Study: Dispensaries recommend marijuana for pregnant women

Nearly 70 percent of licensed Colorado dispensaries recommended that a pregnant woman use marijuana to help with nausea and morning sickness, according to anew study.

The Denver Health study, conducted in June and July 2017, used a mystery caller to approach nearly 400 licensed Colorado dispensaries. The researcher would tell the dispensary she was eight-weeks pregnant and experiencing morning sickness. Sixty-nine percent of dispensary employees recommended using cannabis products to improve morning sickness, with less than one-third of employees advising the caller to refer to a medical professional first.

The study's lead author, Torri Metz, MD, toldCBS4 she was surprised by the findings.

"We did not anticipate that 69 percent of the dispensaries contacted would have a recommendation," Metz said. "We expected a much higher proportion of them to say that they could not make a recommendation or to encourage women to talk with their healthcare providers."

According to the study, employees frequently relied on their personal opinion when making a recommendation about marijuana use during pregnancy. And only 32 percent of dispensary employees recommended seeking medical advice without being asked by the caller. After being prompted, nearly 82 percent of dispensaries recommended discussion of cannabis use with a healthcare provider.

Metz said she is concerned about the study's findings because the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women avoid marijuana use due to potential adverse effects to the developing fetus.

"We do know that THC crosses into the placenta, and so if a woman is using marijuana during pregnancy it does cross to the fetus, so it's definitely plausible that there would be effects on the fetus," she told CBS4.

Metz recommends women use treatments prescribed by a physician to treat nausea and vomiting during pregnancy instead of marijuana, according to CBS4.

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