Health Care

Study says more pregnant women using marijuana

Study says more pregnant women using marijuana

Use among women between the ages of 18 and 25 almost doubled during that time, from 9.8 percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2016.

A growing number of pregnant women are using marijuana, and the habit is expanding fastest among teens and young adults, a US study suggests. Meanwhile the use of marijuana among pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 24 in California jumped from 9.8 percent to 19 percent.

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.

An analysis of urine samples from roughly 300,000 California women finds that more than 7 percent used marijuana while pregnant.

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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". "So I think the idea that use is rising is just because of the greater legal exposure to marijuana that women have today versus 20 years ago". Since many studies rely on participants to report their own drug use, the study's authors said this leaves "the scope of the problem unclear".

While studies on pregnant women who use marijuana have been limited, the researchers state that prenatal use of marijuana may impair fetal growth and neurodevelopment.

California's initiative requires marijuana products to bear labels warning of potential health hazards, including that marijuana use while pregnant or breastfeeding could be harmful.

A committee opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said: "In the absence of such data, marijuana use is discouraged".

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the health effects of marijuana on a fetus could include low birth weight and developmental problems, according to CNN.

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.

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

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