Blame Morning Sickness: Pot Use During Pregnancy Is On the Rise

A new study shows more young moms-to-be are using marijuana to relieve morning sickness—but it's not recommended for pregnant women.
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When I was pregnant with my daughter back 2002, I tried everything to help ease my morning sickness. I nibbled on Saltines, sniffed oranges, boiled ginger root...but nothing seemed to help. You know what I didn't try? Sparking up a doobie. But according to a new study, pot use during pregnancy is currently on the rise as a popular morning sickness treatment option.

In fact, in 2014, almost 4 percent of pregnant women ages 18 to 44 said they'd recently used marijuana, up from 2.4 percent in 2002, according to the study. That's a 62 percent increase, despite previous evidence that shows infants who were exposed to marijuana are more likely to be anemic, have lower birth weight, and be placed in the neonatal intensive care.

Women aged 18 to 25 were the ones most likely to light up. And while the researchers noted that 4 percent is not a huge number, they caution that the increases over time and potential adverse effects of prenatal exposure to marijuana suggest further monitoring.

"Some sources on the Internet are touting marijuana as a solution for the nausea that commonly accompanies pregnancy," explained Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in an editorial published online with the study. "However, doctors must be aware of the risks involved and err on the side of caution by not recommending the drug for pregnant patients."

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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