Survey Shows Gen Z Likes Smoking Cannabis More than Drinking Alcohol 

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DENVER – A recent study conducted by Veriheal reveals a significant trend among Gen Z favoring cannabis over alcohol and tobacco. The survey, which gathered responses from thousands of Veriheal patients between March 2023 and April 2024, shows 60 percent of Gen Z adult individuals rarely or never consume alcohol, preferring cannabis instead.

Young adults who reported a preference for cannabis over alcoholic beverages cited the desire for happiness, relaxation, and pain relief as their main reasons for using cannabis. 


While older generations may lean toward edibles, Gen Z predominantly chooses flower, with 83 percent indicating it as their preferred form. This preference underscores a broader social acceptance and reduced stigma around smoking cannabis.

Veriheal’s findings align with additional research by New Frontier Data, which noted similar trends in consumer preferences. It showed more than half of Gen Z respondents have replaced alcohol with cannabis, while about one-third rarely drink or never drink. About half of this generation has abstained from tobacco use, pointing to a larger health and wellness prioritization trend among young adults.

“Several reasons are attributed to this change,” according to the study. “One is that Gen Z recognizes the mental and physical health impacts associated with drinking, such as the increased risk of depression. Another is related to the high cost of drinking, particularly in venues like bars or clubs.” 

The types of ailments Gen Z uses cannabis to treat vary, with insomnia and chronic pain being the most common, followed by a general pursuit of relaxation and well-being. This trend is anticipated to influence future generations, including Generation Alpha, potentially leading to even broader acceptance and preference for cannabis over other age-restricted substances like alcohol and tobacco.

As cannabis legalization expands and consumption becomes more integrated into social and recreational settings, such trends are expected to continue among the most cannabis-friendly generation ever recorded.