Marijuana: Pregnant Women Are Using More Cannabis, Says New Study

Glen Mclaughlin
December 28, 2017

Smoking marijuana was on the rise among pregnant women in California, a study showed.

The number of women who smoke marijuana during pregnancy has significantly increased in recent years, according to a recent study. Nineteen percent of women 18 to 24, and 22 percent of teen moms screened positive for marijuana at eight weeks gestation.

More than one-fifth of American teenagers are using marijuana during pregnancy, a new study finds.

Given that both the percentage of people reporting using marijuana and those whose urine tests showed they'd used it increased, more people may be using it in the general, non-pregnant population and marijuana use may be more accepted and normalized than ever before-again, at least in California. Last year, 5.1 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 34 years old reported to using marijuana while pregnant, up from 3.4 percent in 2009. Timing may be important, too; marijuana use in the first month of a pregnancy may increase the likelihood of a very rare birth defect called anencephaly.

Researchers say the data comes from self-reported surveys that "likely underestimate use" of the drug.

Researchers examined screening data that encompassed some 280,000 women who were tested between 2009 and 2016.

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The bottom-line? Experts encourage women considering cannabis use during pregnancy to talk to their doctors, which is fair, considering the fact that we're our own best health advocates.

"Obstetrician-gynecologists should be discouraged from prescribing or suggesting the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes during preconception, pregnancy, and lactation", The ACOG committee wrote in an opinion.

In October, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which discourages marijuana use among pregnant or breastfeeding women, said that prenatal marijuana use could cause harm to an infant's brain development and function.

Despite the uncertainty of how the drug affects the body, California will legalize recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21 beginning January 1.

Media reports noted that the time span of the study coincides with increased marijuana legalization in California, and the USA, and may be indicative of a continuing trend, as recreational legalization in California is scheduled to take effect on January 1.

And women may even be using marijuana after they took the survey-on goal.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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