A new study in California suggests that there’s a slight rise in marijuana use amongst pregnant women
More pregnant women have been usingpot as a remedy for sickness. Sometimes it’s to ease the nausea of morning sickness, anxiety or overall body pain. A new U.S. study suggests marijuana use is expanding fast among teens and young adults.
After examining 279,457 mothers-to-be, 12 and older, who were in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California healthcare system, the results showed a climb from 4.2% to 7.1% from 2009 through 2016. This is according to a research letter published in the journal JAMA on Tuesday. In addition, pregnant teens younger than 18, climbed from 12.5% to 21.8%. While young teens ages 18 to 24 increased from 9.8% to 19%.
A Study on Marijuana Use
The participants were given questionnaires about their marijuana use and took a cannabis toxicology test. The women were also screened for their marijuana use at roughly eight weeks’ gestation. Researchers found that the prevalence of marijuana use, based on self-reports or toxicology results, soared among all age groups. However, the biggest rise was among those 24 and younger.
“We were concerned to find that the prevalence of marijuana use in pregnancy is increasing more quickly among younger females, aged 24 and younger.”
For other age groups, the researchers found that marijuana use rose from 3.4% to 5.1% among women 25 to 34 and from 2.1% to 3.3% among women older than 34. The study findings coincide with a separate study of pregnant women across the United States, also published in JAMA in January.
There is also “insufficient data to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding.” However, in the absence of this data, marijuana use is discouraged
Limited Test Results
“Marijuana is detectable in urine approximately 30 days after last use and this varies with the heaviness of use and marijuana potency,” she said. “it is possible, but unlikely, that some toxicology tests identified prepregnancy use.”
The findings were limited to data on pregnant women within one health care system in a limited geographic area of California. DR. Haywood Brown, a professor at Duke Universtiy was not surprised at all. The findings in marijuana use during pregnancy is consistent with recent attention to marijuana and legalization in various states. Also, women not only self-reported marijuana use but were screened for marijuana.
As the study showed the highest increase in marijuana use among women 24 and younger. This may hold clues as to why there has been an overall increase.
If you think about marijuana use from their perspective. Especially in Northern California. California legalized medical marijuana use in 1996. They have grown up with the idea of it not only not being illegal but being a medical therapy.
Kelly Young-Wolff is a licensed clinical psychologist and research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research. Young-Wolff wrote in an email:
“I think the idea that use is rising is just because of the greater legal exposure to marijuana that women have today versus 20 years ago.”