By Lindsay Tanner, Associated Press
(AP) — Cannabis use in pregnancy has doubled among U.S. women and is most common during the first trimester, government research shows.
Overall, 7% of pregnant women, or 1 in 14, said they used marijuana in the past month. That’s from a nationally representative health survey in 2016-17 and compares with a little over 3% in 2002-03.
The study was presented at a medical meeting Tuesday and published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“Because we don’t know exactly how harmful it is, it’s better to err on the side of caution,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Marijuana use during pregnancy “is not worth the risk,” she said.
First trimester use jumped from almost 6% to 12%. Many women may have used pot before they learned they were pregnant, or used it to ease morning sickness, although few women said a doctor had recommended it, Volkow said.
Among women who weren’t pregnant, the rate of marijuana use increased from almost 7% to nearly 12%, or 1 in 8.
The results are based on health surveys involving nearly half a million U.S. women who were questioned during a period when rising numbers of states legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski