3 Facts About How Millennials Use Cannabis

Many millennials are replacing prescription medications with cannabis for sleep and mental health. 

Millennials as Cannabis Consumers is a report from New Frontier Data that covers: 

  • Generational cannabis use for mental health vs. physical pain
  • Cannabis substitution for prescription and over-the-counter medication
  • Knowledge of minor cannabinoids
  • Talking to doctors about cannabis use

Here are a few key takeaways from the report.

1. younger generations are more likely to report cannabis use for mental health.

Younger generations increasingly reported using medical cannabis for mental health reasons. For instance, only 16% of baby boomers reported using cannabis for mental health, compared with 29% of Gen Xers and 42% of millennials.

The trend continues with the younger generation. 61% of Gen Z users named mental health as a reason for using medical cannabis. 

Older generations were more likely to use medical cannabis for physical pain. 70% of boomers reported using cannabis for pain, compared with: 

  • 58% of Gen X users
  • 34% of millennials
  • 17% of Gen Z users 

By gender, more millennial women reported using cannabis for either reason. 48% of millennial women said they use cannabis for mental health, versus 35% of men. And 39% of women reported cannabis use for pain, versus 29% of men. Interestingly, the gender gap narrows with each older generation. 

For information on using medical cannabis for mental health, check out these blog posts: 

2. Millennials are replacing medications with cannabis, notably for sleep.

Most millennials have substituted either a prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication with cannabis. 62% reported replacing at least one prescription medication with cannabis*, with 63% doing the same for an OTC medication. 

Notably, millennials were more likely than any other generation to report substituting an OTC sleep aid for cannabis. This generation is most familiar with the two minor cannabinoids known for potential sleep benefits, CBN and THCP. 

Learn more about CBN in our Introduction To Cannabinoids: Everything You Need To Know.

*Medical cannabis is intended to supplement (not replace) prescription medications. Speak with your doctor before using cannabis along with other medications.

3. Millennial men are more likely to discuss cannabis use with a doctor.

When it comes to addressing marijuana use with the doctor, there’s a gender gap among millennials. 32% of men said they never talk about their cannabis use with a doctor, and 45% of women said the same. 

Among men, 45% reported discussing the subject with a doctor “sometimes” or “often.” The same was true for 31% of millennial women. 

States the report, “Those rates speak to the increased risk that women take admitting substance use in the context of their role as primary caregiver.” In other words, more women are taking care of children at home. They may be hesitant to admit they use cannabis while doing so.

Think medical cannabis could be right for you?

Whether you’re a millennial, Gen-Xer, baby boomer — we don’t discriminate at Canna Care Docs. 
Do you have a medical condition and qualify for medical cannabis in your state? Find the clinic nearest you and schedule an appointment. During your consultation, we’ll answer all your questions and help you apply for a medical marijuana card. It’s that simple!


  • Share the joy