As marijuana continues to gain widespread acceptance, it is not unusual to see usage rates among Americans go up. But sadly, that stat is increasing for a particularly vulnerable population segment: pregnant women. While marijuana obviously has its champions (defending its habitual use for medicinal purposes), it is a proven fact that it can be harmful to an unborn child.
Clearly this new research is alarming, particularly when you realize that the number of pregnant women smoking has nearly doubled over the past 10 years (from 3 percent to 5 percent). And while those figures do seem somewhat small, know that every person in that 5 percent ratio is putting their pregnancy at serious risk.
Research from The National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) has shown that using marijuana while pregnant (particularly in the early stages) can seriously harm fetal development and neurological functions of unborn babies. For women who smoke, the dangers intensify as issues can now impact the lungs and airways.
As mentioned in a report on TheFix.com, this risky smoking component should not be ignored by any marijuana users.
“Marijuana smoking is associated with large airway inflammation, increased airway resistance, and lung hyperinflation,” the site explained, referencing data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “And those who smoke marijuana regularly report more symptoms of chronic bronchitis than those who do not smoke.”
Not surprisingly, the pregnancy issues were most prominent in U.S. regions where marijuana use is deregulated. That includes our home state of California, as well as Colorado and Washington D.C., among others.
The stats also leaned towards younger, minority women when it came to the largest sect of pregnant smokers. It particularly singled out women who did not finish high school.
If there was any silver lining in this latest data, it was that other addictive substance were on the decline among pregnant women. Alcohol abuse among women who were expecting, for example, fell from 10 percent to 8 percent. Cigarette smoking saw a sharp decrease as well, falling from 18 percent to 10 percent among the same group.
Regardless, it is our opinion that pregnant women should steer clear of all harmful substances during those precious nine months. And let it be known; if you are already fighting an addiction and happen to be pregnant, there are plenty of healthy detox options that can ensure you have a healthy baby. Our team is more than willing to help if this is a scenario you are encountering. Just please, seek it out quickly to avoid any and all delivery risks.