Few years ago, marijuana didn’t carry nearly the same stigma that it does today. The drug is now allowed in a number of states, and more are expected to follow.
Some states allow the marijuana use for both medical and recreational purposes while other states only allow the consumption for medical purposes.
Due to the legality of marijuana, consumption is increasing throughout all demographics, including pregnant women. Many pregnant women question whether smoking marijuana is safe or not. You will find the answer to that question later in this article.
This article delves into the information and guidance for pregnant mothers who are considering using cannabis during pregnancy.
Understanding Cannabis and Its Effects
Using cannabis while pregnant can be unhealthy for your unborn child. THC passes from your body to your unborn child and may be harmful to the development of a newborn baby.
Although more research is needed to fully understand how cannabis usage during pregnancy can affect both you and your unborn child, it is advised not to consume cannabis during pregnancy.
Is Marijuana Safer for the Body Than Cigarettes?
A large-scale national study reveals marijuana use is less dangerous to users’ lungs than cigarettes, even though tobacco and marijuana have the same chemical constituents.
This extensive study was conducted by UCSF and University of Alabama at Birmingham. In this study, researchers collected data from more than 5,000 American adults who were above the age of 20 years.
Smoking cigarettes can seriously harm the lungs, leading to lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and respiratory problems.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that it causes 443,000 fatalities annually in the United States, or approximately one death out of every five.
There hasn’t been much information about long-term effects of marijuana use on the respiratory system up until now.
In a study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers examined the relationship between the current and lifetime exposure to marijuana and pulmonary function.
They evaluated lung volume, which is the quantity of air a person is capable of holding, and air flow rate, which is the pace at which a person can blow out air.
An adult male can generally hold about six liters of air. A spirometer, a standard medical tool that measures airflow during inhalation and exhalation, was used to assess lung function.
They observed that the more you use tobacco, the more loss you have with both indicators, air flow rate and lung volume.
This wasn’t the case with marijuana use. When exposed to marijuana, air flow rate increased rather than decreased.
There was some evidence that excessive marijuana usage might be damaging the lungs but the researchers were unable to obtain accurate estimates of the effects since the smokers who smoke excessive marijuana were less in numbers.
How Does Marijuana Affect an Unborn Baby?
The effects of marijuana on unborn children need to be researched much more, but the initial findings are not favorable.
The psychoactive component of marijuana, THC, affects a brain receptor as early as 14 weeks of pregnancy, or at the end of the first trimester.
It passes through the placenta and gets to the growing fetus. Whether the mother consumes edibles, smokes, or vapes, the fetus is exposed to around 10% of the THC that she consumes.
Additionally, it stays in maternal fat for weeks, prolonging the period of exposure to the growing fetus.
According to studies, pregnant women who use marijuana may experience neurological problems. In general, children exposed during pregnancy had greater rates of speech and cognitive difficulties, lower math and spelling test scores, and higher rates of focus and attention issues.
THC has also been linked to infants’ lower birth weights, as well as their reduced muscular tone and tremors.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advises against consuming marijuana while pregnant. The American Academy of Paediatrics also advises against using marijuana while breastfeeding because THC can be present in breast milk.
Can I Smoke Marijuana While Pregnant?
Smoking marijuana during pregnancy can cause health issues in infants, such as low birth weight and poor neurological growth.
Medical Recommendations and Insights
The following recommendations are made by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists:
- Before and during their pregnancies, all pregnant women should be questioned about their use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs, as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications.
- Women who report using marijuana should receive counseling about potential negative health effects of continuing use during pregnancy.
- Marijuana use should be stopped by women who are expecting or are thinking about getting pregnant.
- It is best to encourage those who are or are planning to become pregnant to stop using marijuana and switch to treatment options which are safer.
Smoking Pot While Pregnant Represents a Danger to Your Unborn Child. Please Avoid It
According to some studies, if you smoke pot while pregnant, your unborn child may have problems like:
Premature birth: This birth occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy, which is too early.
Anencephaly: This is one of the most serious neural tube defects (also known as NTDs). NTDs are birth defects which affect the neural tube, which is where a baby’s brain and spine develop during development.
Major portions of the brain, skull, and scalp are missing in infants with this disease. In this disease, most newborns do not survive long after birth, usually for just a few hours.
Cannabis use during the first month of pregnancy increases the likelihood of anencephaly in the unborn child.
Anemia: This occurs when the amount of healthy red blood cells is insufficient.
Marijuana in Breast Milk
The health effects of marijuana usage by a breastfeeding mother on her infant are not yet fully understood. We are aware that breast milk can transmit marijuana’s compounds to an unborn child.
THC stays in body fat and slowly releases over time, so even if a person stops smoking marijuana, a baby could still be exposed. Therefore, it is advised that those who are breastfeeding avoid all marijuana use.
Can Using Marijuana During My Pregnancy Affect My Babyâs Development After Birth?
Studies indicate that marijuana use by pregnant women may be associated with later attention, memory, problem-solving skills, and behavior issues in their children, while scientists are still learning about the effects of marijuana on growing brains.
Alternatives to Cannabis for Managing Pregnancy Symptoms
Here is a list of the most typical pregnant discomforts, along with some suggestions on how to deal with them.
Nausea and Vomiting
- Eat small meals frequently. During pregnancy, going too long without eating might worsen or exacerbate nausea. Eat every one to two hours if your nausea is persistent.
- Stay away from fatty, oily foods. They are more challenging to absorb.
- Consume a lot of foods which are high in carbohydrates, such as cereal, fruit, bread, and rice. They are energizing and simple to absorb.
Having lower back pain during pregnancy is common. It results from the change in posture that is required to support more weight up front.
While some have explored the therapeutic potential of marijuana for spasms, it’s essential to consider the safety and effects during pregnancy.
- Don’t stand still for an extended period of time.
- Try doing pelvic rock which is a back-pain-relieving exercise. This exercise strengthens the lower back muscles that take the most strain.
- Sitting up straighter while placing your feet on a stool will help.
- Engage yourself in physical activities to reduce tension and anxiety. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These function in your brain like organic painkillers.
- Make sure you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep. Though sleep may seem elusive during pregnancy, prioritizing it may greatly reduce your anxiety levels.
- Consult your doctor if you experience regular panic attacks or if your anxiety is interfering with your everyday activities. Get assistance as quickly as possible.
Is It Harmful to Use Marijuana Before Pregnancy?
Yes. Using marijuana before getting pregnant can impair your fertility and make it difficult for you to get pregnant. Marijuana can affect hormones that your body requires to become pregnant.
Furthermore, there have been discussions about the effects of marijuana on contraceptive medications, which could impact fertility. Marijuana can effects the following ways:
- Hormones that your body requires to become pregnant. Hormones are chemicals made by the body.
- Your menstrual cycle. This is the process in which your ovaries release an egg once a month.
- A man’s sperm count. To begin a pregnancy, a man’s sperm fertilizes a woman’s egg.
There are different laws and policies regarding the use of cannabis during pregnancy. In some states, pregnant women can use marijuana without the fear of getting in legal trouble but the other states donât permit the use of cannabis during pregnancy.
Here are some state laws on marijuana use during pregnancy:
Arizona: In Arizona, the use of marijuana during pregnancy is permitted if the user possesses a medical marijuana card.
California: In California, using marijuana while pregnant is not a crime and pregnant women are not required to be reported to child protective services.
Colorado: Colorado doesnât permit the use of marijuana during pregnancy.
Ohio: In Ohio, it is not allowed to use marijuana during pregnancy.
Itâs always recommended to check with your state laws and regulations because it can vary from state to state.
Smoking during pregnancy is not recommended by health professionals. Number of studies show that using cannabis during pregnancy can affect your childâs growth and can cause issues related to memory and cognitive abilities.
Therefore, itâs recommended to not consume cannabis during pregnancy.
If you want to use cannabis during pregnancy and you are not finding the right information, KIF willÂ help you in this matter. You can consult with our doctors online, they will give you the best possible advice regarding the cannabis use during pregnancy.