Joint relief for expectant mums' nausea

Use of marijuana as an antiemetic among pregnant women is increasing, a study reports

Pregnant women might turn to marijuana to help ease nausea and vomiting in the first trimester, despite guidelines against using the drug during pregnancy.

Health effects of prenatal marijuana use are unclear, and women with nausea and vomiting in pregnancy "should be screened for marijuana use, and educated about effective and safe treatments," write Dr Kelly Young-Wolff and colleagues of Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, US, in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Using data from their organisation, the team assessed prenatal marijuana use in more than 220,000 women, obtained through self-reporting and urine toxicology tests during the first trimester.

Most of the women were aged between 25 and 34. Around 8% of the women reported using marijuana in the year before becoming pregnant.

About 15% of women reported mild nausea and vomiting, and around 2% reported severe nausea and vomiting.