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Use of Cannabis Concentrate May Be a Marker of Risk for Other Substance Use


A study in the September issue of Pediatrics examined whether students who used cannabis concentrate, a highly potent form of cannabis, were at risk of other substance use. Researchers for “Cannabis Concentrate Use in Adolescents,” published online Aug. 26, asked approximately 50,000, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students from 245 schools across Arizona in 2018 about their lifetime and past-month marijuana and cannabis concentrate use. They found that 15% of 8th graders and up to 33% of 12th graders had used cannabis during those time frames. Of the teens who used cannabis, 72% had used concentrates as well. Concentrate users were different from cannabis users who did not use concentrates and non-cannabis users in that they had higher rates of other substance use and scored higher on risk facts for substance use problems. Those who reported e-cigarette use also were more likely to use cannabis concentrate.  Further research is needed on the intertwined effects of cannabis and cannabis concentrate use on risk for substance use problems. This research may be a step in encouraging policy makers to consider establishing THC limits on cannabis in states where recreational or medical marijuana is legal.

Editor’s Note: A solicited commentary, “Use of Cannabis Concentrates by Adolescents,” will be published in Pediatrics.