Electronic cigarettes and cannabis
Most studies to date have focused on the relationship between e-cigarette use and cigarette smoking. However, there are researches that the availability of vaping devices makes it easier for teenagers to try marijuana. Vaping involves heating a liquid, oil, or plant material to a temperature that releases a mixture of water vapor and aerosolized active ingredients. This refers to nicotine in e-cigarettes and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis.
Researchers in the United States decided to investigate whether teenage e-cigarette use increases likelihood of using cannabis in the future. For this purpose, they selected study participants aged 12 years or older from the US population. The research sample included 9,828 cannabis-free adolescents in the baseline study. The relationship between e-cigarette use and cannabis use was assessed a year later.
The study found that teens who used e-cigarettes were significantly more likely to report cannabis use a year later than those who had not previously used e-cigarettes. The results suggest that youth e-cigarette usage influences an increased likelihood of future cannabis use. Despite this result, the overall relationship between e-cigarette use and marijuana use by adolescents at the population level is probably quite small. There is a strong association at the individual level. However, e-cigarette use appeared to have minimal association with the prevalence of marijuana use within general population in a given age range. At the population level, youth cannabis use has remained relatively stable over the last quarter of a century.
In addition, subsequent cannabis use associated with e-cigarette use may not last. This means that some teenage e-cigarette users are likely just experimenting with cannabis use without becoming regular users.