Is Marijuana a Good All-Natural Medicine for Pregnant Women?

(Last Updated: Jan 19, 2018)


States are increasingly legalizing the use of pot, while at the federal level it remains illegal. Marijuana's medicinal properties have been well known for several years, and it's usually used for pain and nausea relief. Some women have found relief from ailments such as morning sickness by using cannabis when pregnant, but is it safe?

The short answer is no. While many studies have been inconclusive, some have in fact found serious consequences associated with marijuana use while pregnant. We all know the dangers of smoking tobacco while pregnant. Is marijuana smoke healthier? Evidence suggests not. But is just smoking it the problem? What about edible marijuana?

When a pregnant woman smokes or ingests marijuana, this includes edible marijuana products, the chemicals in marijuana especially THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) cross through the placenta and enters the fetus' bloodstream. Once it is there, it has the potential to harm his or her brain's normal development. This, of course, can have both short-term and long-term consequences.

In one study, babies were tested as a newborn, then again at nine days old, and later at thirty days old. Many of the behaviors found in infants exposed to marijuana in utero were similar to, but slightly less severe than infants of the same ages undergoing opioid withdrawal. Ingesting THC in any form while pregnant can also cause your child to have learning delays or difficulty paying attention. And these problems may only become noticeable after he or she is older. Studies have also linked marijuana use to pre-term labor, low birth weight, and babies born with microcephaly, a term describing a condition in which an infant's head smaller than normal, usually because of neurological underdevelopment.

Of course, we can argue about the true conclusiveness of these studies since one can't rule out other possible factors such as concurrent tobacco smoking, alcohol, or drug use. But as of now there is no research indicating that it is safe, even though some health providers like Dr. Joey Rottman from Intergr8 Health in Burlington, Massachusetts are not completely opposed to its use during pregnancy. He points out a serious condition called hyperemesis gravidarum that can leave a pregnant woman hospitalized and in danger of losing her baby. This rare pregnancy complication is an extreme form of morning sickness that affects about two to three percent of pregnant women. A PICC line, otherwise known as a peripherally inserted central catheter is sometimes necessary in order to provide nutrition because the nausea and vomiting are so severe. A PICC line also has its own risks involved .

Using medication in general not suggested by a healthcare provider while pregnant is usually not a good idea. It is the same thing with marijuana. Self-medication can be dangerous especially while pregnant. It would be best to find a healthcare provider who can help you if you believe that you have a situation in which you believe the benefit outweighs the risks involved.

answered by K C


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