Cannabis and Pregnancy
Some expecting mothers go through hell because of nausea and even thinking about food turns their stomachs. Add to that the constant worry about delivery and the subsequent diaper changes and late night feedings – all these can result in pre-baby jitters. If you are pregnant, you may be willing to try just about anything to get rid of all these issues. You may have heard that smoking pot can provide relief and some states have accepted it as legal.
However, is it really safe to light up a joint while you are pregnant? For some people, it does help with morning sickness and can even alleviate anxiety. However, others warn that it is dangerous as it could potentially harm the baby.
What Scientific Research Says
The answer to the question as to whether or not cannabis is safe for pregnant women is still a mystery. There are studies involving the use of weed when expecting but they are still limited. It is quite common to find some midwives who actually recommend the use of marijuana to treat morning sickness. Weed is also known for decreasing anxiety, which many expectant mothers experience.
Some midwives say it is fine to use cannabis provided that it is only on certain occasions. After all, the growing baby needs healthy food and mothers should stay stress-free to avoid problems with the health of the baby.
Unfortunately, the active ingredient in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC has the ability to change different kinds of processes in the body. These processes include heart rate and the way the brain functions. Some experts think that there is a good reason to believe THC can also affect the baby.
Therefore, when a pregnant woman ingests or smokes marijuana, it will reach the placenta and will bring THC and its effects along with it. As a result, THC would enter the bloodstream of the fetus. Essentially, the mother is sharing the drug with her baby.
Limitations of Research
Pregnant women’s marijuana use has been studied since the 60s. Like every other study, there are some weaknesses in the research performed. For instance, the women who were a part of the studies may no longer remember the exact dose of marijuana use as well as the adverse effects. Some of these women participated long after they gave birth and may not have paid attention to their marijuana consumption.
Additionally, asking these women to provide information about their drug use may have caused them to hide some truths in the answers to the weed-related questions presented to them. Fear of disclosing such sensitive information can stop them from giving accurate answers, especially when it came to the frequency of drug use.
Still, reports related to marijuana and pregnant humans and animals showed that there is no strong evidence that smoking weed can cause congenital disabilities. In fact, one large study consisting of almost 13,000 interviews of women after delivery discovered that there is no statistical association between birth defects and smoking marijuana.
More research is still needed to confirm whether or not cannabis is harmful to the growing baby. Additionally, there should also be more studies concerning the different effects of cannabinoids, including THC.