Published: Thu, December 28, 2017
Medical | By Alyssa Little

More young women are using pot during pregnancy

More young women are using pot during pregnancy

The women were 18 to 44.

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. Numerous chemicals in marijuana, like tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, could pass through a mother's system to her baby.

"Our study is important because it addressed key limitations of prior studies by investigating trends in prenatal marijuana use using data from a large California health care system with gold standard universal screening for prenatal marijuana use", Goler and Young told Reuters.

The researchers found that the prevalence of marijuana use, based on self-reports or toxicology results, soared among all age groups, but the biggest rise was among those 24 and younger.

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A new study suggests that more pregnant women appear to be using marijuana to sooth anxiety and morning sickness. A total of 3.3 percent of women older than 34 also reported to using the drug during their pregnancy in 2016, an increase from 2.1 percent in 2009. 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 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has also cautioned against the use of marijuana among pregnant women, instead recommending alternative medicinal therapies. However, there is insufficient data on link between marijuana use and fetal development.

The prevalence of marijuana use among KPNC patients who were pregnant increased from 4 per cent to 7 per cent over eight years.

"Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy, and its use is increasing", the study said.

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Younger mothers-to-be were more likely to smoke marijuana.

Californians voted to legalise recreational use of the drug in 2016.

Medical use of marijuana is already legal in California, which was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for that use two decades ago. "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".

Pot usage among the women in the under-18 age bracket went up from 9.8 percent to 19 percent over the study period.

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