By Amy Orciari Herman
Roughly 25% of teens report ever having used cannabis concentrates, according to a Pediatrics study. Cannabis concentrates are produced by using a solvent (e.g., butane) or a nonsolvent method (e.g., a sieve) to extract tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the cannabis plant; they can contain roughly three times the THC as traditional marijuana.
As part of the study, some 47,000 eighth-, tenth-, and twelfth-graders in Arizona (where medical cannabis is legal) completed surveys about substance use. Among the other findings:
- Some 13% reported using cannabis concentrates — and 18% reported using traditional cannabis — in the past month.
- Cannabis concentrate users were more likely to report using other substances. For example, e-cigarette use was reported by 82% of concentrate users versus 60% of traditional cannabis users and 20% of cannabis nonusers.
The researchers note, “Some evidence in adults suggests that exposure to cannabis with higher THC content could increase a person’s risk for cannabis use disorder, cognitive impairment, and psychosis. … [A]dolescent cannabis users may be more vulnerable to these effects.”