LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A new UNLV study says the daily use of marijuana during pregnancy may lead to numerous health problems for a developing baby.
The regular consumption of marijuana products could increase the risk of low birth weight, resistance to infection fighting, decreased oxygen levels, low birth weight and decreased oxygen levels, according to a university study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.
The study was led by UNLV School of Medicine resident physicians Bobby Brar and Pooja Patil.
"Recent data from JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) indicates that marijuana use in pregnancy has doubled over the last 15 years and what's more alarming is that 70% of women believe there is minimal or no harm from using marijuana in pregnancy,” Dr. Brar said. "Our findings contribute to the growing body of evidence that fetal marijuana exposure may not be as safe as people think."
Medical experts linked exposure to certain chemical compounds, specifically in the smoke, found in tobacco and marijuana products to abnormalities in child growth and development.
According to research in the study, about 16% of pregnant women consume marijuana during pregnancy.
The university suggests additional studies regarding the use of marijuana are necessary to better understand its negative effects, however, physicians recommend pregnant women avoid cannabis as a precaution.