Younger generations are growing up in unprecedented times. Concerns like the pandemic, global warming and having access to an endless stream of information have reshuffled their priorities, making them into a generation that stands apart from the rest. When it comes to cannabis, they’re also the first to grow up within a legal consumption environment.
According to a new survey, this experience has impacted their preferences for substances, as Gen Z seems to prefer cannabis over alcohol.
Conducted by New Frontier Data, the survey revealed that participants between the ages of 18 to 24 largely preferred cannabis to alcohol (69%). As participants aged up, their preference for cannabis faded, perhaps indicating how impactful legalization has been for young people and how this might impact future trends on substance consumption and marketing.
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When it comes to why young people prefer cannabis over alcohol, Bloomberg quotes another survey that shows different reasons. These include the fact that cannabis provides sleep aid, an opportunity for emotional release, and also a fun activity that people can participate in. Many participants also mentioned health concerns as one of their reasons, showing the degree to which cannabis is viewed as something natural and beneficial when compared to a substance like alcohol.
Alcohol companies will certainly have to take this new understanding into account, but it’s also important for cannabis proponents and legislators to keep this information at hand, especially as cannabis continues to gain traction. Cannabis users under the age of 25 are a delicate group, having young brains that have yet to fully mature. Exposing themselves to cannabis could result in negative side effects that have yet to be evaluated by the necessary authorities.
Cannabis legislation is a slow-moving process but it’s one that society has already absorbed. It’s important for government entities to catch up and conduct the necessary research to understand cannabis, providing people with the information they need to keep themselves protected and to avoid damage in the long term.