Marijuana Use Among Pregnant Women Rises, Study Says
Marijuana Use Among Pregnant Women Rises, Study Says
Marijuana Use by Pregnant Women Is on the in California
28 December, 2017, 01:08
The number of women who self-reported using marijuana during their pregnancy rose from 2.4 percent in 2009 to 3.9 percent in 2016, according to a new study published Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
As the study showed the highest increase in marijuana use among women 24 and younger, that age group might hold clues as to why there has been an overall increase, said Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, professor and chief of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern's William P. Clements Jr.
The report found that among underage teens (those younger than 18), marijuana consumption increased from 12.5 percent to 21.8 percent, and among women 18 to 24, marijuana use jumped from 9.8 percent to 19 percent. KABC reported that the study suggested some women use the drug to alleviate morning sickness and anxiety.
The study also reported an increase in pot usage among older pregnant women ages 25 to 34. The women were treated at Kaiser Permanente facilities that had screening for marijuana use as part of standard prenatal care.
"Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy, and its use is increasing", the study said.
Experts believe that the use of marijuana could potentially harm a fetus's brain development, cognition and birth weight, The New York Times noted, and its main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), could be transferred to a baby via breast milk.
Worryingly, if women are not reporting their marijuana use in their medical records, their doctors are unable to counsel them about the risks of using marijuana, or what alternative reliefs for symptoms like nausea might be available. However, on a federal level, it is still illegal to possess, use, buy, sell, or cultivate marijuana.
"For individual patients, I think they need to ask themselves what their goals are for the pregnancy and how they are going to achieve them - essentially make a decision on which camp they are going to be in", she said.
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