SAM Friday Fact 05/03/2024: Percentage of Colorado Students Who Used Marijuana via Vaporization in the Past 30 Days

The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, assessed trends in tobacco, drug, and alcohol use among high school students in the Centennial State. Notably, beyond asking students whether they used marijuana, it asked how they used it, finding that many vaped it. Among past-month marijuana users, the survey found: 

  • 30.2% of 9th graders who used marijuana vaped it.
  • 43.3% of 10th graders who used marijuana vaped it.
  • 38.6% of 11th graders who used marijuana vaped it.
  • 41.2% of 12th graders who used marijuana vaped it.

Colorado students––along with more than 22 million Americans nationwide––are vaping marijuana, which is often significantly stronger than traditional smokable marijuana. These numbers are concerning, given that the THC potency in marijuana vapes is often much higher than the THC potency in marijuana flower. The average marijuana flower potency, in 2021, was 15.34%. In comparison, vapes are often above 90% THC, meaning they have the potential to make their users feel a stronger “high” with fewer inhalations. Additionally, those who use high-potency marijuana products are more likely to develop a cannabis use disorder and associated mental health conditions.