Delta-8-THC Use Reported by 11% of 12th Graders in 2023

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by ScienceDaily.

Approximately 11% of 12th-grade students across the United States reported past-year use of delta-8- tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC, or delta-8 for short), according to an analysis of data from the 2023 Monitoring the Future survey, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Delta-8 is a psychoactive substance that is typically derived from hemp, a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant. Delta-8 has intoxicating effects similar to delta-9-THC (delta-9), the primary THC component responsible for the “high” people may experience from using cannabis.

The researchers measured delta-8 use for the first time in 2023 to investigate the drug’s popularity among teens as more hemp-derived THC products enter the market and become more accessible. Studies show an association between cannabis use and negative health impacts for teens, underlining the importance of monitoring use of delta-8 and other cannabis products among younger people.

Among those who reported delta-8 use, close to 91% also reported marijuana use, contributing to the approximately 30% of 12th graders overall who reported past-year marijuana use. The survey also showed delta-8 use was more common in the South and Midwest regions and in states without cannabis legalization or delta-8 regulations. In contrast, levels of marijuana use did not differ by state-level cannabis policies. The findings were published as a brief report in JAMA. The Monitoring the Future survey is conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of NIH.

“11% is a lot of people — that’s at least one or two students in every average-sized high school class who may be using delta-8. We don’t know enough about these drugs, but we see that they are already extremely accessible to teens,” said Nora Volkow, M.D., NIDA director.

Delta-8 is one of over 100 cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa plant. There is no federal minimum age requirement to purchase delta-8 products, which may be sold online or in gas stations and convenience stores.

Source: ScienceDaily

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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