Does Smoking Weed While Pregnant Affect The Baby

Is There A Genetic Susceptibility To The Effects Of Cannabis

Discover What Can Happen When You Smoke While Pregnant

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.

Smoking Pot While Pregnant Represents A Danger To Your Unborn Child Please Avoid It

Now we can answer the question. No, it is not safe to smoke marijuana/weed/pot while pregnant.

Despite this, many women do. About 1 in 20 women in the United States reports using marijuana while pregnant. You might think, Ill switch to vaping, that eliminates the smoke. True! Unfortunately, this still introduces THC to the baby through your bloodstream.

We know its hard to give up a habitespecially if you think it helps your health . When pregnant however, youre making decisions for two. Marijuana use is one habit we recommend you do give up. For your babys sake, if nothing else. It represents a risk to your babybut its one you can control.

Now, its not as dangerous as a substance like meth. Thats horrible for you and our baby! The two are miles apart. Nevertheless, marijuana can still endanger an unborn, highly vulnerable baby.

Other, safer options do exist to help with morning sickness and pain. Ask your gynecologist for their recommendations.

Talk To Your Provider If You Need Help To Quit Using Marijuana Or Any Other Street Drug

What is marijuana?

Marijuana is a drug that comes from the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is the most commonly used street drug during pregnancy.

Using marijuana during pregnancy may cause problems for your baby before and after birth.

What is medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana is sometimes used to treat certain health conditions, like cancer or severe pain. In many states, medical marijuana is legal to use with a recommendation from your health care provider. It can be smoked, vaped or eaten. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved marijuana as a safe and effective medicine for any health condition.

In some states, marijuana is legal for personal use thats not for medical reasons.

Even if its legal where you live for either personal or medical use, no amount of marijuana is safe to use marijuana during pregnancy, even to treat morning sickness. There is also no safe way to use marijuana. If youre thinking of using marijuana to help with morning sickness, talk to your provider about other treatments that are less harmful to your baby.

Is it harmful to use marijuana before pregnancy?

Yes. Before pregnancy, using marijuana can affect your fertility and make it hard for you to get pregnant. Marijuana can affect:

Can using marijuana during pregnancy cause problems for your baby?

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Final Verdict To Smoking Weed While Pregnant

An active smoker that is planning to get pregnant , is advised to speak with a medical expert for more advice and guidance. More side effects, benefits, and implications of smoking weed during pregnancy will be exposed, so one can decide whether it is bad or not. Doctors also guide women through each pregnancy stage monitoring when its better to continue or discontinue smoking weed. In the end, the choice is optionable to make in the best interest of a woman and a baby.

The effect of smoking weed during pregnancy is more fatal for a baby. There is a higher influx of carbon monoxide, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide which will also be transferred to the fetus. The damage could be more severe as the chemicals could easily cross the placenta, may impact the development of a baby. Some of the effects which smoking pot during pregnancy can cause are:

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

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So How Do You Treat Morning Sickness

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Nausea in pregnancy is usually temporary and gets better in the second trimester for most people, Dr. Richardson said. But there are some natural remedies that can help reduce your discomfort.

Here are a few home remedies that can help with morning sickness:

  • Ginger Anything with ginger can help you feel better naturally. I tell my patients to give ginger ale, ginger tea and ginger candies a try.
  • Wristbands Some people find that wearing a wristband that presses on a specific pressure point helps relieve nausea and motion sickness.
  • Medication For some people, the nausea and vomiting can be more severe and they may need medication treatment. Over-the-counter options are vitamin B6 and doxylamine. And if there are issues with dehydration or severe nausea, there are many prescription medications your doctor or midwife can talk to you about.
  • The B.R.A.T. diet Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast have more mellow flavors and are easy to digest.

Dont be shy about talking with your doctor or clinician about how youre feeling. If you regularly use marijuana and want to quit, they can help you find support systems. And if you are thinking about getting pregnant, now is a good time to quit. Marijuana stays in your system for a month or sometimes longer.

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How Does Marijuana Impact A Developing Baby

What you eat, smoke and drink during pregnancy and after birth passes to your baby through your placenta and breastmilk. The chemical THC, found in marijuana, also crosses the placenta from the mother to the babyâs bloodstream. The drug exerts its effects by stimulating so-called cannabinoid receptors. And fetal cannabinoid receptors start to develop in the first trimester.

Should I Tell My Doctor I’m Using Marijuana While Pregnant

It depends. It’s a good idea to seek help from a trusted provider as early as possible to protect your health and the health of your baby. ACOG encourages doctors to be understanding and offer help to pregnant women who use marijuana or other drugs. In most cases, healthcare providers will offer advice and resources to help you quit and find alternative treatments for any ailments you’re using marijuana for.

But providers in some states may be required to report you to child welfare authorities if they suspect you of prenatal drug use. So you’ll want to be familiar with your state’s policies on substance abuse during pregnancy. If you live in a state with mandatory reporting, you might want to seek help from someone who isn’t a healthcare provider.

If you reach out to your provider and feel judged or unsupported about marijuana use during pregnancy, find someone more helpful and sympathetic.

For confidential and anonymous help, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers:

Even in states where marijuana is legal for medical and/or adult use, using pot while pregnant can get you in trouble. In Colorado, for example, where marijuana is sold legally, hospitals may notify child protective services if your baby tests positive for THC at birth.

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Can Using Marijuana During Pregnancy Cause Problems For Your Baby

Yes. When you use marijuana during pregnancy, THC and other chemicals can pass through the placenta to your baby. The placenta grows in your uterus and supplies your baby with food and oxygen through the umbilical cord. Chemicals from marijuana also may pass to your babys brain.

Researchers are continuing to study the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy. Women who use marijuana may smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or use other street drugs, making it hard to know exactly how marijuana affects pregnancy. Some studies suggest that if you use marijuana during pregnancy, your baby may have problems, including:

If you use marijuana during pregnancy, your baby can have problems after birth and may need to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit . A NICU is the nursey in a hospital where sick newborns get care. These problems include:

  • Withdrawal symptoms, like tremors , seizures, vomiting, slow weight gain or long periods of crying after birth. These symptoms usually go away within the first two weeks after birth.
  • Problems with sleeping.
  • Problems with behavior, memory, learning, problem-solving, depression and paying attention.

Can Pregnant Women Smoke Marijuana

This is what smoking does to an unborn baby

Pregnant women should not smoke marijuana. There are many different risks when marijuana is used during pregnancy, even when it is used in ways other than smoking. The chemicals in marijuana, especially tetrahydrocannabinol , can have negative impacts on the health of a mother and the child she is carrying.

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Why Marijuana Bump Science Is So Shaky

There are a few reasons why the research base on marijuana in pregnancy is so limited and inconclusive. Again, most of the evidence we have on weeds health impact on the fetus comes from research on smoking and there are many different ways people ingest cannabis nowadays, through edibles, oils, and vape devices to name just a few.

The THC content in weed has also shot up dramatically, which means it may be riskier to use while pregnant. So, as Young-Wolff of Kaiser told me, A lot of the research that has been done is quite old and doesnt reflect the current marijuana landscape or the THC levels in todays products.

The studies out there also tend to be small, without enough statistical power to accurately detect relationships they often rely on self-reported data, which is flawed when it comes to substance use. A lot of the research also didnt control for confounding factors or all the non-weed variables that may bias the results of studies.

Pregnant marijuana users often use other drugs in pregnancy, Young-Wolff explained, and prior studies havent been able to differentiate which effects are due to marijuana or other drugs they may be using.

Finally, the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance the same legal and regulatory league as heroin and that means researchers need to jump through all kinds of hoops to run studies.

*These names have been changed to protect the identity of the women.

How Does Marijuana Affect Pregnancy

If youre pregnant and use marijuana, it has effects on your baby. The chemicals in marijuana pass through the placenta to the baby during pregnancy. These can lead to complications in the pregnancy. They can also put these babies at risk for longer-term problems.

Research on this area is limited. Most of what we know is from self-reported data and retrospective studies. We dont have details yet on:

  • How much marijuana is harmful

  • When use is most risky

  • What types of marijuana formulations might be more dangerous than others

But what we do know so far is concerning and pregnant people should be advised to avoid it.

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Is It Safe To Use Weed During Pregnancy

Weed use during pregnancy isnt one of those gray areas in pregnancy where it should be mostly avoided, or where there are safer ways to do it. There arent smaller dosages that are considered acceptable either, and there are no known benefits that outweigh the risks of smoking.

The hard truth is that you really must refrain from smoking weed or using cannabis products throughout your entire pregnancy to protect your baby from health concerns, including stillbirth, prematurity, and brain development problems.

All major health organizations are in consensus about this, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Academy of American Pediatrics . As ACOG explains it, weed use during pregnancy is a problem, whether smoked or ingested, because the chemicals found in weed have been found to reach both the fetus and placenta.

Dr. Jordan Tishler, an emergency room physician, president of the Association of Cannabis Specialists, and CEO of InhaleMD, agrees that smoking weed during pregnancy is something all pregnant parents need to avoid, without exceptions. If you are planning to become pregnant in the future and are a regular weed smoker, you should plan to stop prior to attempting to conceive.

I recommend that women who are using cannabis for medical purposes stop using it 3 months prior to trying to conceive or immediately upon learning that they are pregnant , says Dr. Tishler.

Neurobiological And Behavioral Alterations

The Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking: A Deadly Habit

In the brain, CB1r is the main target of THC and is widely expressed through many areas of the brain during development and in the adulthood. The endocannabinoid system participates in the regulation of many brain functions including neuronal proliferation, migration, morphogenesis, and synaptogenesis, as well as in regulating the mechanisms underlying several neurological and psychiatric disorders. Consequently, it is crucial to understand the long-term effects of cannabinoid exposure at this critical stage of early brain development. Current animal studies have proved important behavioral and neurochemical alterations in several brain regions of the offspring exposed to cannabis during gestation at doses considered to be equivalent to current estimates of moderate human consumption. However, the long-lasting effects of gestational cannabinoids exposure on the adult brain of the offspring are still controversial due to the low number of studies available and the use of heterogeneous designs among studies.

Figure 3. Main preclinical findings from perinatal cannabis exposure in rodent animal models on neurobiological and behavioral alterations in the litter. PENK, proenkephalin.

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At Which Stage Of Pregnancy Can Smoking Weed Affect A Baby

Smoking weed can negatively affect a baby at any stage during pregnancy. While its true that smoking earlier during pregnancy is less likely to cause any damage, every stage of pregnancy is just as vital as every other.

During the first trimester, smoking weed can affect the way your babys DNA directs its body to form. Once youve reached the second trimester, using THC can result in your baby developing emotional issues later in life, and if youre foolish enough to smoke weed during the third trimester, your baby could experience THC withdrawals after birth.

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Are There Benefits To Using Marijuana While Pregnant

Theres no evidence that using marijuana during pregnancy has any benefits, and experts agree that the risks of using pot during pregnancy far outweigh any potential upsides.

Some women say that weed helps relieve pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, but theres no research to confirm this. Because of the dangers associated with marijuana use, experts recommend trying safer remedies for morning sickness. If nondrug options dont work, talk to your healthcare provider about anti-nausea medications you can take while pregnant.

Anecdotally, some pregnant women report using weed to relieve other pregnancy symptoms such as achiness and loss of appetite. Again, the risks outweigh any potential benefits, and there are no studies that support this.

Medical marijuana generally contains higher CBD content and lower THC content. The use of CBD in pregnancy hasnt been studied well, so its unknown if medical marijuana poses less risk to a baby than recreational marijuana. If you use medical marijuana, talk with your healthcare provider about other treatments that are safer to use during pregnancy.

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Risks To Pregnant Women

While some women use marijuana to treat morning sickness and some of the other conditions that arise during pregnancy, evidence shows that cannabis may create or exacerbate other issues in a way that could create further discomfort or even dangerous health problems.

A 2015 study published by the British Medical Journal found that pregnant women who are already at a higher risk of anemia have an increased risk of anemia if they use marijuana before or during pregnancy. The same study found that cannabis use increased the risk of miscarriage.

Another potential problem created by marijuana use during pregnancy is the risk of fainting and dizziness. This can be caused by an increased heart rate and drop in blood pressure two common side effects of tetrahydrocannabinol . In addition to all of these things, impaired memory and coordination can add to the brain fog that may women experience while pregnant.

Are Edibles And Vaping Safer During Pregnancy

Smoking during pregnancy

Many women try to mitigate harm by changing how they use weed and cutting back on how much they consume. Pollock, for instance, smoked less than she did before she was pregnantone joint would last her a few daysand tried a vape but went back to smoking because it didnt have the same effect. Vaping reduces exposure to the byproducts of combustion and the carcinogens in marijuana smoke but, like with smoking, the THC still transfers almost immediately into the bloodstream. Edibles, tinctures and lotions dont have the harmful effects of smoking, and they lead to lower levels of THC in the mothers blood. Still, no method of deliveryvaping, smoking or ingestinghas been proven to be safe. No matter what way its ingested, the active ingredients in cannabis are still getting into moms bloodstream and still being passed on to the fetus, Cook says.

Studies have shown that the more cannabis a woman consumes, the greater the risk to her baby, but we dont know how much is absolutely safe and we dont know how much is absolutely harmful, Cook says, adding that we probably never will, since four decades of research into alcohol use during pregnancy have yet to determine a safe limit. Pot is also getting more potent. A study of more than 38,000 samples found that THC levels tripled in two decades, from four percent in 1995 to 12 percent in 2014.

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