More pregnant women are using pot, study finds

More pregnant women are using pot, study finds

According to the research published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, "the prevalence of self-reported, past-month marijuana use among USA adult pregnant women increased from 2.4 percent to 3.9 percent".

Citing lack of data on the health affects of cannabis use on pregnant women, the researchers "investigated trends of prenatal marijuana use from 2009-2016 using data from a large California health care system with universal screening via self-report and urine toxicology".

Researchers said reefer gladness among pregnant women under 18, jumped from 9.8% to 19% and from 12.5% to 21.8% for women in the 18 to 24-year-old demographic.

In 2018, marijuana will be legally available for recreational use, suggesting that that even more pregnant women may have access to and indulge in it.

The study notes that marijuana is "the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy", adding that use of the drug has been increasing.

California was the fist state in the USA to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Numerous chemicals in marijuana, like tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, could pass through a mother's system to her baby.

The study published on Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, observed a sample of pregnant women in California. "The effects of marijuana use may be as serious as those of cigarette smoking or alcohol consumption".

According to the CDC, doctors caution that marijuana's effects on a fetus are not clear but it could include low birth weight and developmental problems.

Prenatal marijuana use also increased among women of all ages.

The number reported in the JAMA paper falls outside the range that's been reported in other studies using self-reported data-between 2 and 5 percent. But even so, more mothers are willing to run the risk, it seems.

At the same time, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement in October, noting that "women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use" and "to discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy".

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

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