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More US pregnant women consuming cannabis than ever

29 December 2017

Additionally, just like Young-Wolff's study, they concluded that women between 18 and 25 years old were who most liked to consume the drug. Data gathered in 2016 alone showed that nearly 25 percent of expecting teenagers and one out of five pregnant women age 18 to 24 had been using cannabis. That being said, it's impossible to determine whether they used the drug before or after they found out that they are pregnant. Also, they saw that the women who mostly accepted doing it were those under 24 years of age.

"That was not surprising, necessarily, but definitely concerning", Kelly C. Young-Wolff, one of the authors of the study, told Newsweek. They grouped around 300,000 women from the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, a health care service, to see how many of them accepted having consumed marijuana in the past weeks. Between 2009-2016, the prevalence of self-reported cannabis use rose from 4.2 percent to 7.1 percent.

Evidence indicates that maternal marijuana use may impair foetal growth and brain development, but conclusive links between marijuana and prenatal complications haven't been conclusively established the way those have been for, say, alcohol or tobacco.

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Moreover, the same report suggests that the number of people smoking weed in California, pregnant or not, may have increased and that using cannabis has become more acceptable in the state.

"The impacts of prenatal marijuana use haven't been very well studied", Young-Wolff said.

A new study found more pregnant women in California are using marijuana to soothe morning sickness and anxiety. According to Barbara Yankey, this "has made people think of the drug as less risky, even during pregnancy".

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One expert speculated the rise might be partially explained by the increased availability of legal marijuana in recent years. Another 16 percent of women passed the drug tests but disclosed marijuana use on the questionnaires. However, she noted that they should avoid using the drug or another cannabinoid because "there is cause for concern". However, scientists agree there's more research to be done.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautions that the effects or marijuana on fetus are not clear and that it could lead to low birth rate and developmental problems. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists updated a document that represents the organization's opinion on pressing matters titled the ACOG Committee Opinion.

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More US pregnant women consuming cannabis than ever