Number of Teens Who Vape Marijuana Doubled in 7 Years

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 26, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — Youngsters have adopted the vaping development into marijuana use, with latest research chronicling a growth in pot vaping amongst adolescents in america and Canada, researchers report.

The share of teenagers who’ve experimented with vaped pot has greater than doubled in recent times, and vaping amongst frequent marijuana customers has quadrupled, in keeping with the research.

Presently about 1 in 8 North American youngsters have vaped pot throughout the final yr, and practically 1 in 10 throughout the previous month, in keeping with a brand new evaluation of knowledge pooled from 17 completely different research.

“The prevalence of adolescent hashish vaping is on an upward trajectory within the U.S. and Canada,” mentioned lead researcher Carmen Lim, a PhD candidate with the College of Queensland’s Nationwide Middle for Youth Substance Use Analysis in Australia. “We additionally discovered adolescents’ choice for hashish merchandise could also be shifting from much less potent merchandise like natural hashish to extremely potent vape oil and concentrates.”

The share of teenagers who’d ever tried marijuana vaping elevated from round 6% in 2013-2016 to just about 14% in 2019-2020. Throughout that very same interval, youngsters who vaped pot over the previous yr elevated from 7% to 13%.

Extra frequent pot customers dove into vaping at an excellent sooner charge, with the share of teenagers vaping pot throughout the previous month greater than quadrupling — rising from lower than 2% to greater than 8%.

This new analysis did not evaluation general pot use amongst teenagers, so it isn’t clear whether or not extra youngsters are utilizing pot because of vaping or if youngsters who smoke pot have switched to vaping, Lim mentioned.

Specialists mentioned it is extremely doubtless youngsters are switching to vape pens from joints, as the general variety of pot-using teenagers has elevated extra slowly.

“As each vaping and hashish have gotten extra acceptable in society and smoking is much less most popular, it appears pure that younger folks would undertake this type of substance consumption,” mentioned Patricia Folan, director of the Middle for Tobacco Management at Northwell Well being in Nice Neck, N.Y.

These numbers got here from information pooled from practically 200,000 adolescents who participated in research on pot use between 2013 and 2020, researchers mentioned.

Vaping makes entry straightforward

Dependancy consultants mentioned it is doubtless that the elements that made e-cigarettes so standard amongst teenagers has additionally pushed the rise in pot vaping.

Using vaping merchandise general elevated 13-fold in america amongst center and highschool college students between 2011 and 2018, researchers mentioned in background notes.

“The marijuana pen is simply a lot simpler to entry. You pop it in your backpack, you’re taking it out, you retain puffing it in the course of the day. No person smells it, and you do not actually get that very same degree of depth with the coughing,” mentioned Dr. Scott Krakower, a toddler and adolescent psychiatrist and substance abuse remedy professional at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y.

It is also doubtless that the persevering with wave of marijuana legalization additionally has contributed to extra youngsters vaping pot, mentioned Linda Richter, vice chairman of prevention analysis and evaluation for the Partnership to Finish Dependancy.

“I can not say I am stunned by the meteoric rise in marijuana vaping amongst adolescents, given the substantial shift in public attitudes about marijuana’s security, the growing availability of unregulated vaping merchandise, and the stealth nature of vaping versus smoking marijuana,” Richter mentioned. “Adolescents, together with adults, have been lulled right into a false sense of security about marijuana.”

The issue is that pot vape liquid tends to be extra way more potent than dried weed, which by itself has elevated in efficiency through the years, Richter and Krakower mentioned.

“Too many mother and father nonetheless consider that the marijuana that teenagers are utilizing right this moment is not any extra dangerous than the marijuana they smoked once they had been youngsters,” Richter mentioned. “However the efficiency of marijuana has quadrupled over the previous couple of many years and the focus of THC is way larger in right this moment’s merchandise, particularly in vapes and edibles, than it was within the marijuana they used to smoke.”

That efficiency turns into much more troubling when one considers how vape pens are used versus smoking, Krakower added.

Moderately than furtively smoking a single joint, youngsters are free to puff repeatedly on a pot vape pen as ceaselessly as they like, Krakower famous. Not solely does the weed hit them tougher, however they can take tokes off the pen all day.

Mother and father want to concentrate to their youngsters’ pot use and intervene, Richter mentioned.

“If a toddler is utilizing marijuana recurrently, mother and father should not brush it off as a innocent part, however ought to search assist and intervene earlier than it turns right into a marijuana use dysfunction, or results in different harmful well being and security penalties,” Richter mentioned.

Lim and Richter added that regulators and legislators must step in and extra strictly regulate teenagers’ entry to all marijuana merchandise.

“We’re at a degree within the marijuana legalization debate on this nation the place we are able to nonetheless forestall the worst of what commercializing an addictive substance can inflict on youngsters,” Richter mentioned. “For these states that select to legalize the drug for grownup use, there are numerous provisions that may be written into the legislation and rules to guard youth from being uncovered to, accessing and utilizing the drug.”

The brand new research was revealed Oct. 25 within the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Extra data

The Partnership to Finish Dependancy has advice for parents about teen pot use.

SOURCES: Carmen Lim, PhD candidate, College of Queensland’s Nationwide Middle for Youth Substance Use Analysis, Australia; Patricia Folan, DNP, director, Middle for Tobacco Management at Northwell Well being, Nice Neck, N.Y.; Scott Krakower, DO, little one and adolescent psychiatrist, and substance abuse remedy professional, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, N.Y.; Linda Richter, PhD, vice chairman, prevention analysis and evaluation, Partnership to Finish Dependancy; JAMA Pediatrics, Oct. 25, 2021

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