Cannabis Concentrate Use in Adolescents

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cannabis concentrates, which are cannabis plant extracts that contain high concentrations of Δ-9-tetrahydrocannbinol (THC), have become increasingly popular among adults in the United States. However, no studies have reported on the prevalence or correlates of cannabis concentrate use in adolescents, who, as a group, are thought to be particularly vulnerable to the harms of THC. METHODS: Participants are a racially and ethnically diverse group of 47 142 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students recruited from 245 schools across Arizona in 2018. Participants reported on their lifetime and past-month marijuana and cannabis concentrate use, other substance use, and risk and protective factors for substance use problems spanning multiple life domains (ie, individual, peer, family, school, and community). RESULTS: Thirty-three percent of all 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders reported lifetime cannabis use, and 24% reported lifetime concentrate use. Seventy-two percent of all lifetime cannabis users had used concentrates. Relative to adolescent cannabis users who had not used concentrates, adolescent concentrate users were more likely to use other substances and to experience more risk factors, and fewer protective factors, for substance use problems across numerous life domains. CONCLUSIONS: Most adolescent cannabis users have used concentrates. Based on their risk and protective factor profile, adolescent concentrate users are at higher risk for substance use problems than adolescent cannabis users who do not use concentrates. Findings raise concerns about high-risk adolescents' exposure to high-THC cannabis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatrics
Volume144
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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