Marijuana use among children and teens has risen 245% since 2000, while alcohol use has steadily declined, according to a new study.
Teens are increasingly consuming marijuana edibles instead of smoking marijuana, the researchers found.
They evaluated data from the National Poison Data System from 2000 to 2020, HealthDay reports. During that time, they found more than 338,000 instances of misuse among American children aged 6-18. The majority of ingestions occurred in males (58.3%), and more than 80% of all reported exposure cases occurred in young people aged 13 to 18.
According to Linda Richter, Vice President for Prevention Research and Analysis at Partnership to End Addiction, who was not involved in the study, the findings add to the growing evidence that shows the harmful effects marijuana edibles can have on youth.
“These products resemble candy and come in enticing flavors and have high concentrations of THC,” Richter told HealthDay. “The proliferation of these products, especially in states where nonmedical use of marijuana has been legalized, normalizes the use of the drug and reduces perceptions of risk or harm among young people.”