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Study says more pregnant women are smoking marijuana for morning sickness

A new study published Tuesday in the weekly Journal of the American Medical Association says that more pregnant women are using marijuana.

The study, which looked at pregnant females in California from 2009 to 2016, found that trends in marijuana use among them increased overall in that time period. KABC reported that the study suggested some women use the drug to alleviate morning sickness and anxiety.

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“Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy, and its use is increasing,” the study said. “From 2002 to 2014, the prevalence of self-reported, past-month marijuana use among U.S. adult pregnant women increased from 2.4 percent to 3.9 percent. In aggregated 2002-2012 data, 14.6 percent of U.S. pregnant adolescents reported past-month use.” Data from nearly 280,000 women was used in the study. 

The publication said, however, that the data are limited and come from self-reported surveys and “likely underestimate use due to social desirability bias and underreporting.”

The data come from toxicology reports and a combination of self-reports in which pregnant females say they have used marijuana and positive toxicology reports.

The legalization of marijuana may have contributed to the increase in use found by the study, KABC reported.

Despite the trends found in the report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against using marijuana when pregnant, planing to become pregnant and breastfeeding, as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can negatively affect a baby’s development. 

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