Marijuana Vaping and Getting Kids to Quit the Vape
Electronic cigarettes have grown in popularity considerably over the years. These devices began as a way to quit smoking tobacco, or as a way to transition to a different form of nicotine consumption. But now vaporizers have become popular among young people. To make matters worse, teens and young adults are increasingly using such devices to consume marijuana and cannabis products.
Now more than ever, family members and loved ones of young people have to understand the potential dangers behind vaping marijuana.
Concern About Young People Vaping Marijuana Products
By the end of 2019, the trend of teen and young adults using vaporizer devices to consume marijuana products became known as a real threat to health and safety. No longer a fleeting concern, it became evident that an entire generation was now being exposed to cannabis via devices previously unavailable to earlier generations.
“More than one-fifth of high school seniors (20.8 %) reported having vaped marijuana in the past year, as did nearly that same proportion of 10th graders (19.4 %). From 2018 to 2019, the percentage of seniors vaping marijuana in the past month increased from 7.5 percent to 14 percent—the second-largest one-year increase in any drug use that has ever been recorded in the 45-year hiy of the… survey.”
In December of last year, NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow wrote in her blog, “More than one-fifth of high school seniors (20.8 %) reported having vaped marijuana in the past year, as did nearly that same proportion of 10th graders (19.4 %). From 2018 to 2019, the percentage of seniors vaping marijuana in the past month increased from 7.5 percent to 14 percent—the second-largest one-year increase in any drug use that has ever been recorded in the 45-year history of the MTF survey.” (Volkow, 2020)
One of the primary concerns over vaping marijuana is that very little is known about the effects of vaped marijuana. For example, it’s still uncertain if THC effects differ when marijuana is vaped compared to when the substance is consumed by traditional methods. When young people vape marijuana, they are experimenting with a substance that has known harmful effects, and are experimenting with it in a way that could exponentially increase its harm.
Vaping high-potency marijuana is just one method that has become popular among young people. That has experts very concerned because if young people are finding new ways to administer THC in extremely potent quantities, the harmful side effects could be quite dangerous.
Does Vaping Lead to Marijuana Use?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, teens who use vaping devices are more likely to use marijuana than teens who do not use vaping devices.(NIDA, August 3, 2020)
NIDA researchers analyzed data from 21 previous studies and over 128,000 survey respondents. Overall, young people who admitted to using vaping devices were also 3.5 times more likely to admit to using marijuana.
If vaping increases a young person’s risk for using marijuana by more than 300%, that alone is reason enough to discourage vaping.
When Young People Use Marijuana…
There is no question that marijuana is harmful. And for young people, the chances of harm are even more severe. For example, long-term use of marijuana can inhibit brain development in young people. When individuals begin using marijuana heavily in their youth, this can cause permanent brain development changes. The results can be impaired thinking, memory loss, difficulty learning, difficulty socializing, and emotional problems. (NIDA, July 24, 2020)
There is also the possibility of further drug use, which is always present when people experiment with mind-altering substances. When a young person begins by vaping nicotine, they are more likely to also use marijuana via this same administration route. Then, once they start using marijuana, they also become more likely to use other drugs, possibly via other administration routes (like oral ingestion, snorting, IV injection, etc.).
The list of potential long-term effects of marijuana use in one’s younger years is long. School dropouts and lower educational attainment have been linked to marijuana use in one’s younger years. Young people who use marijuana (regardless of how they use it) are also more likely to be poor as adults, to be unmarried in their midlife years, to develop anxiety and a low socioeconomic condition in general, and to struggle at work. (NIDA, April 8, 2020)
Young People are Already Interested in Quitting “The Vape”
A recent study revealed that young people are becoming increasingly interested in quitting vaping. Nearly half of teens who currently vape are interested in ceasing their use of such devices. (MUSC. Accessed November 12, 2020)
A survey of 498 12 to 17-year-olds found that 44.5% of respondents said they were seriously considering quitting vaping. One in four respondents said they’d tried to quit in the past year.
Helping a Young Person Who is Vaping Marijuana
Vaping has been connected to first-time exposure to marijuana for many young people. Given that almost half of teens who vape already want to quit the habit, parents, caregivers, educators, and opinion leaders must do everything they can to help youth get off of vaporizers before they begin experimenting with cannabis-imbued vape juices and paraphernalia.
If you know someone who is already hooked on marijuana, whether it is via a vaporizer device or something else, you should do everything you can to help them come down off of marijuana. The safest and most effective way of doing this is to help them seek treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab center. Drug rehabs offer comprehensive services that can help addicts get to the bottom of why they began using drugs in the first place.
If someone you know is using marijuana and cannot stop, please contact Narconon today.
- Volkow, Nora. “2019 Monitoring the Future Survey Raises Worries about Teen Marijuana Vaping,” July 7, 2020. https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2019/12/2019-monitoring-future-survey-raises-worries-about-teen-marijuana-vaping
- “The Vaping/Marijuana Connection.” NIDA for Teens. NIDA, August 3, 2020. https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/vaping/marijuana-connection
- “Marijuana DrugFacts.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA, July 24, 2020. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana
- “What Are Marijuana’s Long-Term Effects on the Brain?” National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA, April 8, 2020. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-are-marijuanas-long-term-effects-brain
- “What You Need to Know About Marijuana Use in Teens.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 13, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/factsheets/teens.htm
- “MUSC Research Finds Surprising Number of Young People Want to Quit Vaping.” MUSC. MUSC. Accessed November 12, 2020. https://web.musc.edu/about/news-center/2020/08/20/musc-research-finds-surprising-number-of-young-people-want-to-quit-vaping