Rates of teen cannabis use really haven’t changed that much in recent years. What does this mean for teen vaping?
Increasingly, teens are more likely to try cannabis before they pick up drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Sounds like more young people are consuming marijuana, right? Well, that’s not the case according to a new study coming from Colombia University.
“As we’ve seen the dramatic declines in alcohol and tobacco. But we haven’t seen dramatic declines in marijuana. So now every year it’s more and more likely that kids are starting their drug-use careers with marijuana,” Katherine M. Keyes the study’s co-author told The Verge.
Teen Vaping and Cannabis Use
So really, it’s that teens are using other substances less, while the rates of cannabis consumption have stayed the same. The researchers came to this conclusion by analyzing 40 years worth of surveys from American high school seniors. Research showed that in 1995 nearly 75 percent of students who smoked both marijuana and cigarettes said they tried tobacco first. That number is now under half. In general, drug use across the board has seen a reduction, except when it comes to cannabis.
Keyes predicts that teens will continue to pick cannabis over other drugs. Even as the substance becomes less stigmatized in coming years. As THC and CBD have grown in popularity, there are also new cannabinoids that will increase in popularity as well.
“It’s not going out on a limb to suggest that marijuana is going to be more available to adolescents,” says Keyes. “If you make a substance more available at a lower cost and easier to access, you’re gonna see increases.”
In an effort to fight teen e-cigarette use, Juul stopped selling these “kid-friendly” flavors.
However, her research shows that some other substance may come along to replace cannabis. And this drug may become the one teens are most likely to first experiment with. While cannabis is in many ways a safer substance than alcohol there isn’t consensus on how marijuana use affects young people. Withe the current vape pen illness epidemic, it’s important that everyone understands how to buy the safest vape pens.
E-cigarettes and vape pens have exploded among younger demographics in recent years. Teen vaping rates are higher than they’ve ever been. Which makes sense because vape pens weren’t even in the lexicon five years ago. Now they are everywhere and seen as a “healthy alternative” to smoking. But the current vape pen related epidemic has the CDC saying otherwise.
However, the fact the cannabis consumption among teens is not increasing is encouraging. We need to prove that a regulated market does in fact serve to protect those who may be most vulnerable. And with at least 18 vape pen deaths reported in this new epidemic, it’s important we all stay vigilant and informed.
Note: Make sure you or your teens aren’t using Dank Vape pens, which have been reported to be a popular, but unlicensed brand.