teens

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  • Nearly a quarter of all eighth, tenth, and twelfth grade students surveyed in Arizona had used cannabis concentrate at one point. The product has as much as three times the THC as marijuana. (Pixabay/) Recreational marijuana was legalized in Washington state in 2012, and saw over 44 million individual purchases of the drug by 2017. Typical cannabis flowers made up the bulk of those sales—but cannabis concentrate quickly became the fastest growing product on the market, and sales increased by nearly 150 percent between 2014 and 2016. Concentrates, also referred to as wax, shatter, and dab, have particularly high levels of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis. Noting the increased sales of concentrate, Madeline Meier, an assistant professor in the department of psychology at Arizona State University, was interested in seeing if broader use of concentrates among adults purchasing the products legally was mirrored by any trends in cannabis use for adolescents and teenagers. In a study published this week, Meier found that nearly a quarter of all eighth, tenth, and twelfth grade students surveyed in Arizona had used concentrate at one point. “The cannabis landscape is changing quickly,” she says. “There are new products out there.” Meier and her team used data from the 2018 Arizona Youth Survey, which asked nearly 50,000 students in Arizona about their cannabis use and that of other substances. The survey also asked about other factors that can predict drug use, including rebelliousness, commitment to school, attitudes towards drugs, and their families. Around a third had tried some type of cannabis, and of the students who reported trying cannabis, 72 percent had used cannabis concentrate. The group that used concentrates were more likely to have used other substances, like alcohol or e-cigarettes—which can be utilized to consume concentrates. “It’s probably the case that kids...
  • Will e-cigarettes lead to a rise in lung disease? (Pexels/) A serious illness has stricken nearly 100 people, mostly young adults and adolescents, across more than 14 states—and health officials don’t know yet what’s making them sick. But vaping could have something to do with it. The Center for Disease Control announced Saturday that it would join state departments of health in investigating recent reports of lung disease, primarily in youths. “While some cases in each of the states are similar and appear to be linked to e-cigarette product use, more information is needed to determine what is causing the illnesses,” the CDC reports. The ailment has landed some young people in intensive care and on ventilators, and it may be linked to irreversible lung damage. There’s no evidence yet that anything contagious is involved, but the 94 possible cases that have cropped up in 14 states since June have enough in common to cause concern: In a message to healthcare providers, the CDC noted that all patients who have the illness reported vaping in the weeks and months before they got sick. (Some of the patients reported using products derived from marijuana, but the CDC says too many of them weren’t for it to be the connecting factor.) Experts aren’t shocked to hear that e-cigarettes are being linked to illness. “This is the headline we’ve been trying to prevent,” says Joseph Allen, an environmental health scientist at Harvard University’s Chan School of Public Health. Allen is a co-author of a study published earlier this year that found fungi and bacteria lurking in some popular brands of e-cigarette liquid, but he says contaminants are far from the only reason public health experts are worried about vaping. He generally studies the health impacts of chemical flavor inhalation, and he says that...