Social media is now popularly considered as the world within the world. A simple platform that emerged with the sole purpose of sharing photographs has turned into something else entirely. Advertisements are one of the primary causes of this change and Instagram’s incentivized promotions. One such example is the promotion of the Vaping industry and their products like THC vape carts, Vaping Oil, etc.
What is THC vaping?
THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in marijuana. It is also the substance that gets you “high.” In addition to giving a euphoric and docile feeling, THC also impacts pain, mood, and other emotions. It provides these effects through how it affects cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
Association With Social Media
A study conducted by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health examines how cannabis vaporizer brands use social media for marketing their product to young impressionable adults.
Instagram has more than 100 million monthly active users, with at least a quarter between 13 and 24. In the United States in 2018, 72 percent of teenagers ages 13 to 17 said they used Instagram. Facebook does not allow paid advertising of illegal, prescription, and recreational drugs; however, posts to brand pages and profiles are not subject to this policy even though such pages are for marketing purposes.
Studies analyzed three popular cannabis brand pages for the content posted between October 2017 and October 2018.
Kandypens (731 posts)
Pax (71 posts)
G Pen (454 posts)
G Pen and Pax had public profiles with no age-verification process. The total reach of all three pages combined was almost half a million followers.
Three brands present themselves in different ways. Almost a third of posts by these brands tagged accounts of social media influencers or other notable individuals. More than two-thirds of the post depicts used products, but only 0.3% of the posts mentioned age restrictions.
Generally, G Pen posts images of musicians, video games, and youthful models in the hip, urban settings. Pax offers upscale domestic photos and relatively older models. Kandypens employs a retro “hippie” aesthetic with nearly all of its posts of young women, including sexualized images. Eighty-four percent of the posts containing people feature women. Most cannabis users in the United States are men, so the widespread use of female models may indicate that cannabis vaping companies attempt to reach a broader audience.
Severe social media usage by teenage demographics causes an unwanted influence over their buying patterns. It makes impressionable youngsters data points for sale, and for the first time in history, teenagers are openly able to buy harmful substances. In 2018, more than 3.5 million U.S. youth used e-cigarettes, which is 1 in 5 teenagers.
Side effects of THC vaping.
The awareness about the side effects of vaping took a rise after 2019. Health researchers began noticing an outbreak of several lung diseases linked to vaping and e-cigarettes in September 2019. By December, 2,561 cases of lung disease, often referred to as e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI), had resulted in hospitalizations and death.
Marijuana use has both short- and long-term side effects. Some of its short-term effects include:
Distorted senses (such as sight, sound, touch)
Increased heart rate
Problems with focusing and short term memory
Longer-lasting side effects of marijuana are learning and sleep issues. Chronic users of marijuana may also experience effects-
Increased risk of addiction
Increased risk of chronic cough
Increased risk of schizophrenia
Learning and memory issues
Marijuana vaping is on the rise, particularly in tender age groups. For instance, the number of college students who vaped in the past month increased from 5.2% to 14% in just two years. Yet another 2022 study adds that the number of teens vaping cannabis in the last 30 days increased seven-fold from 2013 to 2020. Most Americans believe that vaping is less harmful than smoking, with 40% of the respondents indicating that marijuana was “not too” dangerous, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimated that approximately 20% of people who use marijuana develop substance use disorder. People who begin using marijuana, especially before they turn 18, are almost seven times more likely than adults to develop cannabis usage disorder.
Facebook should update its policies and consider including a mechanism for regulating brand pages that market cannabis and other related products and guidelines to protect the public’s health, such as age-gating and information on consumer safety. States with recreationally legal cannabis also restrict marketing practices, including unfounded health claims, promotional activities, and youth targeting. However, these rules do not restrict marketing products on the internet, which may require federal action. One should also keep following vape news for regularly updating themselves about THC Vaping and products alike.