Boom in Pot ‘Concentrates’ Could Pose Addiction Risk for Teens

By | August 26, 2019

MONDAY, Aug. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Wax. Honey oil. Budder. Shatter. Dabs. Black glass.

These are some of the names given to extremely potent marijuana concentrates, and don’t be surprised if you overhear your teens mentioning them.

A startling number of teenagers are using these marijuana concentrates, a new study reports.

About one in four Arizona teens have tried a marijuana concentrate at least once, survey data shows.

More alarming, more than seven out of 10 kids who use marijuana say they also use marijuana concentrates, said lead researcher Madeline Meier, an assistant professor of psychology at Arizona State University, in Tempe.

Marijuana concentrates contain between 40% and 70% higher levels of THC, the compound in pot that produces a high, researchers said in background notes.

“It is concerning because we think higher doses of THC might increase a person’s risk for addiction” Meier said. “If these kids are already at high risk for addiction, that combined with their use of very high THC cannabis could increase that risk.”

For this study, Meier and her colleagues questioned nearly 50,000 students in grades 8, 10 and 12, who participated in the 2018 Arizona Youth Survey, about their pot use.

Marijuana concentrates are becoming more widely used across the United States, particularly in states that have legalized recreational and medical pot, Meier said.

For example, sales data from Washington state shows that concentrates accounted for 21% of all pot purchases in 2016, a 146% increase from 2014, the study authors said.

“More and more people are purchasing cannabis concentrates year after year. It’s making up a higher proportion of the market,” Meier said.

However, previous surveys examining pot use among teens have not asked them about concentrate use, she noted. Because of that, Meier’s team included specific questions about marijuana concentrates in the Arizona survey.

The researchers found that 33% of students said they’d tried some form of marijuana, and 24% had tried marijuana concentrate.

Of the one-third of kids who’d used marijuana, 72% had tried a pot concentrate, the findings showed.

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