News Worms
News Worms

More Pregnant Women Are Using Pot

More Pregnant Women Are Using Pot

Nevertheless, there were also women who stated that they hadn't used marijuana in the last month, although they had a positive urine test.

"Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinoids (in marijuana) are known to affect how neurons migrate, and there is a lot of neuron migration as the fetus develops", Goler said.

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

This trend was most common among younger pregnant women, as use among females younger than 18 increased from 12.5 percent to almost 22 percent and use among females 18 to 24 years old increased from almost 10 percent to 19 percent.

It was also discovered that pot-use among girls under 18 in the coastal state increased as well, climbing from 9.8 percent to 19 percent.

Expecting mothers age below 18 as well as those who are between ages 18 and 24 recorded the highest increase over the duration of the study.

Since 2009, an increasing number of pregnant women in California have been found to smoke cannabis despite unknown dangers the illicit drug could cause to their unborn child. Another 16 percent of women passed the drug tests but disclosed marijuana use on the questionnaires. Pot can linger in the system for up to 30 days, the researchers noted. Marijuana use during pregnancy increased from 2.37 percent to 3.85 percent in 2014. In the United States, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and seven states and DC have legalized marijuana for recreational use as well. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) tweeted that the percent of pregnant women who experience nausea ranges between 50 percent and 80 percent, while approximately half experience retching.

"Even though it is becoming more legal and people are feeling more comfortable using it, we don't know the whole effect of it in pregnancy and later on", Dr. Navizadeh said.

Many women may not understand the potential risk, however.

As you can see from the chart above, younger women are more likely to be smoking cannabis during their pregnancy, even up to 5 times than those over the age of 34.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more research is needed on the effects of marijuana use on developing babies. When researchers controlled for other factors that may be at play (like socioeconomic status, mother's weight, and alcohol or cigarette use), they still found that the risk of low birth weight for babies born to mothers who smoked weed was statistically significant. "There may be effects in the future in development and after birth that could be issues with cognitive development later on, and for that reason we are not recommending for them to use it".


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