Essence Blog

Cannabis For Different Age Groups

How young is too young to be using cannabis?

And while we’re on the subject, how old is too old to be using it?

Is there an age ceiling somewhere? A point when it’s time to put down the blunt and start taking up more appropriate recreational activities…like Bingo?

Not necessarily.

Let’s explore the issue of cannabis for different age groups a bit more, shall we?

Cannabis for Minors and Adolescents

  • According to Nevada law, you must be at least 21 years of age to use recreational cannabis.
  • For medical cannabis patients, the minimum age requirement is 18 years old.
  • Under special circumstances, certain minors under the age of 18 can have access to medical marijuana as long as they’ve been approved by a doctor, and they have a designated adult caregiver.

Some studies indicate that cannabis use could have a negative impact on the brain development of adolescents. But without randomized, clinical trials, it’s hard to prove a definitive causation.

The bottom line is that, from a legal perspective, no one who is under the age of 21 should be using cannabis, unless they’ve been approved by a doctor.

Cannabis For Young and Middle-Aged Adults

This is probably the age bracket where cannabis use is considered to be the most acceptable, so there’s not too much to report here.

However, an interesting demographic trend has developed over the past 16 years.

According to the Washington Post, cannabis is more likely to be consumed by middle-aged adults than by teenangers.

In fact, cannabis use among teens is actually dropping, while use among middle-aged people and seniors is on the rise.

Here are some fun facts for you:

  • Only 7.4 percent of Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 smoked cannabis in 2014. That’s a 10 percent drop from 2002.
  • 8 percent of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 use cannabis regularly.

And since the year 2002:

  • Cannabis use among Americans between the ages of 45 and 54 has gone up by 50 percent
  • For people between the ages of 55 and 64, it’s gone up 455 percent!
  • And for seniors, ages 65 and above, their monthly use has risen 333 percent!

Cannabis For Seniors

So why are so many seniors turning to cannabis?

One argument is that today’s seniors belong to the Baby Boomer generation, which came of age during the 1960s, a time of great social experimentation.

Cannabis use was pretty prevalent in the Sixties, and now that recreational cannabis is legal in certain states, Baby Boomers see this as an opportunity to relive some of their glory days.

But cannabis is also popular among seniors because it’s seen as an alternative to prescription drugs. Cannabis can help seniors manage arthritis, aches, insomnia, neuropathy, and other types of chronic pain.

In fact, that same Washington Post story we mentioned earlier also reports that Medicare prescription drug orders have gone down in states that allow medical cannabis.

What age demographic do you fall in? Do you think you’ll ever grow out of your cannabis use, or do you plan on using it well into your retirement years? Share your thoughts with us on the Essence Facebook page!


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