Young People Increasingly Use Juuls and E-Cigarettes to Vape Cannabis Products

Teenage couple at vaping store
Photo by AleksandrYu/

Parents want the best for their kids. They want their children to be healthy, happy, prosperous, and motivated in their careers and lives.

To achieve that, parents do their best to set their kids up for success. Parents give their kids as good an upbringing as they can, and they try to help their kids achieve their goals.

But sometimes, life experiences and outside influences can get in the way. Case in point, there is a rising trend in marijuana use among young people. And this is not traditional marijuana use. This is THC-infused vaping liquids added to e-cigarettes and Juuls. This type of cannabis use has the potential to be far more potent than traditional marijuana joints, presenting an entirely new set of risks and potential harm to our youth.

Use of Cannabis Products in Electronic Cigarettes on the Rise Among Youth

The Monitoring the Future survey is a nationwide program administrated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The program focuses on drug use trends among young people. According to the 2019 MTF survey, the use of e-cigarette vaporizers (including Juuls) among young people is on the rise. Furthermore, young people are increasingly mixing THC concentrates into their vape liquids to consume cannabis products in a more discreet, “user-friendly” fashion.

THC vaping kit
Photo by Ivan-balvan/

In the past two years, the vaping of marijuana has doubled among youth. About 20 percent of 12th graders admitted to experimenting with THC-infused vaporizer products in the year leading up to the survey. About 19 percent of 10th graders reported the same, and seven percent of 8th graders also admitted to experimenting with vaping marijuana.

These trends are becoming more frequent. Fourteen percent of 12th graders admitted to vaping marijuana in the month leading up to the survey which is a considerable jump. In 2017 only 7 percent of 12th graders admitted to vaping marijuana in the month leading up to the study.

Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, commented on the findings. “We are heartened to see the continuing decline in the use of many drugs, particularly non-medical use of prescription opioids; however, teens are clearly attracted to vaping products, which are often concentrated amounts of drugs disguised as electronic gadgets. Their growing popularity threatens to undo years of progress protecting the health of adolescents in the U.S.”

What’s the Risk? - Why it’s Important to Talk to Kids About THC and Vaping

The harmful effects of cannabis and THC are often erroneously downplayed in today’s media narrative. Marijuana is said to be more or less harmless and innocent when that could not be further from the truth. Just considering marijuana-related traffic fatalities alone; states that have legalized recreational use have seen soaring numbers of deaths. In Colorado, traffic deaths that involved marijuana rose 92 percent shortly after legalization. In Washington, traffic deaths attributed to marijuana climbed 28 percent following legalization. And on a national level, from 2013 to 2016, marijuana-related traffic deaths went up 10 percent.

Cannabis products also pose a variety of risks above and beyond unsafe driving. There is research that suggests heavy use of cannabis can lead to memory loss later on in life. There is also a great deal of cognitive impairment that can result from marijuana use. Such impairment is often far more severe when a person begins using marijuana in their youth, as opposed to beginning use later on in life. Some data also suggests that marijuana use can lead to increased risk for stroke.

Furthermore, it’s been observed that young people who use marijuana may find themselves exposed to other drugs, and they may use cannabis as a “first toe in the water” for plunging into other forms of drug use. It’s with marijuana use that the dwindling spiral of drug use sets in, and which potentially embarks young people on a dangerous and toxic life pattern of substance abuse.

Father talks to his kid
Photo by Sneksy/

Last but not least, the simple act of vaping has a range of adverse health effects. When young people vape, they take a chemical-charged aerosol mist into their lungs. That mist could be full of a wide assortment of chemicals, but many vaporizer liquids contain heavy metals such as lead, nickel, and chromium, as well as nicotine, THC, formaldehyde, and artificial flavors. As soon as the liquid in the vaporizer is transmitted into aerosol and pulled into the lungs, it harms lung tissue. That can lead to a range of respiratory difficulties, including making the lungs more susceptible to viral infections such as COVID-19.

“It is urgent that teens understand the possible effects of vaping on overall health; the development of the teen brain; and the potential for addiction.”

Again quoting Dr. Nora Volkow, “It is urgent that teens understand the possible effects of vaping on overall health; the development of the teen brain; and the potential for addiction.”

Drug Treatment – Helping Young People Rebuild Their Lives

One of the primary concerns behind vaping THC products is that doing so has the potential for exposing young people to an even more potent cannabis experience than what they would get from smoking marijuana joints (although those are certainly harmful too). Combine that with the relative ease with which young people can add THC to their Juuls and e-cigarette devices (and the fact that doing so is quite easy to conceal), and it creates a situation of considerable concern for parents.

Once a young person begins using mind-altering substances like THC-infused vaporizer liquids, it’s not unlikely that they will go on to use other drug substances. THC products create considerable risk on their own, and that risk is magnified if young adults then launch into other drug-using patterns.

If you have a family member or loved one who is using drugs and cannot stop, please do your best to get them into a drug and alcohol treatment center. One’s adolescence and young adult years should be a time of learning, having new and positive experiences, finding oneself, and transitioning into adulthood. Any form of drug use halts that growth and presents life-threatening harm to the individual and those around them. Contact Narconon today to ensure that your loved one is helped off of drugs and into a better life.


Reviewed by Claire Pinelli ICAADC, CCS, LADC, RAS, MCAP



After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.