Study finds teens using e-cigarettes to vape marijuana

Study finds teens using e-cigarettes to vape marijuana
Published:
Updated:

A new study finds teens are using e-cigarettes to vape marijuana, and because it doesn't have the telltale marijuana scent, kids could be getting high at school or home without anyone knowing.

"Teens have actually discovered how to use e-cigarettes for vaping marijuana," said Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine.

Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine had nearly 4,000 high school students in Connecticut fill out an anonymous survey. Nearly a third had tried e-cigarettes.  Of those kids, 18 percent said they'd vaped marijuana

"When you looked at the kids who said they had both used both e-cigarettes and had experimented with cannabis in the past, the number went up even higher to around 27 percent," said Krishnan-Sarin.

Often, they're smoking hash oil, a thick, yellow resin extracted from marijuana plants. Hash oil tends to be more potent than an average joint and there's little to no telltale scent. 

That means kids may be smoking pot around unsuspecting teachers and parents.

"Their fear of getting caught has gone down. And that's a big deal. Once you remove that fear of getting punished, they're gonna experiment more, and I'm not surprised one bit about it," said Dr. David Tinkelman, National Jewish Health, Denver.

What's more, there's some evidence marijuana may disrupt normal development of the growing teenage brain.