As the cannabis laws across the world have relaxed in recent years, the plant has risen in popularity. This is no surprise, but rather the shock comes that women are increasingly consuming cannabis during their pregnancy.
An American study based on data from more than 460 000 women and was carried out between 2002 and 2017. This research found that women who consumed cannabis at least once during their pregnancy doubled from 3.4% to 7% in those 15 years.
There were also women who reported consuming marijuana on an almost daily basis. This number tripled in the 15 year period, from 0.9% to 3.4%. These are some alarming numbers.
The Risks During Pregnancy
A further study was carried out in Canada, in which researchers analysed the data on 662 000 pregnancies, with women around the age of 30.
What was seen throughout this, was that the use of cannabis during pregnancy was tied to a doubling in premature birth rates. The stats show a 6% premature birth rate among non-consumers, and 12% for those consuming cannabis.
Another finding from this study was that cannabis consumption during pregnancy meant that the newborn was more likely to have a low birth weight. As well as higher odds for other complications that would require immediate medical attention.
This study is not completely conclusive, as there are other factors that could be in play.
Doctors are sending a clear message: cannabis consumption during pregnancy is most likely unsafe. Unfortunately, there is not enough research on the matter, but it would be safe to assume that cannabis is not welcomed by an unborn child.
Consumption is on the rise across the globe as countries laws towards cannabis become more relaxed. Further research needs to be conducted on the matter to ensure the safety of cannabis consumers. Doctors should take a stronger stance when it comes to matters such as these, as cannabis passing through the placenta can pose significant risks to the newborn.
There have been calls for a public health campaign, intending to change the relaxed views on cannabis consumption during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a time where the utmost care must be taken in ensuring the health of the foetus – and cannabis is no exception to this.