A survey conducted on 200,000 pregnant women suggests that marijuana use during gestation is going up. Even though the use of marijuana among pregnant women is contained, the new findings show that the rates have gone up by 62 percent over the last 12 years. In comparison, 3.9 percent pregnant women have used marijuana during gestation in 2014 as opposed to 2.4 percent in 2002.
Furthermore, about 2.1 percent of pregnant women aged between 26 to 44 used the drug while pregnant. At the same time, a staggering 7.5 percent of younger women with ages between 18 to 25 took up the practice.
Potential Reasons for Pregnant Women Using Marijuana
As of now, the experts are not entirely sure as to why more and more pregnant women resort to using the drug by the year. However, one explanation could be that medical marijuana is starting to gain acceptance from the crowds as an effective treatment for nausea. In turn, young mothers could have used the drug in order to get rid of the morning sickness.
This may be especially the case for subjects who experience hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme version of nausea associated with pregnancy, according to a team of scientists with the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Marijuana Use Effects on Infants
At the moment, not much is known about the use of marijuana while pregnant. However, some studies on the matter indicate that fetuses who have been subjected to the drug before delivery weigh less than babies born to mothers who have not used the drug during gestation. Researchers associate the babies’ low weight to an increased predisposition to infections and a wide range of harmful pathogens.
Moreover, the scientists also fear that babies born to a marijuana user could develop speech-related and memory issues later in life. However, because it is hard to isolate marijuana use from other factors in a pregnant woman’s life such as smoking, drinking, or drug abuse, scientists cannot tell for sure how pot use impacts the baby while still in the womb.
Nevertheless, the research conducted so far shows that babies born to a mother who used pot during pregnancy are likely to have a reduced birth weight and, therefore, considered more prone to diseases later on.
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