Marijuana vaping nearly triples in two years among 12th graders
Past-month marijuana vaping among high school seniors nearly tripled (from 5 percent to 14 percent) between 2017 and 2019, the new Monitoring the Future reveals. It nearly doubled in just one year (from 7.5 percent to 14 percent), the largest one-year jump of any drug in the history of the survey.
Seniors’ past-year marijuana vaping more than doubled in two years (from 9.5 percent in 2017 to 20.8 percent in 2019), and their lifetime marijuana vaping nearly doubled (from 11.9 percent to 23.7 percent).
This year – for the first time – the survey monitored near daily marijuana vaping (more than 20 days a month). Some 3.5 percent of 12th graders vape marijuana that often.
Marijuana vaping doubled in two years among 10th and 8th grade students as well:
Among 10th grade students
- Past-month use rose from 4.3 percent in 2017 to 12.6 percent in 2019
- Past-year use: 8.1 percent to 19.4 percent
- Lifetime use: 9.8 percent to 21.8 percent
Among 8th grade students
- Past-month use rose from 1.6 percent in 2017 to 3.9 percent in 2019
- Past-year use: 3 percent to 7 percent
- Lifetime use ; 4 percent to 9 percent
Such dramatic increases in such a short amount of time are worrisome on two counts. Little is known about the impact on the body of vaping anything, including high THC levels or nicotine, into the lungs. The upsurge in severe lung injuries and deaths identified only last August makes the point (see next story). Also, because adolescence is a time of intense brain development, young people are particularly vulnerable to becoming addicted to any drug if they begin using while they are still teenagers.
Nicotine vaping among adolescents presents the same hazard and threatens to undo the significant gains in reducing cigarette smoking among youth. The 2019 survey finds that 35 percent of 12th graders vaped nicotine in the past year, as did 31 percent of 10th graders and 17 percent of 8th graders.
Vaping-related lung injury cases from all 50 states continue to be reported to CDC, although they may be slowing down. Thus far, 52 deaths in 26 states have been linked to these injuries. More deaths are being investigated.
All 2,409 patients report a history of vaping. THC is present in most samples FDA has tested, and most patients report a history of THC use.
While Vitamin E acetate is a chemical of interest, patients have used some 152 different THC brands, including Dank Vapes in the Northeast and South, TKO and Smart Carts in the West, and Rove in the Midwest.
There may be more than one cause of the illness.
Read the December 12 CDC Update here.
This week’s podcast: Mahmoud ElSohly – Is marijuana the same as Epidiolex?
Mahmoud A. ElSohly, PhD, is a pharmacologist known for his work on marijuana. He is professor of pharmaceutics in the school of pharmacy at the University of Mississippi where he directs the Marijuana Project which grows pharmaceutical-grade marijuana for research. He is an expert in the processing, testing, and detection of drugs of abuse.
- Epidiolex is a very well-defined pharmaceutical preparation of CBD
- Difference between it and other CBD is like night and day.
- Difference between Epidiolex and CBD on the Internet and in stores
- What is the OTC process?
- What is biphasic activity?
- What is low bioavailability?
- Is there an entourage effect?
Listen to Dr. ElSohly’s podcast here.
Up next week? Marilyn Huestis – How marijuana affects kids
Is marijuana linked to psychosis, schizophrenia? It’s contentious, but doctors, feds say yes
USA Today writes that doctors, federal officials, parents, and young adult marijuana users who have experienced psychosis while using the drug agree that marijuana does indeed cause psychosis, including schizophrenia.
Elinore McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, the US Department of Health and Human Services top mental health official and head of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, says hospitalizations for serious mental-health disorders among 18- to 25-year-olds more than doubled between 2012 and 2018. Colorado and Washington State were the first two states to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2012.
She also cites a July study that shows a 77 percent increase in suicide deaths from 2010 to 2015 among Colorado 10- to 19-year-olds with marijuana in their systems.
“Among people who use marijuana, 10 percent to 20 percent will develop a marijuana use disorder and be at risk for these other kinds of mental and physical adverse events,” Dr. McCance-Katz adds.
Sally Schindel tells the story of her son, who was diagnosed with severe cannabis use disorder, bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder with auditory hallucinations, paranoia and anxiety. He committed suicide, leaving his mother a note explaining why: “I want to die. My soul is already dead. Marijuana killed my soul + ruined my brain.”
Read USA Today article here.
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