Increasing number of pregnant women are going pro-marijuana these days, as revealed by the results of a new study of California women. The proportion of women living there who used marijuana of some form during pregnancy has also nearly doubled between 2009 and 2016.
But how safe is it?
While in many states, medical marijuana is prescribed to deal with certain symptoms of pregnancy, such as severe nausea and pain, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends women to stay away from weed if they want to have a baby.
In 2018, marijuana's availability for recreational use suggests that even more pregnant women will have access to it and indulge in its consumption. This new research from Kaiser Permanente also suggests that women are aware their doctors wouldn't prescribe marijuana.
Less than half of these women that tested positive for marijuana confessed to using it when asked in a survey.
Even though California was the first state in the US to legalise medical marijuana in 1996, the jury is still debating over the adverse effects that the drug might have. While it is being used to help subdue nausea in cancer patients for a long time, 2017 also saw the first reported marijuana overdose in a baby.
The effects of marijuana on developing human foetuses still doesn't have any clear evidence, but animal studies have revealed that it could interfere with brain development.
More than 30,000 pregnant women were analysed by the Kaiser Permanente researchers, wherein it was revealed that, despite its wide usage, pregnant women are still aware of some stigma against them indulging in marijuana.
Alarmingly enough, only about 30 percent of the pregnant women in the study admitted to using marijuana in the survey, whereas about 55 percent tested positive for it in a drug screen.
This is a cause of concern because if they do not mention their marijuana use in their medical records, their doctors cannot inform them about the risks of using marijuana, or what alternative reliefs could be provided for symptoms like nausea.
With the legislation to legalise marijuana in the country progressing each passing day, it implies that anybody over the age of 21 will be able to procure it, thus leaving expecting mothers who aren't educated enough about the drug, to continue being at a larger risk.