Friday, September 30, 2022

More Pregnant Women Turning To Cannabis, Study Finds

Pregnant women are turning more to cannabis for relief of nausea or anxiety, a new 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 US adult pregnant women increased from 2.4 percent to 3.9 percent.”

In California, use of cannabis among mothers-to-be jumped from 4.2% to 7.1% from 2009 through 2016, the JAMA study found. The research also revealed:

The race/ethnicity of the 279,457 females included in the study was 36 percent white, 27.9 percent Hispanic, 16.6 percent Asian, 5.9 percent black, and 13.6 percent other. 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). The median neighborhood household income was $70,677.

The report found that among underage teens (those younger than 18), marijuana consumption increased from 12.5 percent to 21.8 percent, and among women 18 to 24, marijuana use jumped from 9.8 percent to 19 percent.

According to a CNN story:

Doctors caution that the health effects of marijuana on a fetus remain unclear but could include low birth weight and developmental problems, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the 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 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.”Additionally, “there are insufficient data to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding, and in the absence of such data, marijuana use is discouraged,” according to the recommendations.

“We were concerned to find that the prevalence of marijuana use in pregnancy is increasing more quickly among younger females, aged 24 and younger, and to see the high prevalence of use in this age group,” the study’s lead author, Kelly Young-Wolff, licensed clinical psychologist and research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, told CNN.

In another study published by JAMA earlier this year among women between the ages of 18 and 44, researchers found a 62 percent increase over the past 12 years in the rate for which women admitted to smoking marijuana during pregnancy.

“Although the evidence for the effects of marijuana on human prenatal development is limited at this point, research does suggest that there is cause for concern,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

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