If you’re up the stick, you should smoke cannabis to deal with your morning sickness. Photo: wetribe

In its most extreme form, morning sickness is hyperemesis gravidarum, as famously suffered by the former Kate Middleton. It’s very dangerous, often leading to miscarriage or developmental problems in resultant children. It’s known to occur in between one and three percent of pregnancies, although some believe that’s an underestimate. There are women who chose to terminate their pregnancies because the symptoms were so bad.

More women are smoking dope because of morning sickness

It’s becoming more common for women to smoke cannabis during pregnancy to deal with morning sickness. A study carried out in 2017 examined more than 220,000 pregnant women in northern California. It found that almost four percent used cannabis in 2014, compared to just over two percent in 2002.

Further evidence came from a study published on August 20 2018 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers uncovered that pregnant women suffering from severe nausea and vomiting in the first trimesters of their pregnancies were four times as likely to smoke cannabis as those who went unafflicted. Women for whom nausea and vomiting were mild were twice as likely to indulge. Kelly Young-Wolff, a research scientist at northern California’s Kaiser Permanente Division of Research who was the study’s lead author, described it as adding to “a small but growing body of research suggesting that some pregnant women may use marijuana to self-medicate morning sickness.”

Smoking cannabis to relieve nausea is nothing new. People have done it to treat stomach pain for decades. Since the 1980s, doctors in the United States have prescribed Marinol, a synthetic form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC – what makes you stoned), to deal with nausea resulting from AIDS, cancer and chemotherapy.

You shouldn’t smoke dope while pregnant

Doctors will tell you that women shouldn’t smoke dope while pregnant. The British Medical Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology are both firmly against it. Medical studies, however, have shown it to significantly reduce feelings of queasiness.

Actually, you should

Dr. Allison Hill is a leading Los Angeles OB/GYN who wrote Your Pregnancy, Your Way: a Guide to Natural Pregnancy and Childbirth. She remarked that while no studies guarantee the practice is safe, there are also none that prove it to be dangerous. There’s no rise in birth defects, low birth weights or preterm labour. There might be a marginally greater risk of children having behavioural problems. To this, Hill responds, “Studies are not definitive.” There has also been a notable lack of replication in studies that took a negative stance. Additionally, extraneous variables, such as poor nutrition, might have been at the root of the problems that were discovered.

Elizabeth Bachner is a midwife who owns Gracefull Birthing of Los Angeles, which specialises in midwifery care for home births. She believes women are being deprived of relief that’s safe and natural, calling it “a smear campaign that’s been going on for years.” Dr. Michele Ross, a neuroscientist who wrote Vitamin Weed, speaks of how in India, people make a tea that includes THC to relieve nausea and the pain of childbirth. Many women insist that smoking dope had a much better effect on their morning sickness than whatever their doctors prescribed.

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