Teenagers Who Use Marijuana Are Shifting From Smoking to Vaping. Should We Be Alarmed?

The new research reveals that adolescents are switching from using cannabis to smoke, and the study shows “an urgent need” for regulation and public health interventions. The survey data is not clear, and vaping does not have the potential to cause dangerous combustion products like smoking.

The study was published in the journal yesterday. AddictionKatherine Keyes (Columbia University) and her associates analyse data from the University of Michigan Monitoring the Future study. This survey surveys eighth through 12th graders. In 2017, the rate of cannabis “occasional consumption” without vaping decreased from 6.9% to 4.4%. From 3.8 to 2.1 percent, the prevalence of frequent use on six or more days per month fell.

The occasional use of cannabis that includes vaping rose from 1.2 to 3.5 percent while frequent use increased from 2.1 to 5.4 percent. A press release about this study calls it a “major increase.” By 2019, Keyes et al. Keyes & al. note that “frequent cannabis use and vaping were more common than no-vaping occasional cannabis use” (5.4 percent vs. 4.4%). According to them, “Using cannabis with vaping delivery system is more popular than smoking by itself in nearly every age group, regardless of race/ethnicity or parental education.”

In 2017, the rate of marijuana use rose from 13.9% to 15.4%. This has been noted in every grade: The past-month cannabis use decreased from 6.6 percent down to 4.1 percent for eighth-graders to 18.4 percent and 10.1 percent respectively among 10th and 12th-graders. The prevalence of past month marijuana vaping has also declined over the same time period: it fell from 3.9 to 2.9 percent in eighth grade to 10.4 percent for 10th graders, 12.6 to 8.4 percent to 8.4 per cent among the 10th-graders and 14% to 12.4 percent for 12th-graders.

Vaping marijuana was significantly more prevalent in 2021 than in 2017 when it was first asked about. However, overall marijuana consumption in the past month was lower across all age groups. In 2021, eighth- and tenth-graders had lower rates than ever since 1992. The rate for 12th graders fell to an all-time low of 13.

Keyes and co-authors state, “The results from this and other research underscore the necessity to reduce cannabis consumption, including vaping cannabis in adolescents.” However, the latest data show that there has been no increase in teenage marijuana use. The shift is in the manner teenagers smoke marijuana and vape it.

It doesn’t look alarming from the outside. Vaping nicotine is a way to avoid the carcinogens and toxins that can be caused by smoking tobacco. Vaping THC (mostly CBD) will avoid the potential dangers of marijuana burning. Although some of the ingredients in illegal THC vapes are potentially dangerous, vaping marijuana products that have been licensed by states is safer.

“Vaporization has been suggested as a safer intrapulmonary delivery system than smoking, since by heating rather than combusting plant matter it avoids the formation of pyrolytic toxic compounds, including carbon monoxide and carcinogens,” University of Wollongong psychologist Nadia Solowij notes in a 2018 JAMA Network Open article. Even though she states there is not enough evidence in epidemiological and clinical trials to prove that vaporization is safer than other options, her chemical profile is clear.

These are the authors Addiction The researchers are still concerned for two reasons. They are alarmed by the vaping of “high THC” and fear that it could lead to “unpleasing and potentially dangerous consequences” for young users who have lower tolerances. The second is that cannabis vaping can be strongly linked to other drug use.

Higher THC levels are not necessarily problematic if we consider that marijuana consumers will adjust the amount they consume based on how potent the product is. Americans over a certain age might be used to smoking low-quality cannabis in college. However, this approach would not work with high-THC marijuana strains found in pot shops throughout the country, such as Los Angeles and Seattle. However, vapers and smokers of marijuana should be able to recognize the symptoms quickly.

An 2021 review of relevant research revealed that there is “some evidence from experimental trials that users who consume higher levels of cannabis for recreational use can titrate their THC intakes. But, less evidence than regular cannabis users.” Teenagers who have had less exposure to cannabis may not be as likely to adjust their dosage.

Dale Gieringer (director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in California), questions the notion that marijuana e-cigs pose a danger due to the high level of THC. Based on his “informal survey” of friends using ecigs, Gieringer says that it is harder to get high with ecigs then on edibles or joints. Gieringer claims that e-cigs typically deliver very low doses of THC per puff, although there have been exceptions with products from black market. This impression could be confirmed or disproved by laboratory experiments comparing outputs from joints and vapes.

In 2018, a study was done that compared the effects on smoked cannabis and the effects of marijuana vaping. The Volcano Medic heats plant matter, not extracts as found in cannabis electronic cigarettes. This study concluded that vaping cannabis produced higher pharmacodynamics and blood concentrations of THC when compared to the same amount of smoked marijuana. This contradicts the 2016 results that were done with the same vaporizer. According to the authors, “Few differences in blood cannabinoid delivery were seen between those who smoked and those who vaporized them.” The authors concluded that smoking and vaporization provide similar cannabinoid delivery.

Solowij adds that another consideration is whether or not other cannabinoids are present. There is a lot of interest in CBD’s potential to mitigate the adverse effects THC has on patients, she says. Some vaporization experiments have started to explore higher CBD levels delivered via these methods. Higher CBD concentrations in plant matter might be protective against more severe side effects. [2018 study]It is possible that protection could be granted for both frequent users and those who use cannabis less often. Gieringer also believes that there may be a lack of buffering substances in certain cannabis vapes. This includes products without CBD and those with different amounts of THC or CBD.

How about marijuana smoking and other drug abuse? Keyes et al. According to Keyes and colleagues, vapers and smokers of nicotine have a 40-fold higher likelihood of also using cannabis. Additionally, vaping and smoking cannabis increase in frequency and intensity with binge drinking. That framing implies that heavy smoking and nicotine vaping are gateways to marijuana use, not the reverse. It is unclear what these correlations mean. Are teenagers more likely than others to use drugs? Or are preexisting conditions a reason for their desire to vape all of the psychoactive substances?

Keyes and co.Although Keyes & Co.’s concern about marijuana smoking becoming marijuana vaping is valid, the policy conclusions they reached seem absurd. According to them, “cannabis products will be more readily available for youth as more states legalize adult use.” However, they note that these laws have a mixed effect on the use of cannabis by youth. Null in general” (emphasis added). The evidence is overwhelming in favor of legalizing cannabis for adults. This contradicts prohibitionists’ claims. It is notThis led to an increase of underage drinking.

Keyes and her coworkers don’t stop Keyes from claiming that the 2017 to 2019 “major spike” in marijuana use by adolescents (which is now seeming to be decreasing) shows that “more regulation” is needed. The authors note that marketing campaigns for many cannabis products have increased in legalized marijuana environments. According to them, “cannabis vapers are promoted on many platforms such as social media.” Instagram has “cannabis vapers” being followed by over half a billion people. Advertisements often depict young women, with no age restriction. These ads are often viewed by teenagers and could influence their behavior, according to the researchers.

If this is true, then why hasn’t the “marketing effort” led to more teenagers consuming marijuana in states where it’s legal for medical and recreational purposes? Keyes et al. They don’t specify what type of regulation they are referring to, but say that they want to “reduce exposure to marketing.” [are] critical.” It seems that they are arguing that such messages have only been able to influence a switch from smoking to vaping among teens who smoke marijuana. This is despite the fact that overall cannabis use has declined.

Gieringer believes that the concern about this trend is exaggerated. Gieringer believes, on the whole, that teens should switch to electronic cigarettes.