Self-reported Medical and Nonmedical Cannabis Use Among Pregnant Women in the United States
An observational study has revealed that the prevalence and frequency of cannabis use in pregnant women have increased over the past two decades.
No trends were seen although except a slight decrease in fetal growth in women who frequently used during the first two trimesters. The data concerning fetal growth, such as length and weight, were not statistically significant and would require further studies to appropriately indicate a correlation between cannabis use and decreased fetal growth.
The authors acknowledge that cannabis use may suffer from recall bias as women may underestimate the amount of cannabis they consumed or purposely withheld some information due to stigma, although some of the surveyed women were using recommended medical cannabis.
This article highlights the large issue surrounding women consuming cannabis while expecting. Cannabinoids are able to cross the placenta and therefore affect the fetus during development. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommend the cessation of any cannabis consumption while pregnant although there has been limited data discussing the actual effects on fetal development. A previously featured article on this blog stated that cannabis use had no effect on birth outcomes but also noted uncertainty in the possible effect on fetal growth. Considering this uncertainty, physicians should push for more research so that women who take medical cannabis can accurately discern whether or not to cease consumption while pregnant.
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