There are many studies that have proven the impacts of using marijuana on pregnant women. But one of the most comprehensive studies on marijuana usage during pregnancy revealed how this controversial plant may affect the health of both the child and the mother during the gestation period.
It mainly focuses on the health outcomes for the newborn babies which include placental dysfunction, and developmental problems. This study is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and was targeted to be sure how marijuana increases the chances of gestational hypertension along with preeclampsia in a pregnant woman.
Marijuana shares a highly controversial status for its sedative effects. Pregnant women are advised not to use marijuana or any product that contains marijuana in it. But there is not much data that explains the risks of marijuana for an unborn child and a pregnant mother. Most of these studies used the self-reporting mode of information without any verification or testing.
The researchers working on this project analyzed the biological sampling from more than 9000 pregnant women who were previously a part of another study. The urine samples of these mothers to be were collected throughout their pregnancy and they were assessed for containing marijuana metabolites in their umbilical cord.
Based on the results, the relation between marijuana and pregnant mothers was much clearer. It reveals that not only the use of marijuana but the amount, frequency, and time of marijuana usage also determines the risk.
A naturally occurring chemical inside cannabis, called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is associated with a number of health risks. It can even travel from the mother’s body to the baby in the womb through the placenta and hinder in baby’s development.
There is plenty of scientific data that shows that using marijuana by pregnant mothers often causes a low birth rate in their newborn babies. Even if a pregnant woman has a passive intake of marijuana i.e. smoking, it can lead to certain developmental problems for the growing baby.
Some of the researchers believe that marijuana can even continue to affect the mother and her baby after birth especially targeting the breastfeeding process. However, there is no evidence to confirm this assumption. But in general, doctors advise not to smoke marijuana or use any product that contains marijuana inside when you are handling a baby. It can have long-term effects especially if the mother was a heavy marijuana user or a long-term marijuana user, even before conceiving the baby.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that every one in ten pregnant women in the United States is using marijuana or any product that contains marijuana. The chemicals inside marijuana are potentially damaging to the baby. And any product that uses marijuana in it for example creams, vapes, lotions, or cosmetics can induce this risk.
It also advises every marijuana user who is planning to be a mother to contact the nearest healthcare unit for planning a pregnancy.