A new study published by the medical journal JAMA, suggest that they have found more moms- to be in the United States are using cannabis, mostly during their first trimester. According to the new research, the percentage of pregnant women who reported using any marijuana products in the last month jumped from 3.4% in 2002 to 7% in 2017.
During the first trimester, past-month marijuana use increased from 5.7% to 12.1%. This indicated that more pregnant women report regularly using medical marijuana in the first trimester than in the second and third. The team of researchers studied data from 4,400 pregnant women and 133,900 nonpregnant women ages 12 and 44 who joined in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Women were asked a set of various questions about their current pregnancy status, past-month cannabis use, the total number of days of marijuana use in the past month, also the daily or near daily use of cannabis, which was defined as more than or equal to 20 days in the past month.
According to the reports, daily or near-daily cannabis skyrocketed from, ” 0.9% to 3.4%, with an increase of 1.8% to 5.3% in the first trimester, 0.6% to 2.5% in the second trimester and 0.5% to 2.5% in the third trimester. ”
They also found that women confirmed they are using more marijuana on the daily in 2017 than in 2002 — those numbers raised from 0.4 to 1.1 overall, and 0.8 to 2 days in the first trimester. Researchers also gathered data regarding if women were using marijuana recommended by their healthcare provider or for recreational relief. They discovered that between 2013 to 2017, only 0.5% of past-month marijuana was considered to be for medical- only purpose, recommended by actual doctors.
“Although many states have approved cannabis for nausea/vomiting (including in pregnancy), the results suggest that clinicians might not recommend it during pregnancy,” the study authors noted.
Due to the low number of pregnant women who received a doctors recommendation for marijuana may be the reason the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ position to “discontinue marijuana use” in pregnancy, the study highlights.
Since the health effects of cannabis on a fetus have not been thoroughly studied or confirmed, they believe it could produce developmental problems and below normal birth weight.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the congenital disabilities occur within the first trimester of pregnancy, when the main organs are forming. This is mainly why the CDC notes that marijuana effects on the fetal growth could be “more pronounced in women who consume marijuana frequently, especially in first and second trimesters.”
To conclude the most recent study, authors note that many of the claims made are consistent with prior research that has shown increased marijuana use among pregnant women in California, including the whole country from 2002 to 2014. The author also took a look into the marijuana use in pregnant women across trimesters, yet they suggest that the numbers could be way higher than reported, as some women may not even recognize they are pregnant.
“This study highlights the importance of screening and interventions for cannabis use among all pregnant women,” according to the lead authors.
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