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Study shows marijuana users twice as likely to give birth prematurely

For women who continue to smoke throughout their pregnancy – they are five times more likely to have a preterm birth.

Image: cannabis joint via Shutterstock

PREGNANT WOMEN WHO smoke cannabis prior to becoming pregnant are twice as likely to give birth prematurely, a new study has shown.

For women who continue to smoke throughout their pregnancy – they are five times more likely to give birth prematurely.

For the researchers of the study, the results present a “a major public health concern” as a number of pregnant women would report taking marijuana to alleviate morning sickness or nausea – without knowing of the adverse side-effects.

“The findings would be concerning as marijuana is used a lot and is largely thought to be a benign drug,” Professor Louise Kenny, the study’s lead investigator told TheJournal.ie.

The study was carried out using data from the SCreening fOr Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) study – which examined thousands of pregnant women globally.

For this analysis, 5588 women were included – 1,765 from Ireland.

The study adjusted for other variables including maternal age, BMI, SEI, and cigarette smoking.

When these adjustments were made, statistically relevant results showed the increased likelihood of mothers who smoke cannabis prematurely giving birth.

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The researchers of the study conclude that preterm births are increasing in developed nations and that it can have serious adverse effects for newborn babies.

They state that as marijuana becomes more widely available and decriminalised or legalised across the world, the risks that this could pose to pregnant women needed greater consideration.

You can read the full study here. 

Read: Two men to appear in court charged in connection with €120k cocaine and cannabis seizure

Read: ‘An utter warrior’: Cork family appeals for little girl to be allowed use cannabis-based medicine

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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