28 December, 2017
Among teen mothers under age 18, marijuana use during pregnancy surged from about 13 percent in 2009 to nearly 22 percent in 2016, researchers found.
Given that both the percentage of people reporting using marijuana and those whose urine tests showed they'd used it increased, more people may be using it in the general, non-pregnant population and marijuana use may be more accepted and normalized than ever before-again, at least in California.
Researchers said reefer gladness among pregnant women under 18, jumped from 9.8% to 19% and from 12.5% to 21.8% for women in the 18 to 24-year-old demographic.
Researchers used years of data from more than 279,000 pregnant women who were screened at Kaiser Permanente facilities.
Many pregnant women are turning to the drug to treat morning sickness or anxiety associated with pregnancy.
In October, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which discourages marijuana use among pregnant or breastfeeding women, said that prenatal marijuana use could cause harm to an infant's brain development and function.
"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.
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"Pregnant women or women contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy for which there are better pregnancy-specific safety data".
"Because of the possibility of concurrent use of marijuana and other substances of abuse, the evidence of its direct association with preterm labor, fetal growth restriction, preterm birth, low birthweight and stillbirth is still debatable, though these adverse effects lean more towards an increased likelihood of occurrence", Yankey continued.
California became the first USA state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996.
Overall, there was an increase in cannabis use among study subjects, from four percent to seven percent, over the seven-year period.
More than half of all Americans reported having tried marijuana at some point in their lives, and about 22 percent of those qualify as regular users.
Young-Wolff said marijuana usage increased the most in young females.