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A recent study published in the journal JAMA found that the rate of marijuana use in pregnant women is on the rise, and it’s most prevalent among younger adults.
The study, which focused on pregnant women in California, included cannabis toxicology tests and questionnaires about the participants’ marijuana use. It spanned seven years—from 2009 to 2016.
The findings were telling, but not surprising, given the recent legalization of marijuana in California. Among pregnant teens younger than 18, marijuana use increased from 12.5% to 21.8%. For young adults aged 18 to 24, the rate increased from 9.8% to 19%. These younger age groups saw the greatest climb in marijuana use.
For women 25-34, the rates rose from 3.4% to 5.1% and for woman 34 and over, they increased from 2.1% to 3.3%. Although there was a smaller increase for more mature adults, there was a general rise across the board for all age groups.
What this increase means for the health of the pregnancies and babies is still unclear. However, doctors advise against marijuana use during pregnancy, just as they do alcohol use.