New Study: California Cannabis Use On The Rise For Pregnant Women

According to a study performed on more 200, 000 pregnant woman, cannabis is used by 11% of pregnant women to treat severe morning sickness. This percentage decreased according to the severity and only 5% of pregnant woman who experienced zero morning sickness used cannabis. What effect does cannabis have on a growing baby and can it affect the newborn?

As Cannabis becomes a household word, the word is spreading that the plant could be less dangerous than once believed. More studies than ever before are now being done on cannabis, and for good reason too. As cannabis legalization spreads across the world, the risk of misinformation is higher than ever. As legalization expands across the States, safety awareness and knowledge should be increased as well. According to a study performed in the state of Colorado, approximately 70% of marijuana dispensaries studied recommended marijuana products for women in their first trimester of pregnancy. Although this study did not cover California dispensaries, it could be safe to generalize that most dispensaries could act similarly.

What The Dispensaries Say About Cannabis Use During Pregnancy:

The following was revealed during this particular study:

  • 37% of the 400 dispensaries reviewed held medical sale licenses while,
  • 28% held retail sale licenses
  • 35% were licensed for both medical and retail marijuana sale
  • 69% recommended marijuana products to ease morning sickness

Furthermore, of these recommendations the following was found:

  • 83.1% of the medical dispensaries recommended marijuana products for morning sickness
  • 60.4% of the retail made these recommendations
  • 61.7% of dispensaries that held both licenses made the recommendations

The study then went on to find out what the recommendations were based on and if the pregnant woman were advised to contact their medical practitioner:

  • 81.5% of the dispensaries did advise the women to talk with their health practitioner, however:
  • only 31.8% made this recommendation independently and without prompt.

So, it begs the question, where can people find reliable and trustworthy information about the use of cannabis? From your local California dispensaries or from your local healthcare provider. Chances are, both are likely to give answers that are biased. California dispensaries, while mostly meaning well, are not likely to have all the facts regarding medical use. And while health care providers may have the medical facts, the fact is that these are changing as more research is being done.

So, What Do The Studies Say About Marijuana Use During Pregnancy?

According to the Colorado study’s main author, Torri Metz, MD, THC does travel into the placenta. In an interview with CBS4, Metz said: “We do know that THC crosses into the placenta, and so if a woman is using marijuana during pregnancy it does cross to the fetus, so it’s definitely plausible that there would be effects on the fetus.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists state that medical practitioners should avoid recommending marijuana. And not only during pregnancy but during preconception as well as lactation.

The Effect Of THC in Pregnant Women

It is clear that THC reaches the placenta, however, what is still unclear is the effect that THC has on the placenta.

What is even clearer is that while the hype builds up around the marijuana industry, many people are viewing cannabis as harmless. But before you rush off to your California dispensaries to treat morning sickness you may want to wait for more conclusive studies.

The Journal of American Medical Association released a report in December 2017 that sent the  California cannabis news headlines screaming.  According to the JAMA, more pregnant women are using pot than ever before. Reports stated that an increase in marijuana use among expectant moms from 2009 to 2016. This study concentrated on a small number of women in Northern California and was unable to determine if the cannabis use was intentional during pregnancy or if the moms-to-be quit using cannabis once they discovered that they were pregnant.

Previous research, like the one released by JAMA, has shown an increase in the number of expectant moms-to-be using marijuana, however, only a few studies show that the use is directly for the treatment of morning sickness.

Marijuana has been used in the treatment of nausea for many years, with many chemotherapy patients using the plant to ease the queasy symptoms associated. However, the number of pregnant women using cannabis for morning sickness has many people asking about the potential effects that cannabis can have on the unborn child. Many marijuana myths are being debunked as we move further and further away from the cannabis demonization of the past and into a new era of enlightened marijuana consumption.

So, what are the effects that marijuana can have on pregnant women and their babies?

The bottom line is that it is simply unclear. Research is still underway into the exact effect that THC (or other cannabinoids for that matter) can have on the fetus.

While there is an increase in pregnant women, as well as marijuana moms, using marijuana to treat morning sickness, there are no conclusive answers to what effects it has. Indeed, nausea could be eliminated but the effects on the developing fetus are still being discovered.

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