Is Smoking Weed Harmful During Pregnancy

What Should You Do If You Use Cannabis Medicinally


Medicinal use of cannabis is on the rise, as many in the health and wellness industry recommend it as a treatment for various conditions, including anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia.

But while this method of managing symptoms is showing signs of success, using cannabis for medicinal purposes isnt recommended if youre breastfeeding.

Cross says its important to understand the potential risks of exposing your infant to cannabis, as well as the benefits of breastfeeding, and make the best decision for you and your little one with the help of a licensed medical provider.

If you use cannabis medicinally, Posner says to try to find an alternative treatment plan with your doctor or psychiatrist. There are medicines that are safe during breastfeeding that can help with anxiety and other problems that THC is usually used for, she adds.

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:

  • Hormones that your body needs to get pregnant. Hormones are chemicals made by the body.
  • Your menstrual cycle. This is the process of your ovaries releasing an egg every month.
  • A mans sperm count . A mans sperm fertilizes a womans egg to begin a pregnancy.

Thumbs Up: Benefits Of Smoking Weed While Pregnant

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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Animal Studies On The Effects On Children Of Prenatal Cannabis Exposure

In animal models, controlled doses of cannabinoids were administered to pregnant or very young animals. Afterwards, the studies assessed the effects on the development of the CNS, the neurotransmission systems, the appearance or enhancement of drug-seeking behavior, the presence of altered behavior and the psychomotor skills, in order to infer the presence of the equivalent to mental disorders in animals . The use of cannabis in rats causes changes in the dopaminergic activity of the corpus striatum which leads to attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders and alterations in locomotion , and on the prefrontal cortex, which causes cognitive impairment and emotional dysregulation. Prenatal exposure in rodents causes an increased rate of ultrasonic vocalizations when separated from the mother, which leads to increased levels of anxiety that are related to the presence of CB1 receptors in the cortex, the hippocampus, the lateral septum, the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala, which regulate the release of 5-HT, dopamine, CCK and CRF, which are anxiogenic peptides .

Table 1 Described consequences of Perinatal Cannabis Exposure in Humans and Rodents

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Clearly you can say, Dont smoke during pregnancy no matter what youre smoking. But for the remainder, its the precautionary principle: Until we know more you probably shouldnt do it, McCormick summed up.

The NAS report drilled down into other health effects during pregnancy, like whether the babies of moms who used marijuana are more likely to wind up in the NICU or experience sudden infant death syndrome and cognitive and academic achievement challenges later in life. And on these important questions, it was equivocal: The researchers found limited, insufficient, or no evidence.

Still, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that there are no approved indications or recommendations regarding prenatal marijuana use even though the impact of prenatal cannabis use isnt yet fully understood.

Even so, Young-Wolff said. sufficient evidence an association between prenatal marijuana use and lower offspring birth weight, and limited research shows a correlation with some developmental delays or difficulties with executive functioning in the child like problems with impulse control and attention. And thats enough to make health professionals wary.

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Animal Models Of Perinatal Cannabis Exposure

Cannabis use among pregnant and lactating women could be recapitulated, at least in part, by preclinical experimental approaches in rodents. These models are fundamental to explore precisely and systematically the specific neurobiological mechanisms altered by cannabinoid compounds during brain development and the consequences on behavior and cognition.

Having Support Helps You Quit

Smoking is very addictive and it can be very difficult to stop, even if you really want to. But if your partner continues smoking, you are less likely to quit. Smokers who get support from family and friends are more likely to stop.

Smoking can cause fertility problems in men. It can:

  • reduce the quality of semen
  • cause the semen to have a lower sperm count
  • affect the sperms normal swimming patterns
  • cause male sexual impotence .

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Does Smoking Weed Affect Pregnancy

The bottom line is that we don’t know the lasting effects of using marijuana during pregnancy. According to the CDC, inhaling marijuana smoke can be bad for both pregnant women and their babies, in the same way smoking cigarettes can be harmful. Cannabis smoke still contains chemicals found in tobacco smoke, which may result in developmental issues for the child. However, many people have taken this to believe that edibles and vaping are safe to use while pregnant. The belief that the benefits of smoking weed while pregnant are safe, so long as you use a vape pen or eat edibles, is as unfounded as any other stance. As far as we know, smoking marijuana while pregnant is worse than consuming cannabis in other ways, but that doesn’t mean THC still won’t harm the baby.

Does Marijuana Affect Fertility Get The Truth About Using Cannabis


This article was last updated May 7, 2021.

As you likely already know, smoking cigarettes during pregnancy is a big no-no. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises that pregnant and breastfeeding/chestfeeding people avoid smoking marijuana too. But what if were not thinking about getting pregnant for a while? Could enjoying marijuana now negatively impact our ability to conceive later? If marijuana use is legal, does that mean its safe before and during pregnancy?

Honestly, we dont totally know yet because we havent completed as many studies as we need. Thats a pretty confusing answer, right? Unfortunately, science doesnt always have the conclusive answers we crave but given what the medical community does know, for the time being, choosing not to smoke weed if youre trying to get pregnant is the safest approach to avoid possible health effects on conception and the fetus down the line. Experts also recommend always talking to your healthcare provider about the potential impact of your cannabis use.

We dug into the research to understand exactly where we need more data around this sometimes medicinal and sometimes recreational drug as it relates to fertility and reproductive health.

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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.

I May Already Be Pregnant Am I Too Late To Stop Smoking

No. Its never too late. Every extra day your baby develops in the womb without poisons from cigarette smoke will make a big difference to your health in pregnancy and beyond.

Stopping smoking during pregnancy reduces the risk of your baby being ill in the first month of life.

This does not mean that smoking in the first trimester is safe. The earlier you stop smoking the healthier you and your baby will be.

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This Is What You Should Know About Smoking Weed During Pregnancy

While the stigma is strong, heres what we know about smoking weed during pregnancy.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding cannabis use during pregnancy. While some argue smoking weed while pregnant has no negative effect and have healthy kids to prove it, others insist on a range of potential negative side effects, like low birth weight and decreased executive functioning. To try and figure out the truth behind marijuana and pregnancy, we looked at the studies, the laws, and spoke with a registered nurse

How Smoking Weed Affects Female Fertility

Smoking Weed While Pregnant: Is It Dangerous?

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?

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What Are The Dangers Of Smoking Marijuana During Pregnancy

Smoking marijuana while pregnant does have health effects on your baby.

“There’s a common misconception that because is a plant, it’s safe,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

With marijuana use in pregnancy, your baby may also be more likely to have:

There may also be a higher risk of some birth defects, stillbirth or miscarriage, premature birth and admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit . A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewing more than 660,000 pregnancies found the rate of preterm birth among reported cannabis users was significantly higher than nonusers – about 12%.

Growing research is showing that THC may change the way your baby’s brain grows and develops. In fact, the Surgeon General issued a health advisory on marijuana use among pregnant women.

“No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is known to be safe,” the Surgeon General’s advisory on marijuana use during pregnancy says. “Until and unless more is known about the long-term impact, the safest choice for pregnant women and adolescents is not to use marijuana.”

Begs The Question: Is Smoking Weed During Pregnancy Bad

Medical research has not been able to prove for sure why pregnant women should not smoke marijuana as most of the research work are either speculative or not exclusive to marijuana effects only. However, there are several patterns that show that smoking week during pregnancy can cause more harm than good to a woman and her baby.

Medical experts, even in the small localities where medical marijuana is legal, are more likely to prescribe alternatives to smoking pot or vaporizing. This is because marijuana is more likely to have the same effect as tobacco and alcohol in pregnant women and there is a higher chance to indulge the three altogether. Also, it cannot be ascertained which stage of pregnancy is more affected by smoking weed.

Medical research has not been able to prove for sure why pregnant women should not smoke marijuana as most of the research work are either speculative or not exclusive to marijuana effects only. However, there are several patterns that show that smoking week during pregnancy can cause more harm than good to a woman and her baby.

Medical experts, even in the small localities where medical marijuana is legal, are more likely to prescribe alternatives to smoking pot or vaporizing. This is because marijuana is more likely to have the same effect as tobacco and alcohol in pregnant women and there is a higher chance to indulge the three altogether. Also, it cannot be ascertained which stage of pregnancy is more affected by smoking weed.

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Critical Involvement Of The Endocannabinoid System In The Female Reproductive System And The Fetus Development

ECS components were detected not only at the plasmatic level but also in the human reproductive structures. High levels of FAAH were found in the human cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast, suggesting its protective role modulating AEA concentrations and preventing AEA from crossing to fetus by the placenta . FAAH and progesterone appear to show the same fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, indicating its correlation and implication as AEA concentrations modulators . Consequently, AEA levels during the period may be controlled by gonadotrophins, estrogen, or its combination . Furthermore, ECS receptors were detected in several reproductive organs and structures in different gestational phases, and its implication in achieving a successful pregnancy has been suggested. Both CB1r and CB2r were found in the medulla and cortex of the ovary and in the corpus luteum and corpus albicans . In addition, it was reported that ECS regulates a normal embryo transport via oviductal CB1r . These findings suggest that, under physiological conditions, ECS signaling through CB1r is crucial to various female reproductive events and for the normal fetal development.

Dont Laugh But What Is Weed Anyway

Grilling Tips: Good Smoke v. Bad Smoke

You might hear some people argue that weed is safe during pregnancy because its a natural plant. And that part is true: is the dried portion of the Cannabis sativa plant.

Still, just because its natural doesnt make it safe.

People smoke weed because it makes them feel good. The drug can leave you feeling euphoric and relaxed while enhancing your senses. These mind-altering effects are due to delta-0-tetrahydrocannabinol .

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Ok But This Morning Sickness Has To Go Cant Weed Help

Most pregnant women experience some nausea and vomiting while pregnant, whether it lasts only for the first trimester or throughout the pregnancy.

A small 2006 study of 84 women found that 65 percent used marijuana to relieve morning sickness, and over 92 percent of those using marijuana rated it as extremely effective or effective.

But other studies have found that when women used marijuana during pregnancy, their children were more likely to develop problems with behavior, learning, and memory.

Basically, some researchers believe smoking weed while pregnant can affect a babys brain.

Bu Sph Study Surveyed More Than 4000 Women In The Us And Canada

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , was the first to evaluate the link between fecundabilitythe average per-cycle probability of conceptionand marijuana use.

About 15 percent of couples experience infertility. Infertility costs the US healthcare system more than $5 billion per year, and thus identifying modifiable risk factors for infertility, including recreational drug use, is of public health importance. Marijuana is one of the most widely used recreational drugs among individuals of reproductive age. Previous studies have examined the effects of marijuana use on reproductive hormones and semen quality, with conflicting results.

Given the increasing number of states legalizing recreational marijuana across the nation, we thought it was an opportune time to investigate the association between marijuana use and fertility, says lead author Lauren Wise, BU professor of epidemiology.

In Pregnancy Study Online , a web-based prospective cohort study of North American couples, the researchers surveyed 4,194 women aged 21 to 45 living in the United States or Canada. The study specifically targeted women in stable relationships who were not using contraception or fertility treatment. Female participants were given the option to invite their male partners to participate 1,125 of their male partners enrolled.

Salma Abdalla can be reached at .

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Are There Any Benefits Of Smoking Weed While Pregnant

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, making it a popular addition to the treatment plans of those undergoing chemotherapy. As for pregnant women, the pharmaceuticals they are prescribed for morning sickness can also come with potential negative side effects to the fetus, like cleft lip, so cannabis can look like a safer alternative.

Gill points out that some women use cannabis during pregnancy to avoid taking other prescription meds that could potentially be more harmful to the baby, like opiates for pain, or benzos like Klonopin for anxiety. Gill also says medical cannabis can help women treat hyperemesis gravidarum, which is a severe nausea and vomiting condition during pregnancy, another reason pregnant women are turning to the herb despite insubstantial research on the subject.

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 its right for them.

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