More Canadian and American teenagers than ever are turning to vaping cannabis rather than smoking the drug.
According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, teenage cannabis vaping doubled between 2013 and 2020 despite the unknown long-term effects – or risk – of using electronic devices to get high.
JAMA Pediatrics researchers discovered the dramatic increase in the percentage of teenagers using vaping devices after analyzing 17 studies involving nearly 200,000 teenagers in Canada and the United States, according to news website NPR. They also found that teens who said they vaped cannabis in the past 30 days rose a whopping 6.8% over the same period – from 1.6% to 8.4%.
The JAMA Pediatrics Report suggests that “One possible explanation for the upward trend in the prevalence of cannabis vaping observed during our study period is the increased consumption of vaping products, commonly used by adolescents and young adults who have access to Cannabis vaping products expanded with the legalization of cannabis. and the decrease in the perceived risk of harm to cannabis over the past decade. “
Still, the increase is shocking as the effects of vaping on the body, especially the airways, are still somewhat unknown. But teenagers seem to believe that vaping is safer than smoking dried cannabis.
“They vape because they think it’s safer, but that’s not necessarily the case,” Carol Boyd, co-director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health at the University of Michigan told NPR . “You are leading yourself astray.
“Unlike smoking cannabis, vaping marijuana with an electronic nicotine device increased the likelihood of teenagers having worrisome lung symptoms such as wheezing or wheezing.”
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Teens may be attracted to vaping because they get a more intense high from using cannabis oils that are higher in THC. This raises other potential health problems, according to the study author.
“Regular consumption of products high in THC could increase the risk of addiction, use of other substances, and many other health, social, and behavioral problems later in life,” said Carmen Lim, a PhD student in health and behavioral sciences at the University of Queensland in Australia, said NPR.
Unregulated cannabis vapes can contain cutting agents such as vitamin E acetate, which impair lung function when inhaled. However, the amount of these toxins is unknown, so the effect is unknown.