Is Smoking Weed Bad While You Re Pregnant

Why Marijuana Bump Science Is So Shaky

Smoking pot while pregnant: A bad idea

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.

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What Are The Risks Of Smoking Marijuana While Pregnant

Studies have shown that daily or weekly marijuana use may make your pregnancy more high-risk.

Research has found that babies born to moms who use pot are more likely to end up in the NICU compared to other babies, be underweight at birth, be born prematurely , and/or have smaller heads at birth. It can also increase the risk of stillbirth.

Using pot can also alter your judgment and make you dizzy, adding to the faintness some pregnant women experience and to the risk of injury or falls.

A number of studies have also suggested that the health risks of smoking marijuana during pregnancy may extend to the fetus’ brain. One group of researchers found that the area of the brain controlling emotion, called the amygdala, showed abnormal function in male fetuses whose mothers smoked pot during pregnancy.

And because marijuana can affect memory and cognitive ability in adults, researchers believe it might have a similar impact on a developing baby-to-be. Marijuana is known to have an impact on a fetus’ brain neurotransmitters and biochemistry, as well as the intake of oxygen, and it can alter fetal heart rate.

Because marijuana can stay in the system for a prolonged period of time, a baby’s exposure to it in utero might be longer than the mother realizes.

When Do I Need To Stop Smoking Weed While Pregnant

I recommend that women who are taking cannabis for medicinal purposes cease using it three months before to trying to conceive or immediately upon finding that they are pregnant, says Dr. Tishler. This recommendation is based on the assumption that the woman intends to take the pregnancy to term.

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What About Marijuana Use While Breastfeeding

If youre breastfeeding, youre advised to not use marijuana. Studies suggest that marijuana use while breastfeeding could lead to delays in motor development at age 1. And while studies are limited in this area, researchers suspect marijuana exposure in breastfed babies could impact brain development.

Secondhand Smoke Harms Your Baby


If your partner or anyone else who lives with you smokes, their smoke can affect you and your baby before and after their birth. You may also find it more difficult to stop if someone around you smokes.

Secondhand smoke can also reduce your babys birthweight and increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome , also known as cot death. Babies whose parents smoke are more likely to be admitted to hospital for bronchitis and pneumonia during their first year.

To find out more about quitting and to get support, your partner can call the NHS Smokefree helpline on from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 11am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.

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Is Smoking Marijuana During Pregnancy Safer Than Drinking While Pregnant

Of course, none of these substances are great for babies. We’ve established the risks of smoking weed while pregnant, and it’s common knowledge that smoking tobacco during pregnancy can lead to premature birth and low birth weights. That said, due to the long-term neurological and physiological damage that alcohol can do to the nervous system of a developing fetus, some medical professionals believe smoking is the “better “bad habit to have while pregnant.

The Daily Mail quoted one such professional, pediatrician Dr. Neil Aiton of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust. He said, “If it is a choice between , then ‘don’t drink’ would be my recommendation.”

Can Smoking Weed Cause Lung Cancer

Cannabis contains the following carcinogenic compounds:

Each of the carcinogens listed above is found in cannabis smoke at higher rates than in tobacco smoke. Benzoprene and Benzanthracene are particularly alarming. The rate of benzoprene found in cannabis smoke is 50% more than that found in tobacco smoke. The rate of benzanthracene is 75% more than that found in tobacco smoke.

In addition, cannabis smokers tend to smoke weed by taking long slow steady deep inhalations that are held longer than tobacco smoke leading consumers to deposit an average of four times the amount of tar than they would expose themselves to from tobacco smoke.

This leads many researchers to believe that the answer to the question Can you get lung cancer from smoking weed is Yes.

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Smoking Risks For Your Baby

Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that can harm babies before and after birth. Nicotine and carbon monoxide two of the most dangerous compounds in cigarette smoke work together to reduce your babys supply of oxygen.

Nicotine chokes off oxygen by narrowing blood vessels throughout your body, including the ones in the umbilical cord. Its a little like forcing your baby to breathe through a narrow straw. To make matters worse, the red blood cells that carry oxygen start to pick up molecules of carbon monoxide instead.

Smoking during pregnancy increases your babys risk of:

Pregnant Smokers Vs All Adultsmokers

Smoking during pregnancy

The CDC data showed wide state-by-statevariation in reported rates of smoking during pregnancy. West Virginia was thehighest at 25.1 percent, and California was the lowest at 1.6 percent. Itsinteresting to compare these with data for all adults who smoke because thereare some inconsistencies.

In West Virginia, the rates both of pregnantwomen and all adults who smoke are high. However, in Louisiana, the rate ofsmoking during pregnancy is less than 7 percent, and the adult smokingrate is almost 23 percent. It makes me curious whetherdoctors in Louisiana have strong programs to help women quit or whether thereis a severe stigma against smoking during pregnancy that has led to extremeunderreporting.

Sometimes health questions that lead toanswers that are considered unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking duringpregnancy, result in a bias of underreporting. Women might be embarrassed totell their doctors if they smoke or fear repercussions for telling the truth.Its vital to understand that the doctor is not there to judge you or get youin trouble.

Were here to help women have the healthiestpregnancies possible in their unique situations. In our clinic at UTSouthwestern, we talk to all pregnant patients about smoking. And if ourpatients do smoke, we discuss the risks to help them make the best choices forthemselves and their babies.

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What Are The Risks Of Smoking While Breastfeeding

If you smoke while breastfeeding you risk:

  • lowering your supply of breast milk
  • your baby being exposed to nicotine through your breast milk
  • burning your baby with hot ash
  • affecting your babys development

If you do smoke while breastfeeding, then it is better to wait until after you have fed your baby rather than before or during a feed. This will minimise your babys exposure to nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco smoke.

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When Can I Resume Smoking Weed

If you smoked weed prior to pregnancy, you may be able to resume after the baby is born. But, you should talk to a healthcare provider to determine what is best given your specific situation.

For instance, as Dr. Tishler explains, if you are breastfeeding, its best to avoid smoking weed. Cannabinoids do get concentrated in breastmilk, he says.

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine explains that while data about the effects of cannabis exposure on infant development is sparse and conflicting, there is clear evidence that cannabis gets transferred into breast milk and absorbed by babies. In fact, tetrahydrocannabinol , one of the main components of weed, is present in breast milk at eight times the rate than in the plasma of moms who smoke it.

The other thing to keep in mind, says Dr. Jones, is that even if you arent breastfeeding, babies can be exposed to weed through secondhand smoke. As ABM shares, infant exposure to secondhand weed smoke has been associated with an increased risk of SIDS.

Finally, if you are smoking weed recreationally, you need to be sure that you are awake and alert enough to care for your infant if not, you should refrain from smoking or arrange alternative childcare.

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Health Effects Of Smoking And Secondhand Smoke On Pregnancies

  • Women who smoke have more difficulty becoming pregnant and have a higher risk of never becoming pregnant.2,4
  • Smoking during pregnancy can cause tissue damage in the unborn baby, particularly in the lung and brain, and some studies suggests a link between maternal smoking and cleft lip.1,2
  • Studies also suggest a relationship between tobacco and miscarriage. Carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke can keep the developing baby from getting enough oxygen. Tobacco smoke also contains other chemicals that can harm unborn babies.1,2

Can You Get Lung Cancer From Smoking Weed

Smoking Marijuana While Pregnant: Will they take my baby away if I test ...

A research report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that cannabis smoke can result in heavy coughing due to irritation in the throat and lungs. Coughing after smoking weed is due to the toxic chemicals and tar in the smoke, many of which are similar to the harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke.

While long-term studies on smoking weed and the prevalence of lung cancer do not exist yet, researchers believe there could be a correlation between lung cancer and smoking weed.

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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 baby’s bloodstream. The drug exerts its effects by stimulating so-called cannabinoid receptors. And fetal cannabinoid receptors start to develop in the first trimester.

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.

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Do They Drug Test During Pregnancy

  • Screening for substance use in all pregnant women is recommended by both the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Society of Addiction Medicine in order to provide women, their fetuses and children with the highest possible level of care before, during, and after pregnancy.
  • This is done in order to provide women with the best possible outcomes for their health and the health of their children.
  • Thumbs Up: Benefits Of Smoking Weed While Pregnant

    This is what smoking does to an unborn baby

    Smoking weed during pregnancy may seem to be all bad but there are some good too. Studies suggested that taking orally-ingested cannabis in the late stage of pregnancy can help with some discomforts like pain, nausea and if you are a very lucky pot-smoking pregnant woman, can ease the pains of contractions during delivery. The main thing to keep in mind it that anyone should, however, do this only with the approval and supervision of medical professionals.

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    Can Doctors Tell If You Smoke Cigarettes While Pregnant

    Yes, if your doctor looks at the results of some medical tests that may identify nicotine in your blood, saliva, urine, and hair, they will be able to tell if you smoke on occasion. When you breath nicotine, some of it is absorbed into your bloodstream. This is true whether you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke.

    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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    Is It Dangerous To Quit Weed Cold Turkey While Pregnant

    No, there is generally no reason to be concerned about quitting weed cold turkey, and when youre pregnant is one of the most important times it might be necessary to simply put down the bong and not touch it again for a while. Since THC is not chemically addictive, you should not experience any health-threatening withdrawals even if you stop using it all at once.

    For extremely heavy users, though, the THC detox process can be profoundly uncomfortable. Especially later in pregnancy, it may be useful to have a crutch to lean on during the transition process.

    At Which Stage Of Pregnancy Can Smoking Weed Affect A Baby

    Pin on Be Informed

    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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    How Many Women Use Marijuana During Pregnancy

    A U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse study found that between 2002 and 2017, the number of U.S. pregnant women who said they’d used marijuana in the past month doubled — from about 3.5% to 7%. Of women who use pot during pregnancy, 80% also smoke cigarettes. The new study, published April 22 in the journal Addiction, was large, looking at data from 4.8 million births in California. That gave the researchers a chance to zero in on women who used marijuana regularly but not tobacco.

    What Are Risks For Babies Of Moms With Cannabis Use Disorder

    Babies born to moms with cannabis use disorder were more likely to be born early and underweight, versus babies whose mothers did not have the disorder but were similar in terms of race, education and overall health.

    They were 6% more likely to be born preterm and 13% more likely to be either underweight or small for gestational age — a sign of growth restriction in the womb.

    The risks were greater when moms used both marijuana and tobacco. But pot use was a risk factor regardless of cigarette smoking, the researchers said.

    And while few babies died during the first year of life — fewer than 1% — those whose moms used marijuana heavily had a 35% higher risk.

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    Second Hand Smoke And Pregnancy

    All women are advised to quit smoking when they become pregnant however, research has shown simply quitting is not enough to eliminate the risks associated with exposure to cigarettes. Many women are exposed to second-hand smoke from friends and family members or the residue cigarettes leave behind. Second-hand smoking during pregnancy can have detrimental effects on the health of you and your baby.

    Risks To Pregnant Women

    Moms-To-Be Are Choosing Marijuana As Doctors Express Concerns | NBC Nightly News

    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.

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