A new study shows more young moms-to-be are using marijuana to relieve morning sickness—but it's not recommended for pregnant women.

By Hollee Actman Becker
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Moms are turning to marijuana to cure nausea, according to a study in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), and they argue weed might be a safer option than prescription drugs for morning sickness. On the flip side, the American Medical Association insists that taking marijuana during pregnancy is dangerous and is pushing for regulations that will make pregnant women think twice before lighting up. In fact, according to an NBC report, studies have linked marijuana use during pregnancy to childhood attention problems, low birth weight, premature birth, and behavioral issues in children. 

A Rise in Weed Use During Pregnancy

The JAMA study found that about 4 percent of pregnant women admitted they used weed during pregnancy in 2014—a rate that was up from 2.4 percent in 2002. That's a 62 percent increase! The study also found women aged 18 to 25 were the ones most likely to light up. You should also keep in mind those are self-reported stats; the number may very well be higher. According to marijuana seed retail site Royal Queens Seeds, most pregnant women who use marijuana are smoking it—because while pregnancy cravings often include things like cookies and brownies, women with extreme nausea might not be able to stomach weed-laced baked goods.

But there are definitely still supporters of marijuana as a morning sickness cure who say that there's little evidence of harm. After all, there's been scientific evidence to suggest that alcohol is more dangerous during pregnancy than marijuana is—that doesn't mean weed is necessarily safe for pregnant women, but it is worth noting.

The Risk of Marijuana for Morning Sickness

This is undoubtedly a controversial topic but as of right now, the AMA is adamant that all marijuana use should be avoided during pregnancy. Alexandra Schmidt, D.O., an Ob-Gyn in Boca Raton, FL, cited impaired nuerodevelopment, smaller birth size, and even stillbirth as possible dangers of smoking marijuana for morning sickness.

Dr. Schmidt also points out that there's a big difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. "If you're getting it on the street, you can't be sure what you're getting," she says. "The true risks are not known at this time." Before even considering the controversial drug, Dr. Schmidt urges pregnant women to try more conventional morning sickness cures first, like vitamin B6 and ginger.

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