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Large number of Arizona Teens using highly potent form of marijuana: Study

ANI | Updated: Aug 26, 2019 19:16 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 26 (ANI): Nearly one in four Arizona teens have used a highly potent form of marijuana known as marijuana concentrate, suggests a study.
According to the study published in the journal 'Pediatrics', a survey involving nearly 50,000 eighth, 10th, and 12th graders, one-third (33 per cent) were found to have tried some form of marijuana, and nearly a quarter (24 per cent) had tried marijuana concentrate.
Marijuana concentrates have about three times more THC, the constituent of marijuana that causes the 'high' than a traditional marijuana flower. This is concerning because higher doses of THC have been linked to increased risk of marijuana addiction, cognitive impairment, and psychosis, said Madeline Meier the study's lead researcher.
The research team also found that teens who used concentrates had more risk factors for addiction.
The researchers compared teens who had used marijuana concentrates with teens who had used some form of marijuana but not marijuana concentrates and teens who had never used any form of marijuana on known risk factors for addiction, such as lower perceived risk of harm of marijuana, peer substance use, parental substance use, academic failure and greater perceived availability of drugs in the community.
They found that teens who had used marijuana concentrates were worse off on every addiction risk factor.
"This is important because it shows that teens who have a diverse array of risk factors for developing marijuana addiction may be further amplifying their risk for addiction by using high-THC marijuana concentrates," explained Dustin Pardini, study's co-author.
The researchers also found that teens who had used concentrates had much higher rates of e-cigarette use. One explanation for this might be that teens are using e-cigarettes to vape marijuana concentrate, according to Meier. Earlier studies, including those by Meier, have shown that youth put marijuana in e-cigarettes to conceal their marijuana use.
"Vaping marijuana can be passed off as nicotine vaping," Meier explained.
"What concerns me most is that parents might have no idea that their child is using marijuana, especially if their child is using marijuana concentrate," said Meier. "Marijuana is not harmless, particularly for adolescents." (ANI)