Is It Safe to Consume Weed When You're Pregnant?
As the stigma surrounding cannabis begins to lift and medical benefits come to light, soon-to-be mothers and fathers are eager to know the facts about how marijuana affects future generations.
Published on May 4, 2016

You're first reaction may be “No way!” but know that some women in Ireland drink warm Guiness during pregnancy. According to a study published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, consuming small amounts of alcohol is not a concern for your unborn baby. 

Also, you might be interested to know that stout beer can be healthier than light beer and your body reacts to it in a similar way as it does to red wine – it's heart-healthy. Stout beer also has antioxidants and minerals that can be nutritious. In the U.S., we are hypersensitive to any threats to birth weight or brain development; that's probably why we make such giant, beautiful, intelligent babies.

If we consider the data above, it's not a big leap to think that consuming small amounts of cannabis while preggers might be okay or even beneficial in some respects. We can think of many reasons that one might wish to consume cannabis with a bun in the oven to alleviate related symptoms. 

Nausea is the primary reason that comes to mind. Marijuana is a great treatment for nausea, soothing the tum tum, and for stimulating an appetite. Nausea is the number one complaint of pregnant women and in severe cases can threaten the health of one's fetus due the loss of necessary nutrients that can result from what we call “morning sickness."

Swollen feet is another common symptom that one might incur during the gestation of human life forms. BCP (Beta-caryophyllene) contained in cannabis is known to reduce inflammation, so an edible might help in this respect as well. However, this terpene is readily available from other sources like rosemary, oregano, or basil, which are all delicious on a pizza and offer additional health benefits without the worry.

The tree of life boasts an abundance of phytocannabinoids that are thought to be great for maintaining one's cognizance well into old age. Will they make your progeny smarter?! A study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation suggests that chronic doses of the “chronic” may promote “hippocampal neurogenesis.” 

In lay lady's terms, this means that new neural pathways are formed possibly improving memory and the ability to learn. However, this study was done on rats, not human babies. Meditation is an excellent alternative way to keep your brain young and fresh and posts no risks to your unborn child.

It is worth mentioning that this same study above shows that the highly potent synthetic form of THC called HU-210 used in the research “exerted antidepressant-like effects.” Therefore one might deduce that cannabis would be a beneficial treatment for postpartum depression. One should exercise caution if breast-feeding however, just as women do with alcohol (“pump and dump”).

There are some surprisingly bulbous figures surrounding prenatal cannabis exposure – an estimated 10% of pregnancies in the U.S. and Europe. This is especially surprising when one considers that some statistics cite 12% of Americans chief Mary Jane on the whole and that more men smoke herb than women on average. Although women have been smoking ganja for thousands of years, little scientific research is currently available regarding the effects of prenatal cannabis exposure. With the pending legalization of cannabis, government agencies are eager to nail down some answers and fast.

If you smoke weed regularly while pregnant, know that THC passes through the placenta to your baby and research indicates that exposure may lead to fetal distress, inhibited growth, or neuropsychiatric issues especially for female children. 

The effect may be more detrimental if one combines tobacco with cannabis in a spliff. It is worth mentioning that THC may trigger psychosis in schizophrenics, although research is currently inconclusive.

Neuroscientist Yasmin Hurd of Mount Sinai School of Medicine is currently conducting research on rats to determine the effects of cannabis exposure. One such study indicates that consuming marijuana might result in epigenetic modifications that affect second or third generations.

Bottom line, avoid THC while pregnant and consult your doctor for your particular medical needs. 

If you are going to consume cannabis while pregnant, choose CBD or source products derived from low THC strains like AC/DC or Charlotte's Web

Take good care of yourself and your baby, you both deserve it!

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Courtney Freeman
Courtney Aura Freeman is a product marketing expert with a focus in digital advertising and award-winning multimedia content. Before graduating from Columbia University, she interned with the Honorable Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York to support constituent-relations. She continues her advocacy today promoting Native American sovereignty and environmental safeguards.
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