FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Up to 7 percent of pregnant women in the United States report using cannabis, according to a study published online Nov. 28 in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.

Kathak Vachhani, from University of Toronto, and colleagues explored how cannabis use in pregnant women varies by different cannabis legalization frameworks: permitted use of cannabidiol (CBD) only, medical cannabis, and adult-use cannabis. The analysis included responses from 1,992 pregnant women participating in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2017 to 2020).

The researchers found that recent cannabis use was reported by 2.4 percent of respondents in the CBD-only group, 7.1 percent in the medical cannabis group, and 6.9 percent in the adult-use cannabis group. Respondents in the medical and adult-use cannabis groups were 4.5-fold and 4.7-fold, respectively, more likely to use cannabis than those in the CBD-only group. Smoking was the most common method of intake across all groups, and more than 49 percent of users reported using partially or entirely for adult-use purposes.

“The increased use with legalization motivates further research on the impacts of cannabis as a therapeutic agent during pregnancy and supports the need for increased screening and patient counseling regarding the potential effects of cannabis use on fetal development,” the authors write.

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