Know the Risks - Marijuana Prevention
Marijuana Use in the US
In 2017, 26 million Americans age 12 or older were current users of marijuana.
Adolescents age 12-17: 1.6 million
Young Adults age 18-25: 7.6 million
Adults age 26 or older: 16.8 million
Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
Risks of Consumption
Edibles are a food product such as brownies, cookies, and candy that contain cannabinoids, particularly THC. As manufacturing methods vary, edibles can vary greatly in their potency (some with very high THC concentrations), which isn’t always clear to the user. Currently, the FDA does not regulate edible cannabis products. Therefore, some edibles being sold in the U.S. are coming from unregulated, unsafe and unsanitary manufacturing facilities. This means that they may contain unapproved ingredients, have inappropriate levels of THC/CBD, contain ingredients that are not food grade and are unsafe to ingest, have unsubstantiated health claims on their labels, and/or transmit foodborne illnesses due to poor sanitation and hygiene in the facilities where they were produced.
Topicals & Tinctures
Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and oils that are absorbed through the skin for localized relief of pain, soreness, and inflammation. Tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts that result from infusing alcohol with cannabis resin. THC infused topicals and tinctures are only legally available in states where medical or recreational cannabis is legalized or decriminalized.
Know the Facts
THC Content in Marijuana has increased over the past 20 years.
- In the early 1990s, average THC content in confiscated samples was roughly 3.7% for marijuana.
In 2018, it was 15.80%.
- The average marijuana extract contains over 50% THC; some samples exceed 80%.
Risks of Consumption
Historically, smoking has been one of the most common methods of using marijuana.
Smoking marijuana may have certain adverse effects on respiratory health; various studies have reported associations with airway inflammation and obstructive pulmonary issues.
Dabbing involves heating a sticky oil or wax of concentrated THC extracted from cannabis and inhaling the vapors. The most common physiological symptom mentioned was passing out/losing consciousness. The second most common symptom mentioned was respiratory effects such as coughing, loss of breath and lung pain.
Vaping devices are not just being used for nicotine – they are also being used to vaporize THC, often through cannabis-infused oils in place of e-liquids. Vaping THC does not produce the telltale smell that emerges when smoking marijuana, so it’s not as easily detected. When people vape rather than smoke marijuana, they tend to consume even higher concentrations of THC. Although there is limited national data
available on this trend, the perception that using a smokeless device carries little risk may actually lead to more people using the devices to vape marijuana. The CDC has recommended that people refrain from vaping any products containing THC and buying vaping products off the street, due to the outbreak of over 2,000 vaping-related lung injuries and 39 deaths.
THC Edibles - Accidental Consumption
Examples of THC Edibles
- Marijuana Prevention Strategies
- Johnny's Ambassadors
- Center for Prevention Research and Development (CPRD). Youth and Marijuana Use in Illinois
- Pugh, Brandie. Beyond Nicotine: Vaping Marijuana. Center on Addiction.
- Aubrey, Allison and Kennedy, Merrit. CDC Finds Possible Culprit in Outbreak of Vaping Related Lung Injuries. NPR.
- Vaughn, Emily. The Vaping Illness Outbreak: What We Know So Far. NPR.
- Wikipedia. Cannabis edible.
- Doheny, Kathleen. Marijuana Edibles: Buyers and Users Beware. WebMD.
- Shaw, Francine L. and Stuck, Kimberly. Cannabis Edibles and Food Safety: Buy at Your Own
- Rahn, Bailey. Cannabis 101: What Are Cannabis Topicals and How Do They Work? Leafly.
- Carroll, M. Everything You Need to Know about Cannabis Tincture and Topical. Allbud.
- Doheny, Kathleen. Marijuana, Hemp, CBD Oil: What's Legal and Where. WebMD.
Can Youth Become Addicted to Marijuana?
Statistics show that about one in six (about 16.7%) of youth who use marijuana will become addicted. One in three (33.3%) youths who use marijuana every day become addicts.