Published: Thu, December 28, 2017
Health Care | By Alice Shelton

Study says more pregnant women using marijuana

Study says more pregnant women using marijuana

Young-Wolff noted in her email that the study itself did not investigate reasons for the rise in marijuana use among pregnant women.

A growing number of pregnant women are using marijuana, and the habit is expanding fastest among teens and young adults, a US study suggests. From 2002 to 2014, the prevalence of self-reported, past-month marijuana use among U.S. adult pregnant women increased from 2.4% to 3.9%.

Broadening the scope, CNN noted a separate study published in JAMA that revealed an increase in the use of marijuana among pregnant women across the USA had increased from 2.37 percent in 2002 to 3.85 percent in 2014.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding should avoid the drug because the effects of marijuana on unborn and newborn children are not well known.

Though little clear evidence exists on the effects of marijuana on developing human fetuses, animal studies have revealed that it may disrupt brain development.

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"Pregnant women or women contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy for which there are better pregnancy-specific safety data". However, there is insufficient data on link between marijuana use and fetal development.

But the study's author's wrote that "continued monitoring of trends, exposure timing, and offspring outcomes is important as marijuana potency rises in an increasingly permissive legal landscape".

Medical use of marijuana is already legal in California, which was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for that use two decades ago. However, on a federal level, it is still illegal to possess, use, buy, sell, or cultivate marijuana.

"Think about marijuana use from [the study participants'] perspective, especially in Northern California", said Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas, who was not involved in the study.

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