More pregnant women, especially young ones, are using marijuana

Study Say Maximum Pregnant Women Smoking Pot 27122017

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%. The women were 18 to 44. Numerous chemicals in marijuana, like tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, could pass through a mother's system to her baby.

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.

A study of mothers-to-be in California found an increase in marijuana use especially among younger women.

The legalization of marijuana may have contributed to the increase in use found by the study, KABC reported. The age ranges of the sample included females aged 12 to 17 years (1.4 percent), 18 to 24 years (15.8 percent), 25 to 34 years (61.6 percent), and more than 34 years (21.2 percent).

But data on the actual effects of using marijuana during pregnancy is still unclear.

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.

The findings also were limited to data on pregnant women within one health care system in a limited geographic area of California.

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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".

An advantage of the study, he added, was that women not only self-reported marijuana use but also were screened for marijuana - and he thinks the study findings are age-related, as the largest increase in marijuana use was among adolescents and young adults.

Californians voted to legalise recreational use of the drug in 2016.

Barbara Yankey, a researcher at Georgia State University, told Reuters marijuana use may be on the rise because of the recent legalization of its recreational use "has made people think of the drug as less risky, even during pregnancy".

"With the proximity to OR and Washington, they also have experience with any use being legal", she said. However, on a federal level, it is still illegal to possess, use, buy, sell, or cultivate marijuana.

Teens and young adults reported a particularly high use of marijuana compared to women over 24.

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