Number of pregnant women using marijuana rises

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California's initiative requires marijuana products to bear labels warning of potential health hazards, including that marijuana use while pregnant or breastfeeding could be harmful.

Researchers found that marijuana consumption among pregnant women in the state has risen from 2009 to 2016 from 4.2 percent to 7.1 percent. "From 2002 to 2014, the prevalence of self-reported, past-month marijuana use among US adult pregnant women increased from 2.4 percent to 3.9 percent".

There's been a rise in the number of pregnant women who are using marijuana to soothe anxiety and morning sickness.

The data come from toxicology reports and a combination of self-reports in which pregnant females say they have used marijuana and positive toxicology reports.

Experts believe that the use of marijuana could potentially harm a fetus's brain development, cognition and birth weight, The New York Times noted, and its main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), could be transferred to a baby via breast milk.

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The researcher said the amount of marijuana consumed and how often a person uses it is a factor.

"Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy, and its use is increasing", the study said.

Officials in Colorado, where recreational pot was legalized, have warned women not to smoke it during pregnancy, Gizmodo reported.

Worryingly, if women are not reporting their marijuana use in their medical records, their doctors are unable to counsel them about the risks of using marijuana, or what alternative reliefs for symptoms like nausea might be available. "So 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".

But doctors in the United States warn that drinking any alcohol while pregnant could come with medical risks, such as the possibility of miscarriage, stillbirth, or physical and behavioral problems in the baby.