offer several potential benefits. It can provide relaxation and stress relief, aid in managing chronic pain, reduce inflammation, and potentially help with conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease. Cannabis may also improve sleep and boost appetite in individuals undergoing treatments like chemotherapy.
Responsible Usage and Safety
Young adults using cannabis (21+) is diverse and influenced by various factors including legality, cultural acceptance, and individual preferences.
It’s crucial to be aware of the potential risks associated with its usage, including impaired cognitive function, respiratory issues from smoking, and increased heart rate. Adhering to appropriate dosages and avoiding risky behaviors while under the influence are important steps in ensuring safety.
Whether for recreational or medicinal purposes, it’s essential for users to stay informed, use cannabis responsibly, and consider their health and safety when exploring the diverse array of cannabis products available today.
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