Does Smoking Weed Affect Pregnancy

Will Using Marijuana Affect Our Chances Of Getting Pregnant

What Effect Does Cannabis Use Have During Pregnancy?

It may. Some studies have shown that using marijuana repeatedly is associated with significantly lower concentrations of reproductive hormones in both men and women.

Lower concentrations of the hormone testosterone may result in decreased sperm counts in men. And lower dehydroepiandrosterone may affect egg production in women.

In addition, THC makes its way into the reproductive tract of women using marijuana and reduces sperm mobility, decreasing the chances of fertilization.

Perhaps the best reason to give up drugs now is that it’s not safe to use pot during pregnancy.

Some studies suggest that using marijuana regularly during pregnancy puts your baby at higher risk for premature birth and low birth weight. And because smoking weed increases carbon monoxide levels in the bloodstream, the baby gets less oxygen, which may affect his growth.

Other studies show that children exposed to marijuana in their mothers’ wombs have different brain activity and more disturbed sleeping patterns as toddlers. They may also eventually suffer from depression or have behavior problems, such as impulsiveness and attention deficits. And some studies point to a link between prenatal marijuana exposure and lower school test scores.

If you use pot, I suggest waiting a month or so after your last hit before trying to conceive since it takes that long to get all traces of the drug out of your system.

How Marijuana Can Affect Fertility

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Although the link between marijuana and fertility is not straightforwardplenty of marijuana smokers get pregnant and get their partners pregnantsome research has demonstrated that marijuana use can negatively impact you, your partner, or the fertility of both of you.

Smoking Marijuana While Pregnant: Will They Take My Baby Away If I Test Positive

Pregnant women taking marijuana can have serious consequences . I cant believe I have to write this post, but were seeing it more and more and somehow moms are shocked and surprised by the consequences.

How do I all all of this? Hi, Im Hilary many people know me as The Pregnancy Nurse. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind this website Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. Please note that this post is written from my own experience in working in two states and also interviews with other nurses around the country. This seems to be the standard of care for women in both states where it is legal and not legal, however guidance is constantly changing.

I know a lot of you dont like this information . I really am just here to tell you what will happen and remind you that honesty is TRULY the best policy.

If youre looking for more information about your third trimester and other testing they might do grab my free birth prep pack.

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Whats The Prevalence Of Weed Use In Pregnancy

Weed is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy. Studies have tried to estimate the exact number of pregnant women who use weed, but results vary.

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , 2 to 5 percent of women use weed during pregnancy. This number goes up for certain groups of women. For example, young, urban, and socioeconomically disadvantaged women report higher rates of use that reach up to 28 percent.

Chain Reaction: What Happens If You Smoke Weed While Pregnant

How Marijuana Exposure Affects Developing Babies Brains

Before concluding whether it is ideal to smoke marijuana while pregnant because only tobacco is deemed dangerous, ask yourself, does smoking weed affect pregnancy? It is a bit difficult to determine the exact impact marijuana has on the body while pregnant. However, medically, marijuana is rarely prescribed to pregnant women to cure nausea, pain and muscle cramps but no controls or regulations for this kind of solution so this option might be discussed as an alternative with a doctor. Tetrahydrocannabinol , the substance most responsible for the psychoactive effects, has been shown to cross the placenta, transports to the brain of the fetus

Before concluding whether it is ideal to smoke marijuana while pregnant because only tobacco is deemed dangerous, ask yourself, does smoking weed affect pregnancy? It is a bit difficult to determine the exact impact marijuana has on the body while pregnant. However, medically, marijuana is rarely prescribed to pregnant women to cure nausea, pain and muscle cramps but no controls or regulations for this kind of solution so this option might be discussed as an alternative with a doctor. Tetrahydrocannabinol , the substance most responsible for the psychoactive effects, has been shown to cross the placenta, transports to the brain of the fetus

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How Marijuana Affects Infant Physical Development

  • Overall birth weight tends to be decreased if a baby is exposed to marijuana during pregnancy.
  • Higher risk of leukemia One study found that children may be at a greater risk of developing leukemia if their mothers smoked while they were in the womb.
  • Lack of physical activity Past research has shown that mothers who smoked marijuana during pregnancy tend to have less active children.
  • Reduced length The length of your baby may be reduced.
  • Smaller head circumference Babies end up being born with smaller average head circumferences.

Does Smoking Marijuana Affect A Babys Development

According to the opinions of several experts, a babys can be influenced by THC.Babies who are born to moms who used marijuana when they were pregnant do not display any major withdrawal symptoms.On the other hand, you could notice some additional shifts.

Research is still being done, however there is a possibility that a child whose mother smoked marijuana when she was pregnant could have issues as they become older.

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Is There A Genetic Susceptibility To The Effects Of Cannabis

The effect of phytocannabinoids on mature neuronal cells is complex. Both neurotoxic and neuroprotective effects have been described depending on the cannabinoid, the cell type and the stage of cell differentiation. There is evidence that individual susceptibility to cannabis, at least in the adolescent onset user, may be substantially influenced by heredity. Adolescent catechol-O-methyltransferase knock-out mice, as compared with wild type, are more vulnerable to cannabinoid-induced modification of expression of schizophrenia-related behaviours. In humans, neuroimaging studies demonstrate that chronic consumption of cannabis beginning before the age of 16 years is associated with alterations in the volume of the caudate nucleus and amygdala in users with specific COMT gene polymorphisms that produce increased copies of the val allele. The presence of the COMT gene polymorphism val158met and the SLC6A4 gene 5-HTTLPR polymorphism in young adult cannabis users, on the other hand, has a moderating effect of decreased performance on executive functioning. Whether genetic susceptibility influences the long-term neuropsychiatric and cognitive outcomes of gestational cannabis-exposed children has not been explored but could lead to individual direction of early intervention and supportive services to ameliorate possible undesirable outcomes.

What Are The Risks Of Marijuana Use During Pregnancy

Marijuana use can affect fertility in men and women, doctors warn

There are not as many studies out there as I would like on the effects of smoking marijuana during pregnancy, Dr. Richardson, who is also the medical director of our Healthy Beginnings program, said.

However, she said, there are a few things we do know:

  • Some studies show that if you use marijuana in any form during pregnancy, your child could have trouble with learning, memory, attention and behavior later in life.
  • Smoking during pregnancy, whether its marijuana or tobacco, can cause premature birth.

The bottom line is there are too many unknowns to consider marijuana use during pregnancy safe.

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Alternatives To Use Of Marijuana During Pregnancy

A lot of women take Marijuana during their pregnancy because of nausea.

Id encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider about other options. A lot of people take this with this

Essential oils can also help some during pregnancy. You can learn about essential oils in pregnancy here.

For nausea specifically, they recommend

However, Id still check with your provider to see what they think will be right for YOU.

When Can I Resume Smoking Weed

In most cases, you can start smoking weed again after you deliver your baby. Since cannabinoids pass easily through the placenta in amounts that are unsafe for your baby, once you get pregnant, it is important to continue abstaining until you give birth. “Exposure to cannabinoids can impact how babyâs neurotransmitters mature and function,” says Dr. Chen.

THC also makes it into breast milk, so it is not currently recommended to smoke weed while breastfeeding. More research is needed to say for sure whether there is any safe amount of cannabis use while breastfeeding. Until we know more, it is best to refrain completely until your baby is fully weaned. “You don’t want to risk the possibility of affecting the baby’s development,” says Dr. June.

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Brain Development And Mental Health Problems During Childhood

There’s increasing evidence that weed exposure may disrupt normal brain development of a fetus. Impulse control and hyperactivity as well as challenges with visual and spatial reasoning have been linked to exposure to weed in the womb.

Your child’s long-term mental health is at risk, too. Research shows that babies whose parents used weed while pregnant are more likely than others to be anxious and aggressive between ages 3 and 6.

How Long Does The Thc Remain In The Breast Milk


How long does marijuana stay in breast milk and is detectable varies from person to person. According to FDA, THC can remain for about 6 days in the blood.

A study published by the journal Obstetricians and Gynecology reports the analysis of the mothers who use marijuana while breastfeeding. The starling stats show that the infants receive about 2.5% of the maternal marijuana dose equivalent to about 8 micrograms of THC per body weight per day.

The exact period for which the THC stays in the breast milk is not known because the THC is stored in the body fat and is released over time into breast milk. Therefore, the applications of pumping and dumping is not valid for the THC.

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Is It Safe To Smoke Weed While Trying To Conceive

It is best to refrain from smoking weed while trying to get pregnant. A study from Oxford University found that women using cannabis were 40% less likely than non-users to become pregnant. It was also found to impact different levels of reproductive hormones tied to ovulation. In animal studies, cannabis has been shown to impact the uterine lining, decreasing the likelihood of an embryo implanting in the uterine wall.

More research is needed on how cannabis affects conception, but from what we know so far, it’s best to avoid it. “The current body of data would highly discourage cannabis consumption while trying to conceive,” notes Jeff Chen, MD, MBA, a medical doctor and the founder of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative.

Ways Smoking Weed Can Affect Getting Pregnant

There are a couple of studies and articles that show the various ways that smoking weed can affect getting pregnant. Some key ways marijuana can affect getting pregnant are lowering sperm count and delaying ovulation. As a disclaimer, there are not many studies surrounding weed and fertility and the studies are small. In addition to that, there could be other reasons why the participants were having lower sperm count or delayed ovulation other than weed. However, its important to explore the possible correlation between the two.

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How Marijuana Exposure Affects Developing Babies Brains

As states have begun to legalize marijuana, its use has been more openly discussed. While the effects of other commonly used drugs, such as alcohol, have been studied extensively, the effects of marijuana especially on developing babies during pregnancy have been much less studied and less widely publicized. This relative silence from the scientific community has affected the publics opinion on the safety of marijuana: 70 percent of U.S. women think there is slight or no risk of harm to the baby from using marijuana during pregnancy. Expectant mothers may use marijuana rather than prescription drugs during pregnancy to relieve pain because they feel natural or home remedies are a safer option than prescription drugs. However, just because something is natural doesnt mean it is any safer or a better alternative to well-studied prescription drugs. This seems to be the case for marijuana. Given that marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy, understanding its risks and impacts on the developing fetus is important.

Its important to note that some behavioral outcomes may not be completely related to fetal marijuana exposure. Children of marijuana users may have grown up in a different social environment with more lax views on drugs, contributing to their increased drug use.

As marijuana continues to be legalized, we should expect to see more studies on its health effects and safety.

Is Medical Marijuana Safe For Pregnant Mothers

Will smoking marijuana affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant?

Medical marijuana is not regulated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration nor is it recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Talk to your prenatal care provider about safer options if you are pregnant and are considering smoking marijuana to help morning sickness or if you use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes.

Any marijuana use can affect your ability to think clearly, stay alert, make good decisions and respond to the needs of your baby. Marijuana use includes:

  • Smoking marijuana, including dabs
  • Eating or smoking wax or hash
  • Any other methods, including creams or lotions

Using marijuana can alter your judgment and put you at a higher risk for dizziness, putting you at risk of injury and falls, which can be harmful for the mother and baby.

Other health risks of smoking marijuana include:

  • Damage to your lungs
  • Lowered level of oxygen in your body, which increases the risk of breathing problems
  • Increase in anemia

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Admission In An Intensive Care Setting After Birth Due To Respiratory Difficulty

Most babies require admission in an intensive care setting due to low birth weight, smaller size of the head circumference, hypothermia or respiratory difficulties. The risk is even higher in babies who are born to mothers with a history of multiple drug abuse, nicotine smoking during pregnancy and infectious diseases. Unfortunately, prenatal exposure to marijuana may lead to chronic health issues and psychological disorders in the offspring. Study published in the peer reviewed journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology concluded:Offspring of heavier marijuana users were significantly more likely to report delinquent behavior at age 14. Healthcare providers recommend that expecting mothers should take extra caution to maintain a healthy pregnancy by avoiding direct or indirect exposure irritants and pollutants that may interferes with the fetal growth.


  • Gray, T. R., Eiden, R. D., Leonard, K. E., Connors, G. J., Shisler, S., & Huestis, M. A. . Identifying prenatal cannabis exposure and effects of concurrent tobacco exposure on neonatal growth. Clinical chemistry, 56, 1442-1450.
  • Hayatbakhsh, M. R., Flenady, V. J., Gibbons, K. S., Kingsbury, A. M., Hurrion, E., Mamun, A. A., & Najman, J. M. . Birth outcomes associated with cannabis use before and during pregnancy. Pediatric research, 71, 215-219.
  • Delay Or Inhibit Ovulation

    Ovulation is paramount for traditional pregnancy. Unfortunately, a study found that weed may delay or inhibit ovulation completely. This specific study, conducted in 2007, examined 201 women. The study found, Occasional marijuana users had a longer follicular phase than nonusers . The follicular phase in frequent users was almost 2 days longer than that of nonusers.

    You may be wondering about the significance of late ovulation. Well, according to Flo, late ovulation decreases the chance of pregnancy.

    In addition to that, 43% of the women in the study had inhibited ovulation. THC can interfere with estrogen production and therefore inhibit ovulation. Dr. Felice Gersh, an OB-GYN told Healthline, High amounts of THC can decrease the production of estrogen and without the high estrogen spike, ovulation will not occur,

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    How Smoking Weed Affects Female Fertility

    Much as cannabinoid receptors were found in sperm cells, they are present in the female ovaries, the uterine endometrium, and even the developing embryo. High levels of anandamide are necessary for successful ovulation, so it would seem at first glance that smoking weed would increase your chances of ovulation. Right?

    Well, unfortunately, lower levels are advantageous for the binding of a fertilized egg to the uterine lining. The endocannabinoid system is incredibly fickle throughout the fertilization process. Tweaking the natural presence of anandamide can result in a great deal of pregnancy failure and female infertility.

    Interestingly enough, the average time to conception was significantly shorter for women who had used marijuana regularly. Perhaps those females were having more sex due to the aphrodisiac effects of cannabis and, thereby, increased their chances of success?

    Health Effects Of Smoking And Secondhand Smoke On Babies

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    • Mothers who smoke are more likely to deliver their babies early. Preterm delivery is a leading cause of death, disability, and disease among newborns.1,2
    • One in every five babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy has low birth weight. Mothers who are exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant are more likely to have lower birth weight babies. Babies born too small or too early are not as healthy.1,2,3
    • Both babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant and babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome than babies who are not exposed to cigarette smoke.1,2,3 Babies whose mothers smoke are about three times more likely to die from SIDS.1
    • Babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant or who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth have weaker lungs than other babies, which increases the risk for many health problems.1,2,3
    • Smoking reduces a womans chances of getting pregnant.1,2
    • Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk for pregnancy complications.1,2
    • Tobacco smoke harms babies before and after they are born.1,3

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