NO TOKE! More pregnant California moms smoking pot

28 December, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Wilson Dawson
  • A woman lights a cannabis joint

A new study suggests that more pregnant women appear to be using marijuana to sooth anxiety and morning sickness. Nineteen percent of women 18 to 24, and 22 percent of teen moms screened positive for marijuana at eight weeks gestation.

Among this youngest group, use of pot during pregnancy rose from 12.5 percent in 2009 to almost 22 percent by 2016.

Experts believe that the use of marijuana could potentially harm a fetus's brain development, cognition and birth weight, The New York Times noted, and its main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), could be transferred to a baby via breast milk.

Medical marijuana was legalized in California in 1996, and doctors say some patients use marijuana to self-treat the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy or to stimulate appetite.

A previous study published in JAMA nearly a year ago showed that the trend isn't limited to the Golden State: Across the country, pregnant women, aged 18 to 44, who reported using cannabis in the previous month had grown from 2.37 percent in 2002 to 3.85 percent in 2014.

Image result for pregnant woman
Marijuana Use by Pregnant Women Is on the in California

The researcher said the amount of marijuana consumed and how often a person uses it is a factor.

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". "The impacts of prenatal marijuana use haven't been very well studied", Young-Wolff said. Urine tests, which are more reliable, also have their limitations; marijuana can linger in a person's urine about 30 days-and even longer for those just light up more than every once in a while.

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".

A different study published in January confirmed the upward trend nationwide.

"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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