Usual modes of marijuana consumption among high school students in Colorado

Renee M. Johnson, Ashley Brooks-Russell, Ming Ma, Brian J. Fairman, Rickey L. Tolliver, Arnold H. Levinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of modes of marijuana consumption among Colorado youth and explore variation by demographics, access, substance use, and risk perceptions. Method: Data are from a 2013 survey of Colorado high school students (N = 25,197; 50.5% female). The outcome variable was usual mode of marijuana consumption (i.e., smoking, vaporizing, ingesting edibles, or other) among those reporting past 30-day marijuana use. Classification variables included sex, grade level, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, current alcohol and cigarette use, frequent marijuana use, early marijuana use (<13 years), perceived harmfulness, and perceived wrongfulness. We calculated prevalence estimates overall and by the variables listed above, and also conducted multinomial logistic regression models. Results: Findings indicate that 15% of Colorado high school students who use marijuana report that they usually use a mode of consumption other than smoking. Among students reporting past 30-day marijuana use, 85% said smoking was their usual mode of consumption. The remainder reported that their usual mode of consumption was vaporizing (6%), ingesting edibles (5%), or another method (4%). Boys, Whites, Asians, and 12th graders were the most likely to report vaporizing. High perceived harmfulness was associated with vaporizing or ingesting edibles. Conclusions: The majority of Colorado youth who use marijuana usually smoke it. Youth may be using vaporizers and ingesting edibles as a way to reduce the harm associated with inhaling combusted smoke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-588
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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