High School Kids Using E-Cigarettes for Marijuana, Says Study

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Yaneff_080915In a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers have found that approximately one in five high school students who use e-cigarettes to vaporize nicotine also vaporize marijuana. It is the first survey that links teens using e-cigarettes to vaporizing cannabis.

For the study, 3,847 Connecticut high school students were anonymously surveyed in the spring of 2014 to assess their use of e-cigarettes and marijuana. Researchers found that 18.4% had used e-cigarettes to vaporize marijuana in some form, such as hash oil or the main psychoactive compound in marijuana tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Also, 26.5% were lifetime e-cigarette and marijuana users.

Among the students surveyed, 15.5% reported using e-cigarettes to vaporize hash oil. Also, 22.9% regularly vaporized hash oil with e-cigarettes and were also marijuana smokers. Students who vaporized cannabis were more often young and male, rather than older and female.

“Forms of cannabis that can be vaporized, like hash oil, can be many times stronger than marijuana that is smoked,” explained lead author Meghan Morean from the Department of Psychiatry at Oberlin College in Ohio. The researchers also believe that vaporizing cannabis in e-cigarettes can potentially expose teenagers to higher concentrations of THC.

In a previous study published in the journal JAMA last month, University of Southern California researchers found that American teenagers who use e-cigarettes may be twice as likely to begin smoking regular cigarettes compared to people who had never used e-cigarettes. Also, the high school and middle school students who tried e-cigarettes tripled to nearly two million people from 2013 to 2014.

Sources for Today’s Article:
Morean, M.E., et al., “High School Students’ Use of Electronic Cigarettes to Vaporize Cannabis,” Pediatrics 2015, doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-1727.

Hand, L., “High schoolers use e-cigarettes to vape marijuana: U.S. study,” Reuters web site, September 7, 2015; http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/07/us-usa-ecigarettes-cannabis-idUSKCN0R709O20150907.
Rapaport, L., “Teens who try e-cigarettes more likely to start smoking – study,” Reuters web site, August 18, 2015; http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/18/usa-ecigarettes-teens-idUSL1N10S1XY20150818.