The Most Obvious Statistic of All Time Claims That "Cannabis Vaping Amongst Teens Has More Than Doubled 2013"
Teen vaping of marijuana doubled between 2013 and 2020, indicating that young people may be swapping out joints, pipes or bongs for vape pens, according to a new study.
Researchers also found that adolescents who say they vaped cannabis within the last 30 days increased 7-fold — from 1.6% to 8.4% — during the same period.
The report was published in JAMA Pediatrics on Monday by researchers who analyzed 17 studies involving nearly 200,000 adolescents in the U.S. and Canada. Overall, they say, the cumulative data points to what may be a shift in preference from dried herb to cannabis oil products, which is how marijuana is ingested via vaping.
This may be due to the more intense high that can be achieved by cannabis oils, which contain higher levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and the misconception that vaping devices are safer than smoking.
However, researchers stressed that vaping marijuana poses serious health dangers for teens.
"Regular use of high THC products could increase the risk of dependence, other substance use and many other health, social and behavioral problems later in life," study author Carmen Lim, a doctoral candidate in health and behavioral sciences at the University of Queensland in Australia, told NPR.
The Monitoring the Future survey — a large U.S. survey on drug and alcohol use related attitudes in adolescents — is one of the 17 studies included in the new meta-analysis. Although it showed that marijuana use has remained relatively stable among 12th graders in the last few years, hovering around the 35% mark, the growing popularity of electronic pot vaping devices is alarming, Lim said.
Before I dive into this topic, I want to get in front of some writer biases. I am a habitual cannabis user; I'm gonna rip some bowl packs as soon as I finish this blog (I never, well, almost never, smoke until after I finish my blogs for the day #HireDozo) to wind down and unplug my racing brain (can you blame me with stories like, these?) before I go to bed.
I'm not going to pretend that I have any medical or scientific expertise after two minutes of research (I'm not a Repub.....). I'll leave that to the professionals, but I understand why kids (probz) shouldn't consume cannabis. Your brain isn't fully developed until you're like 25, which explains why I used to be such a piece of shit. FTR, I started smoking weed at 15 when I was a freshman in high school, which may or may not explain a lot.
Let me ask you, the loyal DOL reader, a question?
Would you be surprised to learn that people watched more TV in the 1960s than they did in the 1920s, before TVs were invented?
How about that there were more car accidents in 1930 than in 1830?
What if I told you more teens played video games in the 1980s than they did in the 1970s when the platform was in its infancy?
Hopefully, you're catching my drift, but here are two more examples for good measure.
Did people read more books before or after Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1439?
Were there more pictures taken in the second half of the 1900s when disposable cameras were readily available or in the second half of the 1800s when the exposure time was two days?
I just don't understand how you can write a story about an increase in cannabis vaping in teens without addressing how that method of consumption wasn't easy to access for adult users at that time. Vaping weed was barely a thing in 2013.
I don't want to act like it didn't exist before then because it did; according to a quick google search, pot pens were invented in 2004. But it wasn't until like 2016 when pens/vapes were mainstream. Since I'm always a little late to the trend, in 2018, I had a pot pen named Penny Hardaway that I miss dearly.
I grew up in a town where I'd guess over 60% of my high school classmates burned. Despite that, my earliest memory of being exposed to a pot pen was around 2013-14, when I was originally scheduled to graduate college. I went to a Bruins-Canadiens playoff game in 2014, and one of my friends who is the biggest weed guy I know, who may or may not have snuck in a pot pen to the TD Garden that we may or may not have taken a few rips off of, but even that was rare if you could confirm it.
To me, this just feels like a way to drum up hysteria about a problem that definitely exists but shouldn't be surprising (or at the very least written that way). If I were a parent of teens, I'd be much more worried about them juuling or smoking acoustic cigs than vaping a little reefer to get through existence, but again, I'm biased. God forbid people have an honest conversation about cannabis with their teens. The biggest concern should be with carts cut with Vitamin E, which fucks people's insides up, but you nor I should get worked up by this obvious statistic.
Guess what? More people are addicted to their cell phones now than 30 years ago when only Wall Streeters and celebrities could afford them!