According to researchers, adolescents using marijuana vaping has more than doubled since the year 2013.
In a study, the researchers found that adolescents who say they vaped cannabis within the last 30 days increased 7-fold from 2013 to 2020.
The researchers also found that adolescents who say they vaped cannabis within the last 30 days increased 7-fold — from 1.6% to 8.4% — during the same period.
The report was published in JAMA Pediatrics this week and analyzed 17 studies involving nearly 200,000 adolescents in the U.S. and Canada.
Overall, the researchers note that the cumulative data points to what may be a shift in preference from dried herb to cannabis oil products, which is how marijuana is ingested via vaping.
“Regular use of high THC products could increase the risk of dependence, other substance use and many other health, social and behavioral problems later in life,” study author Carmen Lim said to NPR. Lim is a doctoral candidate in health and behavioral sciences at the University of Queensland in Australia.
One of the 17 studies the researchers looked at was the Monitoring the Future survey, a large U.S. survey on drug and alcohol use related attitudes in adolescents.
It showed that marijuana use has remained relatively stable among 12th graders in the last few years, hovering around the 35% mark.
“Since marijuana is currently illegal at the federal level, many products are not regulated,” Lim explained.
Carol Boyd, co-director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health at the University of Michigan, told NPR “vaping marijuana appears even worse” for adolescents compared to vaping nicotine products.
“In contrast to smoking cannabis, vaping marijuana with an electronic nicotine device increased the likelihood that adolescents would have worrisome pulmonary symptoms, including things like wheezing or whistling in their chest,” Boyd said.
“They vape because they think it’s safer but that’s not necessarily the case,” Boyd said. “They are misleading themselves.”