Youth Perception of Marijuana Harm Decreases as Marijuana Concentrate Becomes More Potent

Although marijuana use among youth poses a risk to health, nationally only 1 in 5 adolescents perceived it as such. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, this misperception among youth exists at a time when marijuana concentrates continue to become more potent, which is cause for public concern. This demonstrates the need to educate young people about various forms of marijuana and their related health consequences and harms.

According to SAMHSA’s Short Report, “State Estimates of Adolescent Marijuana Use and Perceptions of Risk of Harm from Marijuana Use: 2013 and 2014 ,” in the 12 to 17 age group, approximately 1.8 million youth reported using marijuana in the past month.

Health risks associated with youth marijuana use  include poorer education/employment outcomes ,cognitive problemsincreased likelihood of vehicle crashes , and increased addiction risk .

The Drug Enforcement Agency describes marijuana concentrate  as a substance containing highly potent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of marijuana). This concentrate is often referred to as oil or “710” (“OIL” spelled upside down and backwards). THC levels in this oil could range from 40 to 80 percent, which is about four times stronger than what is found in a “high grade” marijuana plant.

Read more from SAMHSA

SOURCE: US Department of Education 06-29-16 ED’s OSHS PREVENTION NEWS DIGEST-Vol. 12, No. 24

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