During the COVID-19 pandemic, more pregnant women consumed cannabis, according to new findings released in JAMA.
The findings were part of an analysis involving over 100,000 pregnancies in Northern California after the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
For the study, urine toxicology tests were initiated to identify traces of cannabis from the first prenatal visit, between January 2019 through December 2020.
“Consistent with prior research, results indicated that the prevalence of cannabis use before and during pregnancy increased over time in both intervention and comparison states,” the JAMA findings read.
“In the 2 states that legalized recreational cannabis use, preconception and postpartum cannabis use, but not prenatal use, increased significantly compared with states that did not legalize recreational use.”
The results of the study necessitate the amplification of cannabis’ negative implications against maintaining health during pregnancy.
“Women may be trying to manage nausea or mood problems early in pregnancy or may simply be continuing a habit from before they became pregnant,” the authors stated in their findings.
“Clinicians—and people who work in cannabis dispensaries—need to help educate women that during pregnancy they should abstain from any type of cannabis use because of potential health risks to their babies.”