Age-specific variations in cannabis use

Published May 27, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / marekuliasz

Does your age predict your method of cannabis consumption today?  What are your favourite ways of consuming cannabis right now? Perhaps you are old school, not old age, and enjoy the age-old method of smoking joints with your friends.


Smoking is seen as perhaps the most common method of consuming cannabis today with no regard to age. Smoking weed allows you to incorporate many appliances to aid in your cannabis use. Some of the most conventional methods of smoking include using bongs, vaping, dabbing, sprays, oral ingestions, cannabis tinctures, and topicals. The age of the consumer may have a bearing on the method used, and the younger consumer seems to enjoy using vaping and smoking cannabis as their preferred way to enjoy their cannabis experience.

Gravity bongs

These bongs are a common device used for smoking cannabis. The ability to use everyday household items to make one is an attraction to younger cannabis users. Articles from around the house are useable like plastic bottles, milk jugs, and two-liter pop bottles, which are all useful items for making gravity bongs. The homemade gravity bong uses gravity to pull the cannabis smoke into the chamber that is filled with liquid. Some choose to use water, beer, or wine for the fluid for extra flavor.


Taking a dab is somewhat similar to vaping your cannabis. To do it, you use the THC resin that has been extracted from the cannabis plant. Different forms of the material used for dabbing are widely available and include various types like oil, wax, and shatter. This method utilizes a blowtorch to heat the glass pipe or bong. Then the resin is placed in the pipe, creating a vapour instantly. Some users believe that this method produces a much higher experience than smoking cannabis buds, which could be why dabbing is more attractive to consumers between the ages of 18-40.

Oral ingestion


Using oral ingestion in the form of those “special brownies” has been happening for years.  Today we are not limited to that form because we now have many goods are being prepared with cannabis for medical needs. Medical cannabis is being baked or infused into many varieties of food.  Where cannabis is legal in the United States, many vendors are selling cannabis-infused ice cream, granola bars, and beverages.  This method has a broad age range of users, but the group consists primarily of medicinal consumers.

Teas are another method of consuming cannabis and seem to be enjoyed most by the middle age and the senior population. Adding cannabis leaves to water and enjoying tea as a beverage is becoming a popular method of enjoying the benefits from the cannabis plant. Although today, weed tea is more potent than it once was, it is enjoyed by many. The 30 to senior age range seems to enjoy this method of using cannabis most.


The topical method of using cannabis is through using oils or extracts from the cannabis plant. This oil is thicker than the oil used for edibles. The senior population of cannabis users that use this method is generally older. Muscle pain and joint stiffness are the common complaints heard by seniors for using cannabis, and these pot products work perfectly to treat those conditions.

In conclusion

When you look at how seniors are using cannabis today, most studies will indicate more seniors use cannabis for medical conditions. More than half of seniors report using cannabis for pain control, arthritis relief, and as a sleep aid. That fraction is in comparison to the number of seniors that use cannabis for recreational use. So, when we look at the different methods of consuming our favourite herb today, one has to wonder if age has anything to do with the various methods of consumption, or if it is perhaps based solely on knowledge information and taste.

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