The Millennials overtook the Baby Boomers in 2019 as the largest living generation in the world. The oldest of the Boomers is now into their seventh decade while the oldest Millennials are approaching their fourth. There are few things on which these two large generations agree. They may live together in the same world but they have totally different views about most things. However, thanks to CBD - Baby Boomers and Millennials finally agree on something. CBD has become their common ground.
What Did it Take To Get Boomers & Millennials To Agree?
At the end of 2018, the Farm Bill was signed into law by President Trump, so from that moment, a reliable supply of CBD from locally grown hemp was guaranteed.
The non-psychoactive compound Cannabidiol (CBD), found in cannabis, is being promoted as a natural solution for chronic pain, insomnia, depression, and anxiety, among dozens of other conditions.
The science to support CBD's claims is still mostly in the future. Even without the research, the Baby Boomer generation is the driving force behind one of the fastest-growing market sectors for CBD products.
Unlike the Declaration of Independence, which states 'all men are created equal,' Congress and the FDA agreed that not all cannabis compounds were the same. They did a huge favor by taking hemp (cannabis Sativa) with less than 0.3% THC, out of the Controlled Substance Act.
Many new strains of hemp are now being bred to contain higher levels of CBD. This upswing in demand means many farmers are keen to grow, process, and supply as much CBD as the rapidly growing market can consume.
CBD Sales to Top $22 Billion
CBD sales are forecast to reach $22 billion by 2022 in the U.S., as predicted by the cannabis market research organization, the Brightfield Group. Congress' re-regulation of hemp has delivered an excellent reason to celebrate.
The FDA, however, quickly poured cold water on the celebrations. They stated that in spite of the new classification for hemp, any product that contained CBD was still subject to FDA regulations and specifically banned from interstate trade.
However, if you go into any health food store or online, you will see that the FDA threats have been unsuccessful. They've not prevented the growing number of CBD products available. Manufacturers stay safe by sidestepping any references to claims about medicinal benefits on their product labels.
Consumers Need Accurate Information
Baby Boomers have to rely on online sources for information on products like dosing amounts, the benefits or side effects they may experience and often it’s down to trial and error. The current high cost of CBD products makes it prohibitive, especially if you are not getting what you are expecting. With unpredictable outcomes, it's less than ideal, especially for those who can least afford it.
CBD products now sit between medicines and dietary supplements in the current FDA regulations. That means anyone buying CBD products, especially older customers and particularly online, are right to be vigilant. A survey recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked at the accuracy or otherwise of the labeling of CBD products online. It discovered that only 30% of products were correctly labeled as far as CBD and THC were concerned. Some had such low levels of CBD to be next to useless. And that's bad enough, but others tested had raised levels of THC, which could have been an unwelcome addition, in most cases, and a bonus in others!
The Way Forward
FDA Commissioner Gottlieb plans to hold a public meeting to examine all aspects of CBD with interested parties. So, until a way forward is established, consumers will have to exercise caution when purchasing CBD products, then figure out by themselves which products to buy and how much to take. Caveat emptor!
For Boomers, this could be a difficult job. But it highlights the pressing need for standards relating to the manufacture, labeling, testing, and dosing of CBD products. It has already become an urgent public health issue.
What About the Millennials?
Baby Boomers and Millennials have grown up in totally different worlds with different beliefs and visions for the future. However, both generations suffer the same stressful environments, diseases, and illnesses we all experience today.
Studies reveal both generations are looking for alternative treatments. For example, they are seeking out CBD oil for treatment instead of orthodox medicines. Could it be that the two generations have found common ground?
Depression, arthritis, anxiety, and cancers do not recognize your age, values, or what your plans are. These diseases can and do strike anyone at any age.
Post-Boomer Generations Suffer
More Mental Illness
It's a recorded fact that the generations following the Boomers - Generation X and the Millennials, suffer more mental illness today than they do. Much of it is down to the demand for impossibly high standards of perfection in today's workplace. These pressures can lead to depression, anxiety, and a raft of other mental health issues.
Young Americans between 15 and 49 ( Millennials & Generation Z) are among the most stressed, worried, and angry in the U.S. today.
Drawing from Gallup's poll on stress levels between different generations, we can see that:
- 65% of the 30-49 group experiences stress.
- 64% of Americans aged 15-29 experience stress.
- 44% of people older than 50 reported feeling stressed.
- 52% of Generation Z in the U.S. have diagnosed mental health issues.
- 59% of Baby Boomers have never had mental health issues.
The Millennials - The ‘Connected’ Generation
Millennials are more mindful of mental health problems, but as a group, there are more of them suffering from these issues than in previous generations. Because of that, it makes perfect sense they would look for an alternative solution. Studies have shown they are more likely to select natural remedies such as supplements, natural therapies, and medication like cannabis.
They have also been called the ‘connected’ generation because they were almost born with devices in their hands. Their assumption is they can find anything they want or need online.
There are currently 4.25 million healthy-living blogs covering fitness, healthy eating, mental health as well as support groups for most chronic physical and mental illnesses.
Their friends and social media are their ‘go to’ source for information, and they would trust a social influencer before what a pharmaceutical company might say or recommend.
So, it follows Millennials are much more inclined to do their own research because of their concerns about the effects pharmaceuticals have on their bodies and the environment. They expect manufacturers to be environmentally conscious. This is driving them away from ‘Big Pharma’ to alternative solutions. like CBD
Their generation is now the largest living generation in the world, and as a result, they have considerable influence and power in many markets. However, they aren't the only ones driving CBD; the Baby Boomers are also contributing massively to the cannabis market.
Baby Boomers Are Not Immune
Even though Boomers don't have the poor mental health statistics of the younger generations, they are not immune. In fact, they broke the record for being the most depressed generation.
"Baby Boomers may not seek help due to fear that people will view them differently and that they could experience discrimination," says Dr. Gionfriddo of The Family Institute (TFI), in partnership with Northwestern University
Baby Boomers Have Embraced CBD Fast
Boomers have welcomed medical cannabis and CBD with open arms. There are no severe side-effects, plus the myriad symptoms CBD may be able to help alleviate, is impressive. CBD helps them reduce the range and number of different medications they keep in their bathroom cabinets.
They have been around traditional pharmacy medicines for decades and have seen, and experienced the risks involved. With CBD they have a chance to improve their health without risks and they are grabbing it with both hands.
The unexpected upside is that Baby Boomers and Millennials are working together to end the perceived shame of cannabis use, and help bring a healthier life to everyone.
The two generations have very little in common, but for two things:
- They all live in the same stressful world, and
- They all want better health for themselves, their families, their community, and their world.
CBD has managed to bridge the gap between the Baby Boomers and the Millennials. CBD is thriving, and the signs are positive and trending upwards, which can only be a good sign for all generations in the future.