Marijuana Use Is on the Rise in Expectant Moms
More pregnant women in the United States are smoking pot, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland. Results of this study, recently published in JAMA, suggest marijuana use is increasing at the fastest rate in teens and young women.
According to researchers, marijuana use in pregnant women under the age of 18 rose from about 13 percent in 2009 to almost 22 percent in 2016. In women between the ages of 18 and 24, marijuana use during pregnancy increased from 10 to 19 percent during the same period. Overall use of marijuana in pregnant woman of any age increased from 4 percent in 2009 to 7 percent in 2016.
The effects of prenatal exposure to marijuana – the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy – are not fully understood, but cannabis may affect fetal growth and development of the brain and nervous system. The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in some U.S. states may be behind the uptick in pot smoking during pregnancy.