Marijuana use by pregnant women: University of Colorado researchers launching new study

A new study in Colorado will look at the impact of marijuana use during pregnancy.

Researchers a the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus will ask new mothers to take a questionnaire about marijuana use.

If the patient consents, researchers will also take a sample of the umbilical cord upon delivery to determine if the mother did use marijuana through pregnancy and to what extent.

"Although physicians tell women they should not use marijuana in pregnancy, it is difficult to provide them with data to support the recommendation," researchers said.

“About half of the studies say there is an association between marijuana use and adverse outcomes; about half say there is no association,” Assistant Professor Torri Metz, MD, said. 

Metz is a high-risk obstetrician and maternal-fetal medicine specialist who provides care for pregnant mothers and delivers babies at University of Colorado Hospital.

“I am seeing more and more self-reported marijuana use,” Metz said. “I don’t know if this is a reflection of women using more marijuana or of the women being more willing to tell us about their use.”

Researchers say further study is needed on the association between marijuana use and fetal growth restriction, hypertension in pregnant mothers, stillbirth, spontaneous preterm birth and other conditions.

“These are the obstetric issues we face every day and we don’t understand the impact of marijuana use on these outcomes,” Metz said. “I want to change that.”

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