How to Consume Marijuana Before And After Pregnancy
Cannabis is certainly one of the most used drugs in the modern world. According to official information, more than 250 million people consumed marijuana at least once, and it’s hard to imagine the real numbers. No doubt that with every passing day people become more and more sure about the safety and even usefulness of cannabis. You can learn more about marijuana effects on humans on AskGrowers.
Young people, both men, and women, are more likely to consume weed than the older generation, which means, that most women who use marijuana are in their reproductive age. The point is that about half of pot users continue marijuana use during pregnancy. The self-reported information on smoking weed during pregnancy shows a 2-5% rate and it increases among younger and socio-economically disadvantaged women up to 28%.
It is known that the pregnancy period is often not easy for a mother-to-be. Women frequently face anxiety, nausea, vomiting and morning sickness, while cannabis is believed to help with such problems. So it is totally not surprising that women tend to consume it during pregnancy. Another issue mothers need to combat is post-partum depression, which also can be eliminated with the help of marijuana. In this case, mothers use it in the period of breastfeeding.
But the question still remains unanswered, does smoking weed affect pregnancy? And if it does, what are the effects of cannabis on mother and on a child? Let’s find out the answers.
The Effects Of Marijuana On A Mother
There is a crucial difference in weed effects on male and female bodies. The main cannabis active components act via endocannabinoid receptors, and according to the Journal of Molecular Endocrinology, the highest concentration of such receptors is in women’s reproductive systems. Moreover, the body reaction on cannabinoids also depends on the estrogen amount, and estrogen is actually called a women’s sex hormone. So generally speaking, marijuana effects on the female body are stronger, ladies’ high state is more potent, but it also can lead to cannabis disorders quicker than it works for men.
Women usually smoke hash less than men, but they surely can get lots of special benefits. For example, female users claim marijuana to ease their PMS symptoms, menstrual pains, relieve anxiety and depression. Some use weed in order to improve the sexual experience and get a better physical and mental connection with their partners. It is also proved that cannabis oil affects breast cancer. Lots of women are also in love with cannabis skincare.
There are lots of weed benefits for women, but there are a lot of concerns about smoking weed while pregnancy. Studies have been made on this topic are mostly made on animals and that’s why they are not highly trusted. But still, doctors advise future mothers to be more careful with marijuana use during pregnancy.
According to the studies published by MGH Center for Women's Mental Health cannabis can have such bad effects on the mother’s body as impairment of fallopian motility, because cannabinoids influence muscle relaxation and contraction, and therefore the pass of the fertilized egg to the uterus. Women who experienced ectopic pregnancy also had more cannabinoids in their blood than the ones who had a normal pregnancy. Another point is that in such cases embryo may develop slower and the risks of its mortality are higher. There is a theory that cannabinoids make uterine less receptive. One more important thing you need to know about is that THC, the main active marijuana component, decreases fetus folic acid uptake, which is necessary for embryo development, which is associated with higher risks of miscarriage.
On the one hand, it is very important for a woman to be calm, relaxed and happy during pregnancy because stress can harmfully influence her and baby’s health and cannabis is actually used to relieve pains and worries, it gives consumers the state of happiness and euphoria. But on another hand, the negative effects of marijuana like attention decrease, problems with memory and motivation can cause issues with the mother’s ability to care about her baby in the right way.
The effects of marijuana use during pregnancy depend on the intensity of using and on the trimesters. According to the studies of the National Institute of Drug Abuse cannabis use in the United States was more common in the first trimester than in the second and third. The more frequent and later a woman consumes cannabis during pregnancy, the more risks of having problems she gets.
According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, 70% of women think that there is a “slight risk” or “no risk” of harm in case of using weed once or twice a week, but it is always only your personal decision to use it or not.
The Effects Of Consuming Cannabis While Pregnancy On A Child
Everything that a pregnant woman eats, drinks, applies to her skin, or inhales can affect her future child, marijuana is not an exception.
There is no exact evidence of the influence of prenatal cannabis exposure on the fetus, but there are studies that prove the possibility of risks.
First of all, it is important to mention that THC can be keeps in fat up to 8 days and in blood up to 30 days after consumption. THC is lipolytic so it easily goes pass the placenta barriers. The primate study proved that the cannabis component appears in fetal blood in 15 minutes after the mother’s injection and in 3 hours the levels of THC in maternal and fetal blood get equal. Therefore there is no doubt that the embryo is exposed to marijuana in the uterus if the mother-to-be is smoking weed while pregnancy.
Though the studies on the subject are limited, certainly most of them are dedicated to the physical and mental problems of children who had been exposed to marijuana in the uterus. According to the research by The Colledge of Family Physicians of Canada, there is a decreasing statistic in birth weight associated with cannabis consumption while pregnant. Researchers also note low birth length. Another thing susceptible to cannabis influence is neurodevelopment. Marijuana can impact the developing brain which may cause tremors, decreased reactions to light, aggression and attention lack at the age of 18 months. Later it may lead to irritability, hyperactive behavior, verbal and visual perception problems.
But a systematic and overall review published in Frontiers in Psychology shows reverse results. The examination of literature and different studies shows that the cognitive outcomes of children exposed to marijuana and not, don’t differ much. So the evidence of the cognitive influence of prenatal cannabis consumption on a fetus is not reliable.
There is also not much information on smoking weed while breastfeeding, but it is known, that as THC is lipolytic it is well-kept in fat, so it is in milk. A baby can get some THC from mother in a period of 6 days after consumption weed. There is some evidence that using cannabis during the first month of lactation can cause motor and brain development problems at the age of 1 year.
If you are willing to combine cannabis and pregnancy health professionals say that you need to take a consultation with your doctor keep yourself and your baby healthy.
In the final word we want to say that it is always a mother’s choice what to consume and how. Certainly, marijuana is getting more and more popular and its benefits are undeniable. It is just always wise and reasonable to take a balanced approach and to think twice when it comes to the mother’s and baby’s health.