Risks To A Childs Brain Development
Use of cannabis during pregnancy may affect a childs brain development, behaviour and mental health into adolescence and early adulthood. The effects may be permanent. If a mother uses cannabis daily, some of the risks for the child may be:
Age 0 3 years:
- May try and/or use cannabis earlier
- Continue to be hyperactive, impulsive and less attentive
Talk To Your Doctor About New Treatments
Dr. Stroud cautions that regardless if a product is labeled natural or as FDA-approved, when it comes to treatment its best to err on the side on safety. The recent studies highlight an opportunity for clinicians and women to talk about the risks of using cannabis, he says.
The reality is more patients use herbs, cannabis, and other non-prescription medicines than are reported to doctors, Dr. Stroud says. Talk to your doctor honestly about what youre thinking. You should never be afraid to bring up treatments you read or heard about that could be helpful. Your doctor can discuss with you the pros and cons of ALL treatments.
Together, the two of you can make an informed decision on whats best for you and your baby.
Neonatal Outcomes: Effect Of Cannabis Use
Compared with the babies of women who had never used cannabis, the infants of women who continued to use cannabis at 15 weeks had lower mean values for birthweight , head circumference , birth length , and gestational age . Neonatal outcomes for babies of women who quit before or during early pregnancy were not significantly different from those for infants of women who had never used cannabis . The difference in birthweight associated with continued use of cannabis was similar to that for babies of mothers who smoked up to nine cigarettes per day or more at 15 weeks.
Evalues for the association between continued cannabis use and adverse perinatal outcomes ranged between 1.74 for birthweight and 2.58 for gestational age. This means that the risk ratio, after adjusting for measured covariates, for an unmeasured confounder associated with both cannabis use and the outcome would need to be 1.74 in the case of birthweight or 2.58 in the case of gestational age to reduce the aMDs associated with cannabis use to zero .
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The Hazy Evidence On Smoking Weed In Pregnancy
Since the late 1980s, researchers have known that THC the active ingredient in cannabis can cross the placenta and reach the fetus. More recently, researchers have found that THC is also secreted in breast milk up to six days after the last use. So that means the fetus is exposed to THC, and the concerns about marijuanas health effects during pregnancy and lactation stem mainly from this fact.
One of the best summaries of the evidence on the health effects of cannabis comes from a major report out of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. More than a dozen experts reviewed more than 10,000 studies published between 1999 and 2016.
Overall, the report suggested weed shows promise for chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and cancer patients but it also complicated the narrative that weed is a safe drug. The report found that it may increase the risk of respiratory problems , schizophrenia and psychosis, getting into car accidents, and lagging social achievement. The report also uncovered pregnancy-related problems. In particular, the strongest link they uncovered showed that babies exposed to cannabis in utero tended to have lower birth weights.
Why You Should Not Smoke Weed In Pregnancy
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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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.
Preterm Labor And Preterm Birth
A previous large systematic review by Gunn et al93 assessing the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy on maternal and fetal outcomes found a decrease in gestational age and increased odds of a preterm delivery . In contrast, other studies have reported no association between maternal marijuana use and shortened gestation50,94 Gray et al94 examined 86 infants and found a median estimated gestational age at delivery of 39 weeks for both exposed and nonexposed infants. Two prior studies, Dekker et al95 and Leemaqz et al,96 similarly noted an increased risk of spontaneous preterm birth with marijuana use during pregnancy .
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Turning To Marijuana As Medicine
A recent study showed that marijuana use is much more frequent in the first trimester than later in pregnancy. One explanation may be that women are using marijuana to reduce nausea and vomiting that occurs early in pregnancy.
For nausea and vomiting, there are many prescription medications and non-medical treatments that are safe to take during pregnancy. To alleviate physical discomfort and pain there are many other options to consider such as massage, physical therapy, and pregnancy bands all of which have been proven to help.
Pregnant women are at higher risks for depression than people in the general population, but marijuana is not a treatment for this illness. Better alternatives include counseling, behavioral therapy, and safe prescription medications.
Talk to your doctor before you become pregnant if you use marijuana, even occasionally. They will help you get off it and find safe alternatives to reduce anxiety or alleviate normal discomforts of pregnancy. It will also help you find longer-term solutions that will be effective for you and safe for your baby.
In my opinion, using marijuana during pregnancy simply isnt worth the risk.
For more information about pregnancy, labor, and delivery, to receive Your Pregnancy Matters email alerts when we publish new stories. You can also make an appointment to see one of our specialists by calling .
Using Cannabis After Giving Birth
You can also use cannabis after giving birth. Postpartum cannabis use can help with healing, insomnia, and anxiety. However, you may want to consider using an alternative to smoking as it is not the best way to consume cannabis if breastfeeding.
You can pass marijuana to the baby through breast milk. The amount of marijuana passed to the baby will depend on several factors, including the amount of marijuana the mother consumes and how often she breastfeeds.
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Is It Safe To Use Weed During Pregnancy
Current research suggests that consuming cannabis during pregnancy can lead to negative short and long-term outcomes for the child. Therefore, it cannot be considered safe or recommended.
In addition to the fact that it contains THC, the cannabis industry is poorly regulated. Therefore, there is a risk that products could be contaminated with other drugs or pesticides that could further harm an infant. The same goes for CBD and other cannabis-derived products, which the Food and Drug Administration also advises against using during pregnancy.
Finally, there is the matter of legality. In a minimum of 14 states, using marijuana is considered a form of child abuse. If a mother smokes cannabis illegally while pregnant and is caught, there is a risk of losing custody of the child. It is important to note that using marijuana while breastfeeding is also a bad idea because some of it will pass to the infant.
Overall, the safety of the baby is paramount. Therefore, mothers should refuse cannabis and try to find alternative methods of managing pregnancy-related issues.
Health Benefits Of Seaweed In Pregnancy
Eating small amounts of seaweed may fetch you many essential nutrients. Some of the benefits may include:
- Seaweeds are a rich of omega 3 fatty acids it may help in better development of the foetal brain.
- It is rich in fibre and thus may help in keeping digestion troubles and constipation at bay during pregnancy.
- It is a good source of anti-oxidants and may help in dealing with various kinds of medical ailments such as anxiety, depression, asthma, celiac disease, arthritis etc.
- The abundance of vitamin C in seaweed helps in aiding the absorption of iron present in these seaweeds.
- It is helpful in the development of sexual organs, and it is also beneficial in reducing the chances of breast cancer.
- It is said to enhance female fertility and reduce the symptoms of PMS.
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Yummy Wakame Salad Recipe
This is a healthy seaweed salad pregnancy recipe is quick to make and super yummy. It can be used as a side dish or main course. Here is what all you may require and how you can make it:
- Sesame seeds, roasted- 1 tablespoon
- Fresh cilantro, chopped- 2 tablespoon
How to make
- Take the dried seaweed and soak it in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once it is soft, squeeze out the excess water and chop it in strips.
- Take a big bowl, mix sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic in it.
- Dice the apple tarts and mix them in the above dressing.
- Add scallions and cilantro and mix well. Sprinkle the sesame seeds and relish this delicious salad.
You can make seaweed soup during pregnancy to pep up your iodine levels too.
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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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So What Does The Research Show
Marijuana contains a compound called cannabinoid, but did you know that our bodies produced their own? Our natural cannabinoids are called endocannabinoids , however, they are different from the ones found in the plant. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to receptors in our brains and play an important role in many of our body systems, including our:
- Central nervous system
- Cardiovascular system
- Metabolic system
As such, these marijuana-like substances help in regulating our memory and learning, our stress response, our pain sensation, our mood, sleep, inflammation, and more.
Needless to say, our natural endocannabinoids are definitely needed, both in adults and in the developing baby. So why are the cannabinoids contained in marijuana bad? The problem is that when someone consumes marijuana in any form or shape , these foreign compounds found in the plant may bind to our receptors, leaving no room for our natural endocannabinoid to do their job. This results in the disruption of our bodys natural processes and in negative health outcomes.
For instance, recent research has shown that marijuana may interfere with:
- Folic acid absorption: this results in improper neural tube development and possibly, miscarriage. Folic acid is a B9 vitamin that is essential during pregnancy and each pregnant woman is advised to take it in the form of supplements .
- Cellular growth: including the formation of new blood vessels and the ability of the DNA to replicate.
Are Edibles A Safer Alternative To Smoking
People often believe that “edibles” are a safer way to consume marijuana. But while there’s no smoking involved, Volkow said edibles have their problems.
“It takes longer for the effects of edibles to emerge, so people may keep taking more,” she said. They can end up consuming a THC dose large enough to land them in the emergency room.
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Legalization Trend And Health Policy
In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first 2 states to legalize marijuana. As of this writing, a total of 33 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws legalizing marijuana at the state level for recreational and/or medical purposes. As such, nearly 25% of the US population lives in states that have passed ballot initiatives to allow businesses to produce and sell marijuana. The consequences of this legalization trend on health, public safety, and social equity will be in part shaped by decisions made regarding production, prices, and enforcement of regulations.
A new bill, H.R. 420, titled the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, has been filed in the House. If passed, this bill would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act. There has also been movement to transfer marijuana enforcement authority from the Drug Enforcement Administration to a renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana, Firearms, and Explosives. Under current law, the Treasury and Health and Human Services departments share jurisdiction over alcohol and tobacco packaging and labeling this provision would extend similar packaging and labeling authority over marijuana products.
Why Pregnant Women Use Weed
According to one study, more than half of women who used marijuana during pregnancy were, like Pollock, doing so to treat morning sicknessand 92 percent said it worked. While your doctor or midwife is highly unlikely to prescribe cannabis for this purposethe SOGC strongly discourages any use during pregnancythe budtender at your local dispensary might. A recent survey of dispensaries in Colorado found that 69 percent recommended using cannabis to treat morning sickness and 36 percent said it was safe during pregnancy despite evidence to the contrary.
Women may also use pot to relieve other pregnancy symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, lack of appetite and aches and pains. Some women will have been using cannabis prior to pregnancy to treat medical conditionsfibromyalgia, depression or anorexia, for exampleand keep using out of fear that their symptoms will return if they quit, which can be harmful for them and their babies.
Recreational users could be addicted and think that their habit is harmless. A study published in 2015 found that 70 percent of pregnant women in the United States who used pot in the previous year believed that there was a slight or no risk of harm from using the drug once or twice a week. Women really want to think that its safe to use, Cooks says. But some research suggests theyre wrong.
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Inside The Quiet Rise Of Cannabis Use Among Expecting And Breastfeeding Parents
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Modern motherhood is a marvel and a minefield. An obstacle course of risk-reward calculations for which we will be judged. And pregnancy serves a sort of boot camp, with every decision feeling more monumental than the last, as a legion of friends, family, caregivers, influencers, and experts readily dispense opinions on all of it. Sushi. Unpasteurized cheese. Cold cuts. Cardio. Retinol. Highlights. Gardening. Wine.
It was Taras midwife who suggested it, actually. When Tara, a 31-year-old Los Angelesbased psychotherapist whose name isnt really Tara, became pregnant, she could not stop vomiting. She thought some of her nausea was psychological it was a mid-pandemic unplanned pregnancy and some probably not. Her mom had suffered similarly throughout pregnancy. She had tried vitamin B6 and Unisom , acupuncture, IV drips, and ginger candies. Nothing worked.
I had to take care of myself, explains Tara, who had smoked weed since college. I was desperate and so I just did what I knew would work. Her midwife recommended vaping. Tara prefers a pipe, so they compromised on a bong, after her midwife suggested it would produce less carcinogens. I was 13 weeks pregnant, taking bong rips for breakfast.
These are things I think that we now need to focus on, and not to blame women, she says. Lets just get information that can guide them.