Marijuana Safe For Pregnant Women?
Is Marijuana safe for pregnant women to use?
Is Marijuana safe for breastfeeding women? (Is it safe for the babies?)
If you listen to the media and others that are pro pot or are marketing marijuana, you might be convinced that marijuana is a cure all. Claims from curing cancer, headaches and a myriad of other ills.
Before going any further, I will define what we mean by a drug.
“"Define your terms, gentlemen, define your terms. It saves argument!”
- Dr. Samuel Johnson
I’ve heard so many people having an argument about pretty much anything and it is pretty easy to see from the outside that they haven’t first defined their terms. This stands for marijuana. 97% of people walking around will agree that marijuana can be defined as a drug. We’ll take a definition from a Random House Dictionary.
"A drug is any substance (other than food that provides nutritional support) that, when inhaled, injected, smoked, consumed, absorbed via a patch on the skin, or dissolved under the tongue causes a temporary physiological (and often psychological) change in the body." (This definition compiled from Stedman's Medical Dictionary and Random House Dictionary.)
That said, we can move on.
Go to a health show in your local city and walk up to the ever increasing ‘Grow’ booths and others that are promoting pot and ask the vendor if Marijuana is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. The answer is usually affirmative. In Canada, where marijuana is now legal, you will see more of this.
But, in contrast, here is what Health Canada and the FDA have to say.
Health Canada and FDA:
“Health effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Just like with tobacco and alcohol, a pregnant woman or new mother's use of cannabis can affect her fetus or newborn child.
The substances in cannabis are carried through the mother's blood to her fetus during pregnancy. They are passed into the breast milk following birth. This can lead to health problems for the child.
Cannabis use during pregnancy can lead to lower birth weight of the baby. It has also been associated with longer-term developmental effects in children and adolescents, such as:
- decreases in:
- memory function
- ability to pay attention
- reasoning and problem-solving skills
- hyperactive behaviour
- increased risk for future substance use”
“Mental health effects:
In some people, cannabis use increases the risk of developing mental illnesses such as psychosis or schizophrenia, especially those who:
- start using cannabis at a young age
- use cannabis frequently (daily or almost every day)
- have a personal or family history of psychosis and/or schizophrenia
Frequent cannabis use has also been associated with an increased risk of:
- anxiety disorders
There is evidence to suggest that combining tobacco with cannabis can increase:
- the strength of some psychoactive effects
- the risk of poor mental health outcomes including addiction”
And from FDA (USA Food and Drug Administration) www.fda.gov
“FDA strongly advises against the use of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. … FDA wants you to know there may be serious risks to using cannabis products, including those containing CBD, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.”
“marijuana use during pregnancy may affect fetal brain development, because THC can enter the fetal brain from the mother’s bloodstream.”
“…This THC may affect a newborn’s brain development and result in hyperactivity, poor cognitive function, and other long-term consequences.”
With regard to CBD, there are no test proving it harmful, meaning that there are no tests proving is safe either.
Years ago alcohol was touted as safe for pregnant women. Alcohol was then another drug untested and considered safe for many physical and mental problems. We have learned the hard way about fetal alcohol syndrome.
What is ‘fetal alcohol syndrome’?
“Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition in a child that results from alcohol exposure during the mother's pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome causes brain damage and growth problems. The problems caused by fetal alcohol syndrome vary from child to child, but defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome are not reversible.” from mayoclinic.com
Are we going to learn the hard way (again) that marijuana causes health and development issues? I have been at Health Shows in Toronto, Canada, where marijuana is now legal, and have heard the vendors at ‘Pot’ booths telling pregnant women that it is entirely safe; that pot will help with morning sickness and other pains and aches. Completely irresponsible. There is no proof that it is safe. None whatsoever! In fact, there is plenty of information coming to light that the worst time for anyone to use marijuana is while the brain is developing.
“Although brain development is subject to significant individual variation, most experts suggest that the brain is fully developed by age 25.”
Also, significant tests have been done to show that the brain patterns of someone under the effects of marijuana mimic or are the same as the brain of a schizophrenic.
Do you want that for your child?
Life is difficult enough. There are enough barriers to one’s survival without adding to it the handicap of drugs. One of the side effects on children and teens, as stated above, is the inability to pay attention. So you now you end up labelling your child ADHD. If you do take this chance, then you may end up tempted to further compound your child’s problems in feeling the need to use pharmaceuticals such as Ritalin. Setting up your child for drug use for life.
So, be compassionate. Give you child a fighting chance. Keep away from marijuana (and other drugs) while pregnant and while breast feeding.
There is more information on this website as to the effects of street drugs and also prescription drugs such as Ritalin and Prozac.
Remember, before starting an argument, define your terms.
Check this page out for links to more information on how Pot can affect your life: More on Marijuana