High-THC Cannabis Concentrates and Their (Scary) Effect on the Teenage Brain

Is dabbing causing mental health problems for Colorado kids?


Editor’s note: After 5280′s July issue went to press, Governor Jared Polis signed into law HB 21-1317, which requires further study of the possible health effects of high-THC cannabis and aims to reduce access to cannabis among teenagers. This article has been updated to reflect the new law.

There’s no shortage of sensational, hide-the-children, marijuana-is-the-devil’s-lettuce stories on the internet. This is not one of those stories. Colorado is, after all, the cradle of recreational cannabis in this country, and by most accounts, the destruction of civilized society wreaked by commercialized medical and recreational pot was greatly exaggerated. Given the opportunity to comment, most Coloradans—roughly 71 percent, according to a 2020 survey—say legalization has been mostly or completely successful. However, that number leaves plenty of room for dissent, and in that remaining 29 percent lies a contingent that believes Centennial Staters were naive about what kinds of products would be lining dispensary shelves, what their health effects could be, and what might happen when kids got their hands on them.

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