According to government research, marijuana use in pregnancy has doubled in U.S. women during the first trimester.
1 in 14 pregnant woman, or 7%, said they used marijuana in the past month. The data comes from a nationally representative health survey in 2016-17 and compares with a little over 3% in 2002-03.
First trimester use jumped from almost 6% to 12% and among women who weren’t pregnant, the rate of marijuana use increased from almost 7% to nearly 12%, or 1 in 8.
According to Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some animal studies have linked high doses early in pregnancy with fetal brain abnormalities, but whether typical use in humans poses similar risks is unknown.
“Because we don’t know exactly how harmful it is, it’s better to err on the side of caution,” said Volkow, one of the authors of the government study. Marijuana use during pregnancy “is not worth the risk,” said Volkow.
The study was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.