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Research Study Will Take a Real Look at Cannabis and Pregnancy

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The University of Colorado Aurora will study the effects of cannabis use on pregnant mothers under Dr. Torri Metz, an obstetrician who, in the past, specialized in high-risk pregnancies. A study of this nature is only possible in a state like Colorado and could help put an end to falsehoods and stigmas associated with cannabis use.

The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute awarded Dr. Metz with a grant that will enable her to study mothers who used cannabis during their pregnancy. The grant will go toward developing a questionnaire for new mothers. Metz is unsure if there’s any kind of data on the topic with any substance. “If you look at the literature now, you find very mixed results,” Metz told the Denver Post. “About half of the studies say there is an association between marijuana use and adverse outcomes; about half say there is no association.”

An earlier report coming from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment found evidence that THC can be passed through breast milk. The state of Colorado has established a set of guidelines which answers questions about breastfeeding and cannabis. Metz’s work could help end the inflated fear and stigma that expectant mothers face. Metz says that she’s seeing the number of self-reported cannabis use in mothers skyrocket.

Metz will take samples of the umbilical cord from newborns involved in the study. Metz and her team of researchers hope to learn if there’s any data to back up the claims that cannabis is linked to negative conditions like hypertension, fetal growth issues, preterm birth and stillbirth. “These are the obstetric issues we face every day and we don’t understand the impact of marijuana use on these outcomes.” Metz added. “I want to change that.”

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