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Smoking marijuana while pregnant: What are the risks?



Marijuana may be more widely available and accepted than ever, but pregnant women may want to think twice. A new report adds to the growing body of evidence that using marijuana during pregnancy could be harmful to children's health.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, finds that women who use pot while pregnant could put their child at a slightly increased risk of psychosis . Researchers say it's even more reason to be concerned about the significant increase in women using marijuana during pregnancy in recent years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1

in 20 women in the U.S. use cannabis during pregnancy. A study published earlier this year found that this is 75 percent increase from 2002.

Experts are concerned that if more states legalize marijuana, it may give the false impression that it is safe to use during pregnancy. accessibility and potency, as well as growing public perceptions that is safe to use, it is critical for additional research to understand the potential adverse consequences and benefits of cannabis throughout development and how these associations may arise, "senior study author Ryan Bogdan, associate professor of psychological & brain sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, CBS News.

Bogdan points to a troubling report from 2018 that found many marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, where pot is legal, recommending cannabis as a natural remedy for morning sickness . Torri Metz, M.D., a perinatologist at Denver Health

"We did not anticipate that 69 percent of the dispensaries would have a recommendation," she told CBS Denver at the time. "We expected much higher proportion to say that they could not make a recommendation to women with their healthcare providers."

While more research is needed to understand the effects of cannabis on a developing fetus , the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pregnant women do not use marijuana.

to the fetus, so it is definitely plausible that there would be effects on the fetus, "Metz said.

Strong marijuana use increases risk of psychosis, study finds

There are concerns about the impact that could have on fetal development, including premature birth and low birth weight. Some research suggests marijuana use during pregnancy may lead to long-term health effects including cognition issues in children later in life, such as their ability to pay attention or learn

The latest study suggests using marijuana during pregnancy is associated with a small increase in psychosis risk in children between the ages of 8.9 and 11 years.

Bogdan notes that the study is observational and cannot prove cause and effect, and that a number of factors could be contributing to that finding.

" However, this association was after accounting for a host of potentially confounding factors – for example, maternal education, age at pregnancy, birthweight, prenatal vitamin use, alcohol and nicotine use during pregnancy – which increases the plausibility that prenatal cannabis exposure may contribute to. small risk of increases psychosis proneness among children, "he said.

"Until more research accumulates, these data suggest that marijuana use during pregnancy should be discouraged."


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