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Study: More Pregnant Women Using Pot

A new study reveals there is an increase in marijuana use by women who are pregnant, mostly by younger females. The reason? To help with morning sickness and increased anxiety.

A sampling of California pregnant women revealed that marijuana use amongst preggers in this state increased to just over seven percent in 2016 from just over four percent in 2009. When it came to pregnant teens under the age of 18, pot use increased to 21.8 percent from 12.5 percent. For pregnant moms-to-be in the 18-24 demographic, the numbers increased to 19 percent from 9.8 percent during that same time period.

The study only offered a sampling of females in the state; however, another study conducted in January that reflected pregnant women across America, revealed an increase in pot use by pregnant women to 3.85 percent in 2014, from 2.37 percent in 2002.

Doctors still advise that the health effects on the fetus that marijuana causes are uncertain, but could still include developmental issues and low birth rate, as per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Chemicals found in marijuana, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), might pass via the mom’s system to her child.

In the current study, over 279,400 pregnant females, 12 years of age and plus, were asked to fill out questionnaires about pot use at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care system. They also took the cannabis toxicology test while doing their scheduled prenatal care appointments from 2009 to 2016. Women were screened for pot use at about the eight-week gestation point.

CNN reported that the study team found that overall, pot use had increased for pregnant moms across all the age groups, but the highest rise was seen in the 24-year-old and younger age group, and adolescents have been linked to an enhanced behavior in marijuana use and drinking while pregnant. Still, the researchers are quick to note that this demographic within the study had fewer members in it than the other age (and older) groups.

The team was also unable to differentiate prenatal use before, opposed to after females discovered they were pregnant, as pot is detectable in urine for about 30 days after used.

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