Marijuana doesn’t have the same stigma as it did a few years back. More states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use, with more being in the process of doing so.
Due to this, marijuana use has increased among the general population, including pregnant women. Many women wonder if marijuana use during pregnancy is okay. Estimates show that between four and ten percent of women use marijuana during pregnancy.
Like alcohol and cigarettes, smoking marijuana during pregnancy can be harmful to your unborn baby. However, most people don’t realize the effects marijuana can have on the pregnant mother and her unborn baby.
Read along to learn about marijuana use during pregnancy and what it means for you and your unborn child.
Why Do Women Use Marijuana During Pregnancy?
Reports indicate that many women who use marijuana during pregnancy were recreational users before getting pregnant. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy statistics shows that marijuana use is more frequent during the first trimester than later in the pregnancy. Pregnant women turn to marijuana to reduce nausea, vomiting, and other side effects early in pregnancy.
Many pregnant women also turn to marijuana to help reduce pregnancy-related pain, stress, and anxiety. Of course, there are better ways to treat these symptoms, but some women opt for marijuana due to its presumed health benefits.
Before you buy any CBD products from the CBD brands around you, talk to your doctor first. Your doctor will advise you on whether it’s safe to use marijuana during pregnancy.
How Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Affect Fetal Development
THC is the main component of marijuana. It can be detected in the bloodstream for up to thirty days and eight days in the fat after use. THC can cross the blood-brain barrier and placenta once in the bloodstream due to its lipophilic nature.
In one study, THC was detected in fetal blood 15 minutes after administering it to the mother. In another study involving canines, THC was found in fetal fat at concentrations of about thirty percent of maternal plasma levels.
Evidence shows that THC and other cannabinoids can affect implantations in the following ways:
1. Impair the Fallopian Motility
Cannabinoid affects the contraction and relaxation of muscle in the fallopian tube, responsible for the movement of a fertilized egg into the uterus via the fallopian tube.
2. Ectopic Pregnancy
Studies have shown that women with higher amounts of naturally occurring cannabinoid are at a higher risk of having an ectopic pregnancy than women with normal pregnancy controls. Data in both humans and animals show that altered cannabinoids can increase the chances of having an ectopic pregnancy.
3. Reduced Uterine Receptivity
When you take marijuana during pregnancy, the exogenous cannabinoids bind to CB1receptors in the uterus. The binding has embryotoxic effects on the uterus environment, which halts the development of blastocysts.
Cannabinoids acting on the CB1 receptor can affect the differentiation of neural cells in the brain. In turn, this can affect memory and limb development.
4. Non-Viable Embryo
Slow development of embryos was observed in mice models with an altered cannabinoid signaling. As a result, women who smoke marijuana during pregnancy are likely to have increased mortality of offspring.
Most often, doctors have linked marijuana use during pregnancy with an increased risk for complications. Effects of marijuana during pregnancy include:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Small length
Although folic acid is essential for embryo development, a woman’s body cannot synthesize it. That’s why women are required to take folic supplements during pregnancy. Unfortunately, THC decreases folic acid uptake, which increases the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, and neural tube defects.
Can Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Affect Your Baby After Birth?
Doctors and medical experts believe that marijuana use during pregnancy can have long-lasting effects on your child’s brain development and behavior. Kids born to marijuana smoking moms may score lower on behavioral, memory, and cognitive tests than other kids.
The kids are at a higher risk of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulse control issues. Marijuana use during pregnancy is associated with lower scores on math tests, reading comprehension, and spelling.
Is Marijuana Safe During Pregnancy?
It’s no doubt that the risks of using medical marijuana during pregnancy outweigh the benefits. If you’re looking for alternative ways to treat pregnancy side effects, talk to your healthcare provider first.
Apart from marijuana, there are safer and effective natural remedies to use during pregnancy. Depending on your condition, your doctor will prescribe medication that’s safe for you and the baby.
If you’re using marijuana during pregnancy, let your doctor know. Revealing this information to your doctor will ensure you get proper prenatal care.