Most women—up to 90 percent by some reckoning—experience some nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. Up to two percent of them suffer from the life-threatening condition hyperemesis gravidarum, which is super morning sickness.
One of the oldest medical uses of cannabis was obstetric, both to ease delivery and to treat the nausea leading up to it. For obvious ethical issues, there have been no modern clinical tests in this area. However, there is a survey from 2005 that takes a look into this topic.
Seventy-nine Canadian cannabis users discussed their pregnancy with researchers. Fifty-one of them admitted to using cannabis while pregnant. Thirty-three used it recreationally (split almost equally between occasional and frequent users), while 36 said they did so to take the edge off morning sickness. (Obviously, there was overlap between the two groups.) Of those who used cannabis medicinally, 92 percent rated it as “effective” or “extremely effective.”
Self-selecting group or not, that’s a great number. On the other hand, of course, there is abundant evidence that cannabis use during pregnancy is really not a great deal for the gestating kid—including a study from this earlier year that finds it increases this risk of premature birth five-fold.
A little smoke here and there is no worse for fetuses than all the other crap they get exposed to over their nine-month sojourn in the womb. But cannabis really shouldn’t be a regular part of the regimen. An OBGYN talking to Fit Pregnancy and Baby suggests exhausting options like ginger or vitamin B6 first. “Then we’d just have to have a discussion about whether just smoking a little bit of marijuana would stop them from having a whole hospital admission—then that might be something to talk about.”