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More pregnant women are using pot, study finds

(CNN)More pregnant women seem to be using pot — sometimes to ease the nausea of morning sickness or heightened anxiety — and a new study suggests that this slight rise in marijuana use is most pronounced among those younger in age.

The prevalence of marijuana use among a sample of moms-to-be in California climbed from 4.2% to 7.1% from 2009 through 2016, according to a research letter published in the journal JAMA on Tuesday.
Among pregnant teens younger than 18, marijuana use climbed from 12.5% to 21.8%, and among women 18 to 24, marijuana use climbed from 9.8% to 19%, the researchers found.
    That research involved only certain women in California, but a separate study of pregnant women across the United States, published in JAMA in January, found that those who reported using marijuana in the previous month grew from 2.37% in 2002 to 3.85% in 2014. The women were 18 to 44.

      This is your body on weed

    Doctors caution that the health effects of marijuana on a fetus remain unclear but could include low birth weight and developmental problems, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the chemicals in marijuana, like tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, could pass through a mother’s system to her baby.
    The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that “women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use” and “to discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy.”
    Additionally, “there are insufficient data to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding, and in the absence of such data, marijuana use is discouraged,” according to the recommendations.

    Why more pregnant women are using weed

    The new research involved 279,457 mothers-to-be, 12 and older, who were in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care system. The study participants completed questionnaires about their marijuana use and took a cannabis toxicology test during their standard prenatal care visits from 2009 through 2016.
    The women were screened for marijuana use at approximately eight weeks’ gestation.
    The researchers found that the prevalence of marijuana use, based on self-reports or toxicology results, soared among all age groups, but the biggest rise was among those 24 and younger.
    “We were concerned to find that the prevalence of marijuana use in pregnancy is increasing more quickly among younger females, aged 24 and younger, and to see the high prevalence of use in this age group,” the study’s lead author, Kelly Young-Wolff, licensed clinical psychologist and research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, wrote in an email.
    For other age groups, the researchers found that marijuana use rose from 3.4% to 5.1% among women 25 to 34 and from 2.1% to 3.3% among women older than 34.

      Getting clean while pregnant

    Pregnancy in adolescents has been linked to increases in behaviors such as drinking and marijuana use, and pot use could have a disproportionate effect on the increase seen among teens in the study because the adolescent participant group had fewer members than the adult groups.
    For instance, moms-to-be younger than 18 years were only 1.4% of the overall sample in the study, but 18 to 24 were 15.8%, 25 to 34 were 61.6%, and older than 34 were 21.2%.
    Additionally, “we were unable to distinguish prenatal use before versus after women realized they were pregnant,” Young-Wolff wrote.
    “Marijuana is detectable in urine approximately 30 days after last use and this varies with heaviness of use and marijuana potency,” she said. “it is possible, but unlikely, that some toxicology tests identified prepregnancy use.”
    The findings also were limited to data on pregnant women within one health care system in a limited geographic area of California.
    All in all, “the paper is not surprising, and the findings of a rise in marijuana use during pregnancy is consistent with recent attention to marijuana and legalization in various states,” said Dr. Haywood Brown, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the new study.
    An advantage of the study, he added, was that women not only self-reported marijuana use but also were screened for marijuana — and he thinks the study findings are age-related, as the largest increase in marijuana use was among adolescents and young adults.
    As the study showed the highest increase in marijuana use among women 24 and younger, that age group might hold clues as to why there has been an overall increase, said Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, professor and chief of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.
    “Think about marijuana use from their perspective, especially in Northern California. California legalized medical marijuana use in 1996, so they have grown up with the idea of it not only not being illegal but being a medical therapy,” said Horsager-Boehrer, who was not involved in the study.
    “With the proximity to Oregon and Washington, they also have experience with any use being legal,” she said. “So I think the idea that use is rising is just because of the greater legal exposure to marijuana that women have today versus 20 years ago.”
    Young-Wolff noted in her email that the study itself did not investigate reasons for the rise in marijuana use among pregnant women.

    Doctors warn against drinking, too

    Along with advising against marijuana use, doctors have long advised pregnant women to avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
    As it turns out, the research remains unclear as to just how little a pregnant woman could drink without harming her child.
    But doctors in the US warn that drinking any alcohol while pregnant could come with medical risks, such as the possibility of miscarriage, stillbirth, or physical and behavioral problems in the baby.
    Guidelines in the United Kingdom also note that if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, the safest approach would be not to drink alcohol at all.

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    “I have found that women frequently fall into two groups during pregnancy. There are those who want to reduce risks of bad things happening to as close to zero as possible and improve outcomes any way they can. These women start folic acid, lose weight and reduce medication exposure of any kind before becoming pregnant. They absolutely don’t smoke, drink or use any drugs during pregnancy,” said Horsager-Boehrer, who is an editor of the Your Pregnancy Matters blog.
    “Then there’s the other group who take a more pragmatic view of pregnancy. They know there are potential risks involved with many decisions they make involving medication exposure, alcohol use and smoking, but they decide those risks are acceptable, especially if the risks are not well-defined or conclusive,” she said.
    “For individual patients, I think they need to ask themselves what their goals are for the pregnancy and how they are going to achieve them — essentially make a decision on which camp they are going to be in,” she said.

    Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

    Marissa SafontMore pregnant women are using pot, study finds
    read more

    More pregnant women are using pot, study finds

    (CNN)More pregnant women seem to be using pot — sometimes to ease the nausea of morning sickness or heightened anxiety — and a new study suggests that this slight rise in marijuana use is most pronounced among those younger in age.

    The prevalence of marijuana use among a sample of moms-to-be in California climbed from 4.2% to 7.1% from 2009 through 2016, according to a research letter published in the journal JAMA on Tuesday.
    Among pregnant teens younger than 18, marijuana use climbed from 12.5% to 21.8%, and among women 18 to 24, marijuana use climbed from 9.8% to 19%, the researchers found.
      That research involved only certain women in California, but a separate study of pregnant women across the United States, published in JAMA in January, found that those who reported using marijuana in the previous month grew from 2.37% in 2002 to 3.85% in 2014. The women were 18 to 44.

        This is your body on weed

      Doctors caution that the health effects of marijuana on a fetus remain unclear but could include low birth weight and developmental problems, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the chemicals in marijuana, like tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, could pass through a mother’s system to her baby.
      The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that “women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use” and “to discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy.”
      Additionally, “there are insufficient data to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding, and in the absence of such data, marijuana use is discouraged,” according to the recommendations.

      Why more pregnant women are using weed

      The new research involved 279,457 mothers-to-be, 12 and older, who were in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care system. The study participants completed questionnaires about their marijuana use and took a cannabis toxicology test during their standard prenatal care visits from 2009 through 2016.
      The women were screened for marijuana use at approximately eight weeks’ gestation.
      The researchers found that the prevalence of marijuana use, based on self-reports or toxicology results, soared among all age groups, but the biggest rise was among those 24 and younger.
      “We were concerned to find that the prevalence of marijuana use in pregnancy is increasing more quickly among younger females, aged 24 and younger, and to see the high prevalence of use in this age group,” the study’s lead author, Kelly Young-Wolff, licensed clinical psychologist and research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research, wrote in an email.
      For other age groups, the researchers found that marijuana use rose from 3.4% to 5.1% among women 25 to 34 and from 2.1% to 3.3% among women older than 34.

        Getting clean while pregnant

      Pregnancy in adolescents has been linked to increases in behaviors such as drinking and marijuana use, and pot use could have a disproportionate effect on the increase seen among teens in the study because the adolescent participant group had fewer members than the adult groups.
      For instance, moms-to-be younger than 18 years were only 1.4% of the overall sample in the study, but 18 to 24 were 15.8%, 25 to 34 were 61.6%, and older than 34 were 21.2%.
      Additionally, “we were unable to distinguish prenatal use before versus after women realized they were pregnant,” Young-Wolff wrote.
      “Marijuana is detectable in urine approximately 30 days after last use and this varies with heaviness of use and marijuana potency,” she said. “it is possible, but unlikely, that some toxicology tests identified prepregnancy use.”
      The findings also were limited to data on pregnant women within one health care system in a limited geographic area of California.
      All in all, “the paper is not surprising, and the findings of a rise in marijuana use during pregnancy is consistent with recent attention to marijuana and legalization in various states,” said Dr. Haywood Brown, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the new study.
      An advantage of the study, he added, was that women not only self-reported marijuana use but also were screened for marijuana — and he thinks the study findings are age-related, as the largest increase in marijuana use was among adolescents and young adults.
      As the study showed the highest increase in marijuana use among women 24 and younger, that age group might hold clues as to why there has been an overall increase, said Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, professor and chief of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.
      “Think about marijuana use from their perspective, especially in Northern California. California legalized medical marijuana use in 1996, so they have grown up with the idea of it not only not being illegal but being a medical therapy,” said Horsager-Boehrer, who was not involved in the study.
      “With the proximity to Oregon and Washington, they also have experience with any use being legal,” she said. “So I think the idea that use is rising is just because of the greater legal exposure to marijuana that women have today versus 20 years ago.”
      Young-Wolff noted in her email that the study itself did not investigate reasons for the rise in marijuana use among pregnant women.

      Doctors warn against drinking, too

      Along with advising against marijuana use, doctors have long advised pregnant women to avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
      As it turns out, the research remains unclear as to just how little a pregnant woman could drink without harming her child.
      But doctors in the US warn that drinking any alcohol while pregnant could come with medical risks, such as the possibility of miscarriage, stillbirth, or physical and behavioral problems in the baby.
      Guidelines in the United Kingdom also note that if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, the safest approach would be not to drink alcohol at all.

      See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

      “I have found that women frequently fall into two groups during pregnancy. There are those who want to reduce risks of bad things happening to as close to zero as possible and improve outcomes any way they can. These women start folic acid, lose weight and reduce medication exposure of any kind before becoming pregnant. They absolutely don’t smoke, drink or use any drugs during pregnancy,” said Horsager-Boehrer, who is an editor of the Your Pregnancy Matters blog.
      “Then there’s the other group who take a more pragmatic view of pregnancy. They know there are potential risks involved with many decisions they make involving medication exposure, alcohol use and smoking, but they decide those risks are acceptable, especially if the risks are not well-defined or conclusive,” she said.
      “For individual patients, I think they need to ask themselves what their goals are for the pregnancy and how they are going to achieve them — essentially make a decision on which camp they are going to be in,” she said.

      Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

      Marissa SafontMore pregnant women are using pot, study finds
      read more

      133% leap in children admitted to ER for marijuana, study finds

      (CNN)As attitudes about marijuana shift around the world, researchers are warning parents that it’s risky to keep it around children, especially those who are too young to know what it is.

      The number of children who were admitted to emergency rooms forunintentional marijuana intoxication increased by 133% in France over an 11-year period, according to a new study.
      Marijuana intoxication can occur when a child accidentally ingests a marijuana product or inhales marijuana smoke. Symptoms can vary based on the child’s age and size but often include sleepiness, difficulty breathing, seizures or even coma. Effects usually last six to 24 hours.
        Cannabis is illegal in France, but it has the highest rate of marijuana use in Europe, said Dr. Isabelle Claudet, lead author of the study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
        “And that means we are facing an increase in emergency admissions of marijuana intoxication and an increase in severe symptoms seen in children,” said Claudet, a pediatric emergency physician in Toulouse.
        She and other researchers analyzed the number of Frenchchildren under 6 admitted to pediatric emergency departments because of unintentional cannabis intoxication and the number of cannabis-related calls involving children to French poison control centers.
        From 2004 to 2014, 235 children were admitted to ERs with cannabis intoxication, and there was a 133% increase in the admissions rate for it. The number of calls to poison control centers related to cannabis exposure in children increased by 312% in the same period.
        What concerns Claudet the most is that the concentration of the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, has been increasing in cannabis products in France.
        “THC concentration in cannabis products has increased from 9% in 2004 to 20% in 2014,” she said. “I believe that’s why we’re facing more adverse effects in children.”
        Over the 11-year span, the severity of symptoms in children admitted to emergency departments because of marijuana intoxication also increased.
        Twenty times more severe cases were reported in 2014 compared with 2004, and and four times more severe cases were reported in 2014 compared with 2013. Of the 32 children reported to have gone into comas, 53% were admitted in 2014, and there were more cannabis-related admissions than any other type of pediatric emergency room admission.
        The main cannabis product circulating on the French market is hashish or cannabis resin, a solid and very concentrated form of cannabis extract, usually sold in the form of sticks or balls. Users break off pieces, roll them in tobacco papers and smoke them.
        Claudet believes the best way to decrease the number of pediatric marijuana intoxication cases in France is to decrease the concentration of THC in cannabis through regulation.
        “And we have to also warn consumers and parents that it could be very dangerous for children to eat such products,” she said. “Because usually, parents think it’s not very harmful because they’re smoking it, and it relaxes them. But if a child ingests one stick or ball, they can become comatose.”

        What about children in the US?

        Recreational marijuana is legal in eight US states and the District of Columbia, and medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and D.C. Cannabis product trends in the United States are quite different from those in France, though high concentration of THC is still a concern, especially in edible products.
        “The results of this Pediatrics study also makes sense with what we’ve been seeing in Colorado. With the marijuana industry increasing, there’s a lot of new products, a lot of concentrated products, that people vape or ingest, like the edible products, that are high in THC,” said Dr. G. Sam Wang, a pediatric toxicologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora.
        “And so we’ve been seeing a lot of kids who are more symptomatic and more intoxicated,” said Wang, who was not involved in the French research.
        Wang has conducted several studies of US trends in pediatric marijuana intoxication, as well as trends in Colorado.
        He found that in states where recreational or medical marijuana is legal, the number of pediatric marijuana intoxication cases reported to poison control centers increased by 30% each year from 2005 to 2011. Children in states where marijuana was legal had more severe symptoms and were more likely to be admitted to a critical care unit compared with those in states where marijuana was not legal.
        In his Colorado study, Wang found that in the two years leading up to when recreational marijuana became legally available for purchase in 2014 and the two years after, rates of marijuana exposure cases in children increased. On average each year, there was a 34% increase in calls to poison control centers about marijuana exposures in Colorado and a 19% increase across the US. Forty-eight percent of the cases in Colorado were attributed to the ingestion of an edible marijuana product.
        Wang said the higher number of cases in states where marijuana is legal can in part be attributed to the increased availability of marijuana products and the attractiveness of edible product labels, which often look like normal candy or cakes to a child.
        “Usually, kids get into things that become more available, and usually, that happens when it’s a household product, like those laundry detergent pods, which were attractive,” Wang said. “It’s kind of the same situation with marijuana, where we think in states with legal marijuana, probably more households have it in their home, especially the food or edible marijuana products with bright labels, that makes it easier for kids to get into them.”
        The US National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, says that it is concerned about the inadvertent ingestion of cannabis products by children in both the US and France but that more regulation could help provide a solution: “It is our contention that the frequency of these incidences can be mitigated by the imposition of stricter regulatory controls, such as more stringent and overt product labeling and by limiting such products to single serving sizes.”

        See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

        Wang believes the key to ensuring the safety of children living around marijuana products is a combination of outreach and education. He tells parents to treat the marijuana like any other prescription or over-the-counter drug and keep it out of reach of children.
        “Parents need to understand that kids can actually get sick from this stuff,” he said.
        Several states with legal recreational marijuana, including Colorado, Oregon and Washington state, have also made child-resistant packaging a requirement for certain products.
        Wang thinks this is also a step in the right direction, especially as other states or countries may be looking to legalize marijuana.
        “They need to think about the unintended consequences of legalization, such as marijuana intoxication in children. So whether that’s education, packaging regulations, dose regulations,” he said. “Colorado had some of that in the beginning of legalization, but we also made mistakes. But I’m hoping that other places can learn from those mistakes and implement programs or rules at the outset.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/14/health/marijuana-intoxication-children-france-study/index.html

        Marissa Safont133% leap in children admitted to ER for marijuana, study finds
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