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Number of teenagers who took marijuana vape doubled in 7 years

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY 26 Oct. 2021 (HealthDay News) – Teens have the vaping tend to weed use, with recent studies reporting a surge in potty training among adolescents in the United States and Canada, researchers report.

The percentage of teens experimenting with vaped pot has more than doubled in the past year, and vaping among regular marijuana users has quadrupled, according to the study.

Currently, about 1 in 8 North American teens has steamed pot in the past year, and nearly 1 in 10 within the past month, according to a new analysis of data compiled from 17 different studies.

“The incidence of adolescent marijuana evaporation is on an upward trajectory in the U.S. and Canada,” said lead researcher Carmen Lim, a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland’s National Center for Youth Research on Substance Abuse in Australia. “We also found that adolescents’ preference for cannabis products could shift from less powerful products such as herbal daynabis to highly powerful vape oils and concentrates.”

The percentage of teens who have ever tried marijuana steaming has increased from about 6% in 2013-2016 to almost 14% in 2019-2020. During the same period, children who steamed pot in the past year increased from 7% to 13%.

More frequent pot users started steaming at an even faster rate, with the percentage of teens steaming pot in the past month more than quadrupling – rising from less than 2% to more than 8%.

This new analysis did not review overall pot use among teens, so it is not clear whether more children used pot as a result of vaping or as children who switched pot smoking to vaping, Lim said.

Experts said it was highly likely that children would switch to steam pens from joints as the overall number of pot-using teens increased more slowly.

“As both vaping and marijuana become more acceptable in society and smoking is less preferred, it seems natural for young people to take this form of drug intake,” said Patricia Folan, director of the Tobacco Control Center at Northwell Health in Great Neck , NY

These figures come from data compiled from nearly 200,000 adolescents who participated in pottery studies between 2013 and 2020, researchers said.

Vaping makes access easy

Addiction experts said it was likely that the factors that made e-cigarettes so popular among teens also drove the increase in pot steam.

The use of vaping products increased 13-fold in the United States between 2011 and 2018 among middle and high school students, researchers said in background notes.

“The marijuana pen is just so much easier to access. You put it in your backpack, you take it out, you keep puffing it during the day. Nobody smells it, and you don’t really get the same level of intensity with the cough, “said Dr. Scott Krakower, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and drug abuse expert at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, NY.

It is also likely that the continuing wave of marijuana legalization has also contributed to more children’s vapor, says Linda Richter, vice president of prevention research and analysis for the Partnership to End Addiction.

“I can not say I was surprised by the rapid increase in marijuana vaporization among adolescents, given the significant shift in public attitudes towards marijuana’s safety, the increasing availability of unregulated vaping products and the insidious nature of marijuana vaping smoking. , “Richter said. “Adolescents, along with adults, are lulled into a false sense of security over marijuana.”

The problem is that potvape liquid tends to be stronger than dried weeds, which on its own has increased in strength over the years, Richter and Krakower said.

“Too many parents still believe that the marijuana that teens use today is no more harmful than the marijuana they smoked when they were teenagers,” Richter said. “But the power of marijuana has quadrupled in the last few decades and the concentration of THC is much higher in today’s products, especially in vapes and edible products, than it was in the marijuana they used to smoke.”

The power becomes even more worrying when one considers how steam pens are used against smoking, Krakower added.

Rather than smoking a single joint, children are free to blow on a pot vape pen repeatedly as often as they wish, Krakower noted. Not only do the weeds hit them harder, but they can get tokes out of the pen all day.

Parents need to pay attention to their children’s pot use and intervention, Richter said.

“If a child uses marijuana regularly, parents should not abolish it as a harmless phase, but should seek help and intervene before it turns into a marijuana use disorder, or leads to other dangerous health and safety consequences,” Richter said.

Lim and Richter added that regulators and legislators should step in and more strictly regulate teens’ access to all marijuana products.

“We are at a point in the marijuana legalization debate in this country where we can still prevent the worst of what commercialization of an addictive drug can cause children,” Richter said. “For those states that choose to legalize the drug for adult use, there are many provisions that can be written into the law and regulations to protect juveniles from exposure to, access to and use of the drug.”

The new study was published in the journal on October 25 JAMA Pediatrics.

More information

The Partnership to End Addiction advice for parents on teen pot use.

SOURCES: Carmen Lim, PhD candidate, University of Queensland’s National Center for Youth Research on Substance Abuse, Australia; Patricia Folan, DNP, Director, Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health, Great Neck, NY; Scott Krakower, DO, child and adolescent psychiatrist, and drug abuse expert, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Glen Oaks, NY; Linda Richter, PhD, Vice President, Prevention Research and Analysis, Partnership to End Addiction; JAMA Pediatrics, 25 October 2021

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