A research study discovered weed use is increasing in pregnant women, especially with teen mothers. There are no compelling reasons to the increase of use except for the fact that weed is becoming legal. Researchers say the rate is alarming, since cannabis use during pregnancy is likely to be dangerous.
“Marijuana use in pregnancy may be on the rise in part because the legalization of medical marijuana has made people think of the drug as less dangerous, even during pregnancy,” said Barbara Yankey, a public health researcher at Georgia State University in Atlanta told Reuters.
Reuters reported that 22 percent of mothers younger than 18 used weed in 2016 compared to 13 percent in 2009. For women between ages 18-24, there is 19 percent use, an increase from 10 percent use in 2009. In all age groups, marijuana use during pregnancy increased from 4 percent 7 percent. She added that although debatable, marijuana use during pregnancy comes with increased chances for preterm labor, fetal growth restriction, preterm birth, stillbirth, low birth weight.
The study was led by Kelly Young and Dr. Nancy Goler from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland who said they are studying trends in prenatal marijuana using data from the California healthcare system, screening mothers on prenatal marijuana use. They have screened for marijuana on 279,000 pregnant women. A few flaws exist in the study as marijuana can be detected in the urine for up to 30 days. So, mothers tested for marijuana in their urine might have stopped marijuana use before becoming pregnant, but the results will still test positive.
The Cannabist reported that due to unclear research into marijuana’s effects during pregnancy, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists told moms not to use weed at all to cure morning sickness or nausea.