More teens are vaping marijuana than ever before, expert warns

Suzanne Monaghan
September 07, 2019 - 4:00 am
teenage girl vaping

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Illnesses and even deaths, that doctors believe could be linked to vaping, have been topping the headlines. In some of the cases, people who got sick used e-cigarette products containing marijuana extract, often referred to as "dabbing."

It's happening in middle and high schools across the country, according to Dr. Wilson Compton Deputy Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"More and more youth are reporting use of these butane hash oil or other marijuana vaping products than ever before," he tells KYW Newsradio.

The oil extract is much stronger than smoking regular pot because butane or a solvent like butane is used to extract THC — a psychoactive chemical found in pot — and sometimes other chemicals from the marijuana plant.

"And then that oil, that oily substance, that residue, is extraordinary highly concentrated with THC and sometimes other chemicals and that's a concern because it may contain containments including leftover butane which is certainly not healthy or safe to ingest," he explained.

Compton says the extreme dose of THC can lead to serious psychiatric complications, including paranoia and hallucinations.