Women may be getting mixed messages about cannabis use during pregnancy. A new study shows many dispensary employees in Colorado encourage mothers-to-be to use their products for morning sickness. This advice clashes with doctors’ warnings about the potential harms of marijuana use during pregnancy.
The study used the mystery caller approach, with caller saying something like, “Hi, I’m 8 weeks pregnant and feeling really nauseated. Are there any products that are recommended for morning sickness?”
Sixty-nine percent of the dispensaries contacted recommended cannabis to treat nausea in the first trimester.
High-risk obstetrician Dr. Torri Metz said, “It was surprising and concerning to us because there are data that would suggest that cannabis can be harmful to the developing fetus.”
When researchers asked what product was recommended, one dispensary employee replied, “Technically with you being pregnant, I do not think you are supposed to be consuming that, but if I were to suggest something, I suggest something high in THC.
When a researcher asked another employee if she should check with a health care provider first, the employee responded: “I think that would be a smart choice. Try for someone that is liberal or pro-cannabis.”
Marijuana Industry Group Spokesman Kristy Kelly said, “We have a lot of rules but one of the rules we do not have is to be a doctor.”
Kelly said the study points to the need for more training.
“It is very important that the dispensary employees clarify that they are not medical professionals and that they redirect either that patient or customer to also have conversation with their health care professional,” she added.
Findings from this study were published in the latest issue of the Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.