Medical cannabis is known for treating various medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, loss of appetite, cancer, Crohn’s Disease, eating disorders, glaucoma, to name just a few. At the present, 33 states and the District of Columbia has legalized medical marijuana. More states will follow suit in the coming years.
While it has been proven to help patients get relief from their medical conditions, it still remains to be seen whether smoking weed can be effective with treating pregnancy-related pain. According to the Center for Disease Control, 16.2% of pregnant women aged 18 to 44 use cannabis daily. Also, studies also reveal that between 2009 and 2016, cannabis use among pregnant females nearly doubled.
Pregnant women will surely be searching the Internet for a “dispensaries near me” with some questions about cannabis use. If you are a pregnant woman considering cannabis use, here are some information you need to know.
Is it safe?
Doctors do not recommend marijuana use during pregnancy but there are some prevailing misconceptions. First, since marijuana is legal in some states in the United States, then it must be safe for use during pregnancy.
Another misconception is that while smoking weed is dangerous, other forms of drugs such as edibles will not harm the fetus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, any form of marijuana can affect a fetus’s growth and development.
Are there side effects?
Using cannabis during pregnancy can have a lot of side effects on the fetus:
Low birth weight. A meta-analysis of 24 studies involving pregnant womena, marijuana use, and birth outcomes found a connection between low birth weight and maternal marijuana use. This is associated with low oxygen levels, difficulty in maintaining body temperature, and breathing problems, among other complications.
Stillbirth risk. A 2013 study by the National Institutes of Health revealed that marijuana use was associated with 2.3 times higher risk of stillbirth. The research involved women who experienced stillbirth at 59 American hospitals. According to the researchers, it was difficult to separate the effects of smoking marijuana and tobacco as they are often used together.
Cannabis use during pregnancy is known to cause cannabinoid placental crossing and accumulation in the fetal brain. This can cause interference in the neurodevelopment and endocannabinoid system. During the postnatal period, it can result to secretion in breast milk for extended periods after last use.
Pregnancy and Nausea
Nausea is the most common symptom of pregnancy. Doctors often prescribe medical cannabis to treat chemotherapy-related nausea. As reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some women use marijuana in their battle against nausea. However, there is no research proving the safety and effectiveness of such practice.
Nausea is a common symptom during the early stages of pregnancy, when the drug is more likely to affect the developing fetus. It is highly recommended that you first consult a doctor about safe ways of reducing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Overall, the CDC, NIDA, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists do not recommend marijuana use during pregnancy. If you are using marijuana when pregnant and find it difficult to quit, it is best to consult your doctor or seek professional assistance.