More Pregnant Mothers in California Are Using Pot

28 December, 2017, 01:10 | Author: Nina Hammond
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There is also a notable uptick from 12.5 percent to 21.8 percent in the use of marijuana among pregnant Californian teens younger than 18, the researchers found.

The increase was especially sharp among young women, rising from 12.5 percent to almost 22 percent for mothers to be under the age of 24, in the years between 2009 and 2016. For pregnant teens under 18, marijuana use climbed from 12.5 percent to 21.8 percent.

Almost 300,000 pregnant women at facilities in Kaiser Permanente Northern California responded to a survey about their pot use, and also gave samples of urine for a toxicology analysis.

Participating women were asked to answer a questionnaire and go through a drug test to see if they tested positive for marijuana use.

Officials in Colorado, where recreational pot was legalized, have warned women not to smoke it during pregnancy, Gizmodo reported. The women were treated at Kaiser Permanente facilities that had screening for marijuana use as part of standard prenatal care.

Though little clear evidence exists on the effects of marijuana on developing human fetuses, animal studies have revealed that it may disrupt brain development.

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"Marijuana is detectable in urine approximately 30 days after last use and this varies with heaviness of use and marijuana potency", she said.

But the study's author's wrote that "continued monitoring of trends, exposure timing, and offspring outcomes is important as marijuana potency rises in an increasingly permissive legal landscape".

In many states, medical marijuana can be prescribed for treating conditions including severe nausea and pain - both of which may affect pregnant women - but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends women stay away from weed if they want to have a baby.

California became the first US state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996.

"Think about marijuana use from [the study participants'] perspective, especially in Northern California", said Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas, who was not involved in the study.

"Then there's the other group who take a more pragmatic view of pregnancy".

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