Marijuana and Pregnancy
Using marijuana during pregnancy will bring serious social repercussions on you. In some states, the authorities may even have your kids taken away. However, like most of fears, the fear of prenatal cannabis use seems to derive from the lack of proper knowledge, bolstered by the propaganda spread throughout the years, when governments in some countries were raising their fist in the War on Drugs started by the U.S.
A new study suggest that smoking cannabis during pregnancy is actually safe, but it has to be kept in moderation. Furthermore, researchers recommend their readers to give up smoking in favor of ingesting or vaping marijuana.
What are the exact results of the study? If you will follow me, please!
There Is No Link Between Using Marijuana and Potential Pregnancy Disorders
Source: Mother How
Dr. Shayna Conner and her team of researchers aimed at determining whether or not using marijuana during pregnancy can be linked to any negative health consequences.
In order to test their thesis, they performed a complex and constant review combined with meta-analysis of observational research that compared the amount of consumed cannabis to birth outcomes.
Since it’s not morally okay to perform potentially harmful experiments on pregnant women, a huge part of the research on marijuana and pregnancy are based on observations, as well as on cell line studies.
Once Dr. Conner and her team examined all of the information, they found two most noticeable outcomes that were consistent in both cases, namely preterm delivery and low birth weight. This is nothing new, as cannabis opponents often raise these two arguments against the herb when it comes to discussing marijuana and pregnancy. Nonetheless, researchers dug even deeper in the subject and here’s what they found out:
- When you sort out tobacco use and other factors that may contribute to these outcomes, there is no statistical correlation between marijuana use and negative health consequences after the birth.
That being said, we may claim that marijuana use during pregnancy is not a sole risk factor for harmful health consequences to a child. Maybe it’s high time we shed light on using tobacco and other confounding factors during pregnancy?
You can read more about the study in the October 2016 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
So What About Tobacco?
At this stage, it’s of paramount importance to note that the findings of this study underline that cannabis doesn’t increase the risk of negative birth outcomes as long as it’s used independently.
When mixing marijuana with tobacco, on the other hand, the risk of premature birth and low birth weight significantly increases.
Truth to be said, you shouldn’t consume alcohol, tobacco, or other harmful drugs in general, so it goes without saying that it’s not advised to do it during pregnancy. To cut the long story short, if you want to use weed during pregnancy, don’t combine it with the unhealthy stuff – although the herb has a plethora of therapeutic properties, it may not be enough to protect your baby from the harms of prenatal tobacco and alcohol use.
Why Should You Keep Marijuana in Moderation While Pregnant?
Source: The New York Times
Although Dr. Conner believes that marijuana use during pregnancy is the cause of neonatal health complications, she is still apprehensive about using marijuana when pregnant. According to her interview for NPR, if a substance doesn’t benefit maternal or fetal health (directly), it shouldn’t be incorporated into the diet.
Instead, rather than pumping more dollars into the War on Drugs, governments should spend public health money to investigate substances which come with a greater risk of harm, such as tobacco, caffeine, or alcohol.
Although there is some evidence that heavy marijuana consumption during early stages of pregnancy may increase the chances for behavioral complications to develop later in life, even these studies failed to produce homogenous results.
Moreover, many cannabis studies fail to test the substance separately, with no tobacco or alcohol included, let alone dividing cannabis strains into THC and high-CBD varieties. Interestingly, there’s a study whose evidence seems to counter the above claims about marijuana’s negative impact on children. Melanie Dreher, the lead researcher of her team, conducted a longitudinal study of Jamaican women from the 1980 that included cannabis-exposed and unexposed children from the very birth up to the age of 5. After reaching the age of 5, the children went through a series of tests, namely the McCarthy Test of Children’s Abilities. The study found no difference between the exposed group and the controlled one in terms of tested abilities or their educational performance.
The More Research The Merrier
What we need now is more studies in order to understand how marijuana interacts with child development. The study mentioned in the paragraph above, along with Conner’s research suggest that marijuana shouldn’t be the target of interest when it comes to cognitive impairment in children. Moreover, we still need research that digs deeper into the sole cannabis use without any confounding factors, and differing the effects of THC and other cannabinoids seems like something the medical community should investigate.
Did you smoke when you were pregnant? Or did you consume marijuana by any other methods? What’s your outlook on marijuana and pregnancy? Remember to care and share!