Have you ever asked how safe is marijuana during pregnancy? Look up the Facebook group "Pot Smoking Moms Who Cuss Sometimes" and you will find 2600 members consisting of mothers that partake in cannabis. From postpartum depression to morning sickness, marijuana is used as an all natural and seemingly harmless remedy. But, what are the effects? How safe is it really? The truth is, science really can’t say.
It has been difficult for researchers to study the effects, mainly because many soon to be mothers in the United States who utilize marijuana during pregnancy are reluctant to tell their doctors. It’s no wonder though that in at least 24 states this substance use during pregnancy is a form of child abuse.
Still, some research suggests there's been a sharp jump in pot use among pregnant women, especially among younger mothers. So how safe is marijuana during pregnancy?
Mothers must keep in mind what goes into their body is shared with their baby. The fetus may be exposed to about 10 percent of the THC that the mother receives because of how easily the psychoactive compounds in marijuana can cross the placenta.
Dr. Dana Gossett, in confident studies, shows that marijuana can increase the risk of stillbirth and adversely affect how the brain develops. Other research suggests children who have been exposed to marijuana while growing in the womb are linked to poorer performance on visual-motor coordination such as catching a ball or solving visual problems like puzzles. Kids may also have behavioral problems at higher rates than other children as they grow older and are at greater risk for initiating marijuana use.
"That is biologically plausible," Gossett says, "because the effects of THC in the brain may actually prime that child for addictive behavior, not just to marijuana but to alcohol as well.”
With the streak of legalizing cannabis, many physicians like Gossett are concerned that children whose brains are rapidly developing will come to know the world in an altered state.
"They're learning what things look like and how things move and how to respond to the world," Gossett says. Marijuana's psychotropic effects, she adds, will change "a child's ability to interpret the world around him."
Marijuana may be a wonderful alternative to stronger more invasive drugs. All pot loving ladies should be honest and share the cannabis details when talking with their doctor. This is the only way research can be continued as a way to find healthier, more natural, pregnancy cures.
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