Marijuana vaping and edible use increases among high school seniors
Vaping and edible consumption of marijuana increased by more than 7 percentage points each among high school seniors from 2015 to 2018, according to study findings published in JAMA Pediatrics. The increases coincided with a decrease in smoking marijuana among the same population.
Megan E. Patrick, PhD, a research professor at the University of Minnesota, and colleagues analyzed responses from 2,412 12th grade students on modes of marijuana use.
According to the responses, conventionally smoking marijuana decreased in past users by 5.4 percentage points from 2015 (643 of 679 [94.7%]) to 2018 (666 of 746 [89.3%]), whereas eating (2015: 217 of 679 [32%]; 2018: 295 of 746 [39.5%]) and vaping (2015: 179 of 679 [26.4%]; 2018: 254 of 746 [34.1]) increased by 7.5 and 7.7 percentage points, respectively, in the same span.
“I think it's important for parents and health care providers to know that marijuana use is changing, and adolescents are more often vaping and consuming edibles than they have in the past,” Patrick told Healio. “These types of marijuana uses are easier to conceal than smoking, so it's important be aware of these trends.”
According to the study, males were more likely to eat and vape marijuana than females. Whites were more likely to smoke marijuana than Hispanics, more likely to vape and eat marijuana than blacks, but less likely to eat marijuana than Asian respondents.
“Marijuana vapers and edible users are also more likely than smokers to be daily marijuana users, so noncombustible marijuana use is actually a possible indicator of heavy use,” Patrick said.
Most respondents who vaped or ate marijuana also reported smoking it. The authors recommended that health care professionals consider asking patients about other forms of marijuana use to identify heavy users. – by Ken Downey Jr.
Disclosures: Patrick reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.