More baby boomers would consume cannabis if they thought it would improve their health. But because all the benefits of cannabis are not yet widely understood and shared, it’s taking a while for this information to filter to communities at large. But it’s hard to imagine that anyone who is actively aging, (which truthfully is everyone) would not be interested in learning more about these health benefits.

The legal cannabis industry is expected to reach $24 billion within the next seven years. Health and wellness dollars will figure prominently in these numbers and is especially of interest to baby boomers.

This market growth will not only bring diversity in product offerings, but more product choices will bring changes in baby boomer consumer attitudes and behavior. Baby boomers will need to decide whether they’ll consume cannabis and how it can improve their lives as they are aging.

No one understands this better than the female baby boomer who will lead the growth of several brands when it comes to consumer decisions. Mothers are responsible for two-thirds of most household decisions.

So even though baby boomers females may not now fully understand the lingo associated with various flower strains or the differences between the quality of the CBD brands offerings, she will dominate the consumer spending decisions for most households.

The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs noted “Research about the patterns and consequences of cannabis use in baby boomers, in particular, is needed since use is high in this birth cohort and is expected to continue to increase,” adds Dr. Silvia Martins, an associate professor of epidemiology at the school and senior author of the study.“

Moreover, significant increases in non-daily cannabis use among adults 65 and older defy perceptions that older adults do not use cannabis, although daily use in this age group remains rare.”

While this conclusion is based upon the sample the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs used, here are five reasons I believe baby boomers will be more inclined to accept cannabis into their health and wellness regimens.

  • The hints of a coming convergence of opinion between medical authorities and politicians stressing the medicinal benefits of cannabis are already here. Situated as a pot over pills argument, this is a handy way to remember the pros and cons; and that Dr. Sanjay Gupta (an American neurosurgeon, medical reporter, and writer.)changed his mind about cannabis, based upon his five-year search for information that brought him to the conclusion that pot is preferable to pills. The public will follow this trend.
  • The decline of the stigma associated with cannabis will permit boomers who have quietly indulged recreationally over the past 50 years privately to now come out of the shadows and allow them to make better decisions about their lives authentically.

  • Knowledge about the science of the plant allows users to fine-tune treatments for themselves. No more seeds and stems. Consumers can consume the same strain or from the same strain family for consistent treatment just as they would a prescription.

  • Data exists to demonstrate baby boomers buy certain categories of products, which proves boomers are not only willing to try different methods of use but boomers also prefer and will lead one category in the market over another.

  • Baby boomers sit in the middle of the cultural sea change and have experience when it comes to the acceptance of plant medicine. Because many grew up before preventative medicine took hold and herbal potions made at home were quite normal. This knowledge may not have been lost.

I would go so far as to say that even the straightest, presently non-consuming, never-has-consumed, straight, and narrow baby boomers have not yet crossed cannabis off their list of potential remedies for healthy aging.

As the science and benefits of this amazing plant become more well known, I expect this belief to bear out in fact.

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A version of this was originally published on June 26, 2018