“Don’t drink alcohol during pregnancy.” Adults – women or not, pregnant or not – know the rule by heart. The rule about not using marijuana, however, needs a better agent.
A recent federal survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that almost 4% of pregnant women had used marijuana in the past month. Compare that to 2.4 percent of pregnant women in 2002.
Small wonder, really. Society’s views of marijuana are changing rapidly, with California voters turning out last fall to cast their vote not only for a president but also whether or not to approve recreational marijuana use. The results are well-known. The United States has a new president, and California joined four other states, plus Washington, D.C., in saying, “Sure, light up.”
“Often pregnant women presume that cannabis has no consequences for developing infants,” The New York Times recently wrote. The news outlet followed up with details from women who explain why they smoked, or otherwise consumed, marijuana while pregnant.
But that understanding doesn’t mean she’s supportive of the practice.
“The prevailing science is that marijuana is detrimental to the fetus,” Nathan said. “Consuming edible marijuana is sometimes perceived as safer than smoking it, but I advise pregnant women against both. You may, in fact, experience more THC exposure when eating marijuana rather than smoking it, so there could potentially be an even greater health risk to the fetus.”
“Don’t use marijuana during pregnancy” apparently has a new agent.
Read Nathan’s full interview here.