Cannabis and Pregnancy

cannabis and pregnancy

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Cannabis and Pregnancy

Cannabis and pregnancy are a topic of hot debate. On the one hand, women have been using cannabis for various purposes during pregnancy for centuries. On the other, the cannabis we have now is far different from what our ancestors used. We have become much better at growing, and modern cannabis is much more potent. Due to the legal barriers to scientific study, the effects of cannabis on a fetus are shrouded in mystery.

A meta-analysis of observational studies in humans published in 2016 found no correlation between prenatal cannabis use. It decreased growth, premature birth, or congenital disabilities.

In the 1980s, researchers followed over 20 cannabis-exposed children from birth to 5 years old. That study found no difference between cannabis-exposed children and non-exposed controls. After delivery, the children were evaluated for cognitive and behavioural performance and overall health status.

Jessie Gill, a registered nurse and Founder of Marijuana Mommy, says cannabis doesn’t adversely affect fetuses. Research has shown that cannabinoids, like THC, cross into the placenta, entering the fetal bloodstream. Still, Gill says, “We don’t know if this exposure is harmful”. A study conducted in the early ’90s showed that cannabis might be beneficial during pregnancy.

Why would you use cannabis during pregnancy?

The most common reason women use cannabis during pregnancy is to help them deal with the nausea of morning sickness. Inhaled cannabis can provide nausea relief almost instantly. The pharmaceutical drugs pregnant women are prescribed for morning sickness can also have potential adverse side effects on the fetus so cannabis may be a safer alternative. Gill also points out that some women use cannabis during pregnancy to avoid taking other prescription medications that could harm the baby, like opiates or benzos like Klonopin for anxiety.

“There are risks to everything we do,” says Gill. “Like all possible risks – caffeine, sushi, hair dye, etc. – every individual needs to do a personal cost/benefit analysis to see if it’s right for them.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics warns mothers against smoking weed while pregnant because it could “place the fetus at risk.” Some studies have shown adverse effects of mothers using cannabis while pregnant. While none are conclusive, let’s take a look so you can weigh the risks for yourself.

A 2012 study in Australia found that babies born to mothers who used cannabis were 375 grams lighter than new mothers who abstained. The same study concluded that women who smoke weed while pregnant also risk preterm birth. A 2015 review looked at past research on cannabis use during pregnancy. It found that cannabis could be linked to neurodevelopment issues in children like hyperactivity and poor cognitive function. However, this research is inconclusive, and more studies are needed before we can draw definitive conclusions.

At the same time, other studies have found no apparent adverse effects, dating back for decades, like this 1982 study that followed 756 women throughout their pregnancy. Of that group, 34% were marijuana users. The study found no developmental differences in infants of mothers who consumed marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Some hospitals have different rules regarding drug testing for new and expecting mothers and report results to CPS. Suppose you plan to use cannabis during pregnancy. In that case, reviewing your hospital and healthcare providers’ policies is in your best interest.

How about using CBD for pregnancy?

Combining CBD and pregnancy is a popular yet controversial topic. Many people want to know if CBD is safe to manage nausea, morning sickness, pain, and pregnancy-related migraines. As it turns out, weed is the most popular “illicit” substance used by expecting mothers. Because of the crucial role the ECS plays in fetal development, neural development, and the survival of the newborn, there is a risk of adding phytocannabinoids, like THC or CBD, to the developing brain’s endocannabinoids. However, the truth is that mothers have been using cannabis during pregnancy for decades, and most have reported that their children are unaffected.

Suppose you’re seriously considering CBD to help with the side effects of your pregnancy. In that case, we have a few pieces of advice to ensure you’re getting the safest and highest quality CBD:

  • Buy organic and non-GMO CBD: Hemp plants naturally absorb toxins from the soil, so you need to check your hemp CBD products are grown organically, without pesticides or other chemicals.
  • Make sure a third-party lab has tested the CBD.
  • Avoid THC
  • Avoid smoking: Look for edibles, sublingual or topical CBD products.
  • Vaping CBD could also be an option.
  • Avoid CBD tinctures extracted with ethanol or other alcohols.
  • Microdose and only use as needed.

Read more

New Study Has Surprising Results About Cannabis Use During Pregnancy 

CBD and Pregnancy: Is It Safe For Pregnant Women to Use CBD Oil?

This Is What You Should Know About Smoking Weed During Pregnancy

Medical Students Demand More Studies On Cannabis & Pregnancy

Should pregnant women use marijuana to treat their symptoms?

It’s essential to look at all the research and findings and make the best decision for you and your family.

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