A team of researchers from the University of Colorado (UC) is set to conduct research on the relationship between the use marijuana among pregnant women and the health of a developing child.
Dr. Torri Metz, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, will conduct the research using a grant awarded to the university, the Denver Post reports. The first step in the study is the development of a questionnaire asking pregnant women about their cannabis use. The questionnaire will screen out qualified candidates for the study.
To date, there’s little data and literature that support the relationship between marijuana use of a pregnant woman and the overall health of the fetus. The study is specifically interested in the possible role of marijuana in developing different congenital defects in the child as well as pregnancy complications for the mother.
“If you look at the literature now, you find very mixed results. About half of the studies say there is an association between marijuana use and adverse outcomes. About half say there is no association. I am seeing more and more self-reported marijuana use in the clinic,” Mertz was quoted as saying by The Denver Post.
Since laws on cannabis use in the country continue to change, Mertz aims to provide research-backed data on possible effects or benefits, if there are, of marijuana use in relation to the child’s health.
Regarding the growing number of self-reported cases of marijuana use among pregnant women, Mertz said she has no idea whether there is simply an increase of women actually using the regulated drug or they have only become more open to discuss their marijuana use.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women who use cannabis or other street drugs have higher risk of developing pregnancy complications that can result to a baby born with preterm, low-birth weight, and other birth defects, among others.