A growing number of pregnant women are using marijuana or other cannabis products, and a new study suggests that relief of symptoms such as morning sickness may be a primary reason.
In recent years, studies have documented a rise in cannabis use during pregnancy. One U.S. government study found that between 2002 and 2017, the number of pregnant women who said they’d used marijuana in the past month doubled — from about 3.5% to 7%.
But the reasons they choose to use marijuana have not been clear.
So for the new study, researchers did in-depth interviews with 52 pregnant or breastfeeding individuals who had used various cannabis products before pregnancy — not only smoked marijuana, but other products like edibles.
Of that group, 30 continued to use cannabis after becoming pregnant. And nearly all said it was to help manage symptoms, most often morning sickness.
That’s an important point for obstetricians and other health care providers to know, said lead researcher Meredith Vanstone of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
“I do worry that providers often think that these are people who just don’t care — that they are using cannabis for fun and could stop if they wanted,” Vanstone said.
“That is not what we found,” she said.
In general, the study participants were well-informed on the evidence, or lack of it, and made a deliberate choice on whether to continue using cannabis during pregnancy, Vanstone noted.
That is not to say that cannabis is a good option for managing morning sickness.
In fact, medical groups such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advise against using cannabis for any reason during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Amy Norton on HealthDay
Published: December 20, 2021
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