U.S. cannabis legalization and use of vaping and edible products among youth

Jacob T. Borodovsky, Dustin C. Lee, Benjamin S. Crosier, Joy L. Gabrielli, James D. Sargent, Alan J. Budney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Alternative methods for consuming cannabis (e.g., vaping and edibles) have become more popular in the wake of U.S. cannabis legalization. Specific provisions of legal cannabis laws (LCL) (e.g., dispensary regulations) may impact the likelihood that youth will use alternative methods and the age at which they first try the method – potentially magnifying or mitigating the developmental harms of cannabis use. Methods This study examined associations between LCL provisions and how youth consume cannabis. An online cannabis use survey was distributed using Facebook advertising, and data were collected from 2630 cannabis-using youth (ages 14–18). U.S. states were coded for LCL status and various LCL provisions. Regression analyses tested associations among lifetime use and age of onset of cannabis vaping and edibles and LCL provisions. Results Longer LCL duration (ORvaping: 2.82, 95% CI: 2.24, 3.55; ORedibles: 3.82, 95% CI: 2.96, 4.94), and higher dispensary density (ORvaping: 2.68, 95% CI: 2.12, 3.38; ORedibles: 3.31, 95% CI: 2.56, 4.26), were related to higher likelihood of trying vaping and edibles. Permitting home cultivation was related to higher likelihood (OR: 1.93, 95% CI: 1.50, 2.48) and younger age of onset (β: −0.30, 95% CI: −0.45, −0.15) of edibles. Conclusion Specific provisions of LCL appear to impact the likelihood, and age at which, youth use alternative methods to consume cannabis. These methods may carry differential risks for initiation and escalation of cannabis use. Understanding associations between LCL provisions and methods of administration can inform the design of effective cannabis regulatory strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017


  • Adolescent
  • Cannabis
  • Edibles
  • Legalization
  • Marijuana
  • Vaping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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