News, Culture & Society

A THIRD of pregnant women do NOT believe cannabis is harmful

A THIRD of pregnant women do NOT believe cannabis is harmful to their foetus – despite medical guidance urging expectant women to avoid the drug

  • Canadian researchers reviewed six existing medical studies of 270,000 women
  • They found many pregnant women aren’t being told about the potential risks
  • Some studies have shown smoking cannabis increases the odds of stillbirth 

A third of pregnant women do not accept that using cannabis while expecting can be harmful to their foetus, scientists have found.

Canadian researchers reviewed six existing medical studies into the use of the herbal drug in pregnancy and the perceptions around it.

They found many pregnant women aren’t being told about the potential risks, leaving them to believe that the drug is safe to use while expecting.

Canadian researchers reviewed six existing medical studies into the use of the herbal drug in pregnancy and the perceptions around it

Research on the health effects of cannabis is limited – but some studies have shown an increased risk low birth weight and stillbirth.

The NHS warns that regularly using cannabis during pregnancy ‘could affect your baby’s brain development’.

And the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that ‘marijuana should not be used in any form during pregnancy’.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Canada delved into the data from 272,000 participants to make the conclusion.

Lead author Dr Hamideh Bayrampor said: ‘Our research suggests over the past decade, more women seem to be using cannabis during pregnancy than ever before.’

She added that this increase in popularity occurred ‘even though evidence of its safety is limited and conflicting’.

WHY IS IT NOT SAFE TO SMOKE CANNABIS DURING PREGNANCY? 

Research on the health effects of cannabis is limited – but some studies have shown an increased risk low birth weight and stillbirth.

The NHS warns that regularly using cannabis during pregnancy ‘could affect your baby’s brain development’.

And the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that ‘marijuana should not be used in any form during pregnancy’. 

Its guidance says: ‘Marijuana used during pregnancy is associated with attention and behavioral problems in children. Marijuana may increase the risk of stillbirth and the risk that babies will be smaller and weigh less than babies who are not exposed to marijuana before birth’.

Dr Bayrampor added that it is of huge importance that the risks of smoking during cannabis are made clearer, as the drug starts to become legal in more countries.

In one of the reviewed studies, women were asked if they believed cannabis is harmful to a baby during pregnancy. Thirty per cent of the 306 respondents said ‘no’.

Another of 7,600 women found cannabis use among unmarried pregnant women almost doubled between 2005 and 2014 to 10 per cent.

One study asked 150 women to name the substance they felt was the most dangerous to an unborn baby. Only two per cent chose cannabis.

However, 70 per cent chose alcohol and 16 per cent chose tobacco – despite medics saying cannabis should also be avoided at all costs during pregnancy.

Another study of 93,000 pregnant women aged found cannabis smoking rates are four times higher in the first trimester, compared to the third.

A fifth study of nearly 170,000 women found the perception that cannabis use does no harm in general has trebled over the last decade.

While the final study of 26 pregnant women revealed many are not being told of the full risks of smoking cannabis while carrying an unborn child.

Ian Hamilton, who researches substance abuse at the University of York, commented on the research, published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

He told MailOnline: ‘Even though the risks are small, it is important women are given the information so they can make an informed decision.

‘Many of the risks of using cannabis in pregnancy are still not well understood so it would be better to stop using the drug if you are pregnant or considering pregnancy.’



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.