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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday December 28 2017, @11:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the is-it-4:20-already? dept.

Pregnant women are increasingly using cannabis, according to two studies published this year:

More pregnant women seem to be using pot -- sometimes to ease the nausea of morning sickness or heightened anxiety -- and a new study suggests that this slight rise in marijuana use is most pronounced among those younger in age. The prevalence of marijuana use among a sample of moms-to-be in California climbed from 4.2% to 7.1% from 2009 through 2016, according to a research letter published in the journal JAMA on Tuesday [DOI: 10.1001/jama.2017.17225] [DX]. Among pregnant teens younger than 18, marijuana use climbed from 12.5% to 21.8%, and among women 18 to 24, marijuana use climbed from 9.8% to 19%, the researchers found.

That research involved only certain women in California, but a separate study of pregnant women across the United States, published in JAMA [open, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2016.17383] [DX] in January, found that those who reported using marijuana in the previous month grew from 2.37% in 2002 to 3.85% in 2014. The women were 18 to 44.

Doctors caution that the health effects of marijuana on a fetus remain unclear but could include low birth weight and developmental problems [DOI: 10.1097/CHI.0b013e318160b3f0] [DX], according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the chemicals in marijuana, like tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, could pass through a mother's system to her baby. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that "women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use" and "to discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy." Additionally, "there are insufficient data to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding, and in the absence of such data, marijuana use is discouraged," according to the recommendations.

Also at LA Times.

Related: Tennessee to Jail Women Who Use Drugs while Pregnant


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Friday December 29 2017, @01:01AM (11 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday December 29 2017, @01:01AM (#615334) Journal

    You could look at reports in which a pregnant woman tested positive / were caught using cannabis, and then track the development of the children. Or ask pregnant women to self-report whether they are currently using cannabis or had done so during pregnancy, and track the development of the children.

    It's not great (when is biomedical science ever?), but possibly better than just forcing some pregnant mice to toke up.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29 2017, @01:12AM (9 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29 2017, @01:12AM (#615340)

    Yeah that does not seem like a study where you want to 'go first'.

    Seems like a study you want to err on the side of caution. As is being pregnant has a very strict set of things you can and can not eat.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday December 29 2017, @01:17AM (8 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday December 29 2017, @01:17AM (#615345) Journal

      I guess some other approaches would be to do more statewide studies like these, and then track birth defects, etc. across the state. Or look for any trends specifically in states that have legalized recreational or medical cannabis and compare those states to ones that haven't.

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      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Whoever on Friday December 29 2017, @02:45AM (7 children)

        by Whoever (4524) on Friday December 29 2017, @02:45AM (#615373) Journal

        You are assuming the the use of weed is significantly higher in states that have legalized it. That may not be true.

        • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Friday December 29 2017, @06:55AM (6 children)

          by Sulla (5173) on Friday December 29 2017, @06:55AM (#615475) Journal

          Before legalization I didn't smell pot everywhere. In my 15 min drive to work I pass three different houses growing enough that I can smell it from a distance, I presume the grow is not just for fun. At least twice a week I encounter a person smoking pot as I walk from my parking structure to work, this was not common before legalization

          I dont know that more people are smoking, but I know that people are smoking more.

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          • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Friday December 29 2017, @04:18PM (3 children)

            by urza9814 (3954) on Friday December 29 2017, @04:18PM (#615546) Journal

            I dont know that more people are smoking, but I know that people are smoking more.

            Not necessarily...

            So you have a few houses you expect are growing...that doesn't prove usage increased unless you also have some measure of how much is being imported/exported. These people might just be displacing stuff previously brought up from Mexico/South America or just from other states. Now that it's legal there wouldn't be much point in trafficking the stuff in. And there's probably a good profit to be made in trafficking the stuff out. Perhaps your state has just moved from a net importer to a net exporter!

            And of course you see more people smoking it in public now that they aren't literally risking their lives in doing so. People have been publicly executed in this country for lesser "crimes". It ain't legal (yet!) in my state, but walk into literally any apartment building and you'll smell it. Plenty of users, but you'll still never see them in public, because that would just be fuckin stupid.

            • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Friday December 29 2017, @05:55PM (2 children)

              by Sulla (5173) on Friday December 29 2017, @05:55PM (#615578) Journal

              If every day you can smell pot from 1k feet away from the nearest residential area from the inside of a car, there is something weird going on in that neighborhood

              I voted for legalization, I just didn't expect to smell it non-stop everywhere I go. If a neighbor starts growing or whatever and I have to smell it every day i'm going to sue them using those same pig farm smell laws or airport noise laws over loss of property value.

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              Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
              • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Friday December 29 2017, @06:37PM

                by urza9814 (3954) on Friday December 29 2017, @06:37PM (#615597) Journal

                If every day you can smell pot from 1k feet away from the nearest residential area from the inside of a car, there is something weird going on in that neighborhood

                I don't disagree with that...I'm just saying it doesn't necessarily mean people in the area are using more. It's entirely possible that the only difference is that they're now growing it locally, and that's what you're smelling.

                I voted for legalization, I just didn't expect to smell it non-stop everywhere I go. If a neighbor starts growing or whatever and I have to smell it every day i'm going to sue them using those same pig farm smell laws or airport noise laws over loss of property value.

                Sounds reasonable. I'm assuming the area is not zoned for agriculture...? :)

                In a few years I'd expect that to sort itself out though...partly the regulations suck because nobody knows what needs to be regulated yet; and partly it's just a problem of needing to build up the infrastructure for the new market. Eventually these guys should be selling more than they can grow in their house, and they'll find some industrial or agricultural land to buy up and do it there instead. But nobody has the money for that yet, and banks won't do business with them so it's not like they can take out a loan. Although it's also tough to regulate because of the continued unlawful federal prohibition...it's probably a lot easier to raid the warehouse of Mike's Bud Farm LLC compared to the basement of Mike's house, so the problems might not resolve themselves until that goes away...

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 30 2017, @02:41AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 30 2017, @02:41AM (#615712)

                I'm betting there is some inside the car. It's like someone who doesn't know he stepped in a turd - "everywhere I go today smells like dogshit!!"

          • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Friday December 29 2017, @05:01PM

            by Whoever (4524) on Friday December 29 2017, @05:01PM (#615564) Journal

            Your anecdotes may merely show that the pot growing and consumption is now in the open, rather than hidden.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29 2017, @07:41PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 29 2017, @07:41PM (#615623)

            You know that you encounter more people smokling, not people are smoking more. For all you know, the dude smoking a j walking down the street used to do it in his car to keep it on the low. And someone growing weed openly now might have used some random backwoods spot or the like.

            I think it's reasonable to assume usage goes up, but nothing you offered makes your argument, even anecdotally.

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Friday December 29 2017, @01:19AM

    by looorg (578) on Friday December 29 2017, @01:19AM (#615346)

    That could be an option. Problem might be that they did more then just smoke weed. It would be hard to link it just to the potential weed usage. Self reporting might be an issue to since you'll probably want to know about dosage and strength etc plus if child welfare found out there could be issues.

    Indeed. But the to have some poor mice toke up is probably as close as you get without actual human experiments..