That whole marijuana-as-a-gateway-drug thing didn’t really materialize following medical and recreational pot legalization in dozens of states.
But anti-drug warriors can still try to keep the gateway theory alive.
The latest: Teen e-cigarette vaping could be a gateway to weed vaping.
Researchers at Yale University looked at 3,847 Connecticut high school students and found that nearly one in five of those who used e-cigarettes also used their devices to vape cannabis concentrates such as hash oil.
The concern here, academics say, is that one in four teens (27 percent) uses e-cigarettes and that about one of five of those kids (19 percent) have used their vaporizers to toke up.
In a statement, Yale offered this revelation:
E-cigarettes are powered by batteries that activate a heating element when inhaled, vaporizing a liquid nicotine solution contained in small tubes. Hash oil can be substituted for the nicotine solution in many traditional e-cigarettes, and some vendors sell e-cigarettes specifically designed for use with marijuana leaves or wax infused with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
The findings were published this week in the journal Pediatrics. The researchers stressed that there’s no evidence that “the availability of e-cigarettes leads to more marijuana use in youth,” Yale said.
Still, there’s concern.
“This is a relatively novel way of using marijuana, and kids are using it at a fairly high rate,” said lead author Meghan E. Morean. “The smell of vaping marijuana isn’t as strong as smoking it, plus the similarity in appearance of hash oil and nicotine solutions make this a really inconspicuous way of using marijuana.”
Sneaky little buggers.