Marijuana Vaping Epidemic Among US Teens

A recent study has revealed that one in every 10 US high schoolers has vaped marijuana. That is more than two million students.

A report from 2016 about the use of e-cigarettes in the state reported that some 1.7 million students have used their e-cigarette devices in combination with marijuana. An additional 400,000 middle school students have also partaken in this activity. This was the first time that these numbers were gathered and released as general knowledge.

The most popular device among students is the machine that heats up and vaporizes liquids which contain a varying amount of nicotine. Additionally, these devices are capable of vaporizing dried leaves and even buds of marijuana. Oils and waxes made with THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana, are also used in these devices.

The number of students using marijuana for vaping is not surprising. The drug is readily available, especially now that many states have legalized using it. The main advantage of vaping marijuana instead of just smoking it is the fact that the odor is not as prominent. It is almost completely undetectable, in fact. Another reason why it has become so easy to gain access to marijuana is the overall change in society’s outlook regarding the drug.

Higher Potency Means More Risks

Even though the numbers are unsurprising, they are still troublesome. Due to marijuana breeds being genetically modified and perfected, the drug is now more potent than ever. Oils and waxes used are also up to 30 times more potent than dried marijuana.

The raised potency can have adverse effects on a teenager’s brain. Since their brains are still in the developmental stage, they run a higher risk of being addicted. Brain damage induced by the use of marijuana is also much higher and the adolescent brain may be altered forever by the use of marijuana.

In a more recent study done in 2017, 12 percent of high-schoolers and three percent of middle-schoolers reported using an e-cigarette device at least once. A nationwide crackdown has been announced, targeting retailers that allowed the illegal purchase of e-cigarette devices by minors. An additional measure could be implemented by banning flavored liquids in order to stop or minimize teenage vaping.

Issues related to vaping are clear and readily apparent. Soon it may reach epidemic proportions and the FDA needs to act quickly in order to combat this.

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