What harm it’s doing to babies — if anything — is unknown.
But mamas-to-be are using more marijuana, at least in California. This is according to a study published this week in JAMA, which stands for the Journal of the American Medical Association, and is a peer-reviewed medical journal. The journal was established in 1883.
The study revealed that 275,000 pregnant women surveyed and treated in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California system grew from four percent to seven percent in 2009 through 2016.
The women who participated in the study filled out a survey with questions about marijuana use during their standard prenatal care visits from 2009 through 2016. They also took a urine test, which showed cannabis use.
The increase was significantly higher for teen mothers under the age of 18.
According to the questions answered by women early in their pregnancies and a urine test taken by the women, marijuana use increased from 13 to 22 percent during those years.
For pregnant women ages 18-24, marijuana use grew from 10 to 19 percent.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued an opinion in October advising OB-GYNs to encourage pregnant women to discontinue marijuana use.
But the opinion goes on to state that data on developing fetuses is not available yet and more research is needed.
California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. For that reason, Kelly C. Young-Wolff, one of the JAMA paper authors, told Newsweek that marijuana-use data might look different in another state. Still, California may predict the future of marijuana use around the country. Young-Wolff added:
“But California does tend to be a leader in terms of trends, and it may be indicative of what will be happening in other states in the future.”