Is Smoking Weed Harmful For Pregnancy

Effects Of Marijuana Use On Lactation

Is Smoking Weed While Pregnant Dangerous?

There are insufficient data to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding, and in the absence of such data, marijuana use is discouraged 42. Breastfeeding women should be informed that the potential risks of exposure to marijuana metabolites are unknown and should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Breastfeeding page, available at, provides more resources about breastfeeding for clinicians and patients.

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

Myth : Its Natural So It Must Be Safe

Being natural doesnt necessarily mean that something is safe. Tobacco is natural, for example. Plus, marijuana is treated like many other crops growers frequently use chemicals to protect their plants from pests and weeds.

Can you eat edibles while pregnant?

As we mentioned earlier, marijuana use in any form, including edibles, is not considered safe during pregnancy.

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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.

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

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What Are The Potential Health Effects Of Using Marijuana During My Pregnancy

Although more research is needed to better understand how marijuana may affect you and your baby during pregnancy, it is recommended that pregnant persons do not use marijuana.3,4

  • Some research shows that using marijuana while you are pregnant can cause health problems in newborns, including lower birth weight and abnormal neurological development.1
  • Breathing marijuana smoke can also be bad for you and your baby. Secondhand marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxic and cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke.5 THC, the psychoactive or mind-altering compound in marijuana, may also be passed to infants through secondhand smoke.6

Is Smoking Weed During Pregnancy Harmful

In the following article well do our best to give you the most up to date information available on smoking weed in pregnancy so that you can make an informed decision for yourself.

Youll find links to a range of studies and authoritative sources to help guide you.

Its a tricky one. There are so many questions around marijuana use that have no clear answers and whether to use it in pregnancy only adds more.

To use weed in pregnancy or completely abstain? If I do have some how often is safe?

How much is too much and will lead to harm? Does it depend on how its ingested?

In short, no ones 100% positive.

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Are More Women Using Marijuana While Pregnant

Yes. Marijuana use in pregnancy has become increasingly common, putting more babies at risk of exposure. Nationally, self-reported marijuana use among pregnant women nearly doubled between 2002 and 2017, from 3.4 percent to 7 percent overall and from nearly 6 percent to 12 percent in the first trimester. Researchers estimate that today about 1 in 20 women uses weed during pregnancy, and usage is even higher among young women 18 to 25 years old.

Legalization of marijuana in many states may be contributing to the uptick. Stories on social media about women using marijuana during pregnancy to relieve pregnancy symptoms may also be influencing the increase. Although there’s no evidence that marijuana is safe or effective at treating pregnancy-related issues, women have reported using weed for morning sickness, anxiety, and stress. Unfortunately, these anecdotes can give the mistaken impression that pot use during pregnancy is safe.

Cannabis dispensaries may be adding to pregnant women’s confusion about weed, recommending it for use in pregnancy and directly contradicting the warnings of medical experts. In one study, researchers posing as pregnant women called 400 randomly selected cannabis dispensaries, and more than two-thirds of dispensaries recommended using marijuana for morning sickness.

Potential Issues Of Pregnancy And Weed

More women are using marijuana during pregnancy, report says

Can you smoke weed when pregnant? As long as you are in a state where it is legal, you technically can. However, we advise you to consult a medical professional before making a final decision. Because there are limited studies and a wide range of potential issues, you are taking a risk if you smoke weed when pregnant. Some professionals argue any side-effects are nominal and that THC has yet to prove harmful to unborn children. There are, however, plenty of dissenting opinions.

A recent review of all relevant studies suggests there is little to no evidence that prenatal cannabis exposure leads to developmental and cognitive impairments. However, the literature on this subject is still relatively limited, and there may be other side effects that these types of reviews don’t account for. Additionally, there are plenty competing opinions. A 2014 study conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health found “moderate evidence” that marijuana use during pregnancy may result in decreased academic ability and both cognitive function and attention.

The most agreed-upon potential side effect of using marijuana while pregnant is lower birth weights and shorter pregnancy lengths. The risk of gestation reductions and lower birth weightsare thought to increase when smoking weed during first trimester. Along with this, there is concern that marijuana use may result in smaller head circumference, stunted physical growth, and an increased chance of stillbirth.

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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.

Knockout: Effects Of Marijuana On Fetus

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:

  • Higher chance of premature birth
  • Placenta removal which could cause severe bleeding for woman and the baby
  • Brain defects which may cause trouble with retention, attention, and impulse control
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

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Can Marijuana Use During And After Pregnancy Harm The Baby

More research is needed on how marijuana use during pregnancy could impact the health and development of infants, given changing policies about access to marijuana, as well as significant increases over the last decade in the number of pregnant women seeking substance use disorder treatment for marijuana use.83 One study found that about 20% of pregnant women 24-years-old and younger screened positive for marijuana. However, this study also found that women were about twice as likely to screen positive for marijuana use via a drug test than they state in self-reported measures. This suggests that self-reported rates of marijuana use in pregnant females may not be an accurate measure of marijuana use.84 Additionally, in one study of dispensaries, nonmedical personnel at marijuana dispensaries were recommending marijuana to pregnant women for nausea, but medical experts warn against it.

Why You Should Not Smoke Weed In Pregnancy

Smoking while pregnant: learn more about the risks and why you are ...

Though an advocate of therapeutic cannabis usage for people who are not pregnant, Dr. Tishler says there are too many risks and unknowns at this time to recommend smoking during pregnancy. Additionally, he says, there are no benefits to smoking weed that cannot be obtained from conventional medicine that is already known to be safe for pregnant women.

Theres really no option besides abstinence at this time, says Dr. Tishler. He also explains that though you may have heard of mothers who used cannabis during pregnancy and had a fine outcome, this is not the same as scientific evidence, and anecdotes like these should not inform your decision about whether to smoke weed while pregnant.

Many mothers have heard that smoking weed or using cannabis helps with morning sickness. Dr. Jones says that there is no proof of that and either way, smoking weed to treat morning sickness comes with too many risks.

has not been proven, and we recommend using safer options that can help with morning sickness or hyperemesis during pregnancy, says Dr. Jones.

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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.

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.

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What Happens If I Smoke Weed While Pregnant

The main psychoactive ingredient in pot the ingredient that makes people “high” is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

If you use marijuana when you’re pregnant, THC crosses the placenta into your baby’s bloodstream. An estimated 10 to 30 percent of the THC in your system could reach your baby. And babies are much more vulnerable to the effects of chemicals and toxins than adults.

THC passes from you to your baby if you’re using marijuana in any way, including:

  • Smoking a joint
  • Dabbing: using concentrated cannabis oil
  • Vaping: inhaling cannabis vapor using a vaporizing pen or similar device
  • Consuming or drinking cannabis-infused beverages. Edibles such as cookies, brownies, or candy aren’t safer than smoking, dabbing, or vaping weed the THC still crosses the placenta.

Even applying creams or lotions containing marijuana to your skin can potentially be a problem. Also, weed may be contaminated with other drugs or herbicides that could harm your baby even if you buy marijuana legally.

Note: Vaping weed or using e-cigarettes is especially dangerous because vaping has been linked to serious lung problems and deaths. The Food and Drug Administration and the CDC warn that pregnant women shouldn’t use any vaping products, including THC-containing products and e-cigarettes.

Using Marijuana While Pregnant: What Are The Risks

The dangers of smoking Marijuana while pregnant

As a result, usage is rising in the general population, including among pregnant women. A lot of women wonder if smoking weed or consuming marijuana in another form is OK during pregnancy.

While estimates are tricky, four to 10 percent of women currently report using marijuana while pregnant. This is a definite increase from the past and the actual percentage is probably higher because of a self-reporting bias. Think about your answers when we ask you how much you smoke, drink, exercise, or weigh!

But just because using marijuana is more socially or even legally acceptable does not mean its safe for your unborn child.

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Alternatives To Morning Sickness Treatment

Morning sickness, and especially hyperemesis, can be extremely uncomfortable and debilitating. Many moms wonder if smoking weed is a viable alternative, but as Dr. Jones described above, there isnt evidence that smoking weed will help with morning sickness, nor is it safe for you or your baby.

Instead, for basic cases of morning sickness, try lifestyle and dietary changes. Eating smaller, more frequent meals, staying away from strong smells and triggering foods, and getting plenty of rest can all help ward off the worst symptoms of morning sickness.

For more extreme cases of morning sickness and hyperemesis, ACOG recommends FDA-approved medication to treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. Talk to a doctor about what medications are safe and available to you.

Smoking Weed While Pregnant Cps Involvement

Depending on your state, your provider can sometimes take a urine drug screen with or without your consent.

In my state, we do need a consent to test YOUR urine but we do not need one to test your baby. So, if you refuse, we just test the babys and it also looks extremely suspicious.

Remember that honesty is always the best policy and CPS will note that if they are required to come.

The results of that urine drug screen will be noted in your chart. BTW, you can also test at home.

When you come to labor and delivery, we will call a social work consult, and they will call the state to come assess the situation.

We may also ask to take a urine drug screen on you in the hospital that will show recent drug use.

**If you plan to refuse the drug screen, we will screen your baby . We will also call social work about your refusal and that refusal will be noted.**

From that point, it is out of our hands. It is in CPSs hands at that point.

Nurses may also take your babys first stools to test it for marijuana to see how far into your pregnancy you took the drug .

If you are currently pregnant and using marijuana you need to stop. If you are taking it for a medical condition you need to talk to your doctors about alternative methods that could be safer.

**If you disagree with this article I strongly encourage you to talk with your doctor about your drug use and what to expect after delivery. **

Can they take your baby away for smoking pot while pregnant?

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Preterm Labor Or Stillbirth

If you use weed during pregnancy, your baby is at higher risk for being born too early and too small. Research shows that babies born to pregnant people who are frequent cannabis users are 6% more likely to be premature and 13% more likely to have a low birth weight.

Babies are also at higher risk for being stillborn and 35% more likely to die within their first year of life. It’s still not fully clear to researchers whether higher rates of infant death is because of weed use or due to use of other substances along with weed, such as cigarettes or alcohol.

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