Many pregnant women experience morning sickness, especially during the first few months of pregnancy. Usually, the nausea symptoms pass after the first trimester.

But for other women, morning sickness is a much more serious condition. Hyperemesis is a complication that can happen in some pregnancies where women can’t keep anything down. The constant vomiting can lead to dehydration, putting their health and that of the growing baby, at risk.

Melissa Vaughn, a Boston-area mom of two who had hyperemesis gravidarum, the same severe morning sickness that Kate Middleton experienced.  Melissa’s obstetrician prescribed medications that didn’t end up working.

In an article for Yahoo! Beauty, Vaughn said nothing she had tried had helped with her severe hyperemesis. She was vomiting constantly, losing 12 pounds in seven days.

“I couldn’t keep any food down,” she said. “I couldn’t keep any water down. I was totally incapacitated, in bed, unable to function.”

Vaughn’s husband Nick took 10 days off work to care for Melissa as well as their preschool-aged daughter.

“He was trying to push as many fluids into me as he could, but then I’d throw up,” she says. “I was waifish. My skin started losing its color; my cheeks were sinking in.”

Nick began reading online about the medical benefits of marijuana.

“I talked to my friend’s neighbour, who is a midwife, and she said that [marijuana] was the only thing that got her through her first trimester,” Melissa said.

“So I smoked a little bit of weed. I coughed, and the coughing made me throw up. But after that, the symptoms just disappeared. It was amazing.”

Eventually, Melissa turned to edibles – she baked small amounts of pot into brownies. She said it “saved my pregnancy, basically.”

She isn’t alone in the remedy. In a report published in JAMA in January, researchers at Columbia University found that 3.9 per cent of American women who are pregnant report marijuana use.

What do you think about pregnant women using cannabis as a remedy for morning sickness?


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

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