In the past few years, the number of people who use medical marijuana has been growing, and many states are taking steps to make it legal. One study found that twenty percent of pregnant women aged 24 and younger tested positive for medical marijuana. This finding is consistent with the current trends, which indicate that the usage of the substance has dramatically increased over the past decade.
Let’s go through a quick summary before we begin. Marijuana consumption during pregnancy is not suggested. Any sort of contradictory medication should be avoided throughout pregnancy to avoid potential problems.
Is it dangerous to use marijuana during pregnancy? The short answer is, we don’t know for sure. There have been few studies conducted on the effects of marijuana usage during pregnancy. However, there is some new research demonstrating that marijuana use can cause birth defects and some other developmental obstructions in newborns. We’ll go over how marijuana is consumed throughout pregnancy, as well as the risks associated with it.
Medical Marijuana: What is it?
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a flowering plant that contains cannabinoids. Marijuana is used to relieve symptoms caused by various medical diseases such as chronic pain, cancer, depression, anxiety, and HIV/AIDS. Many states have legalized medical usage in jurisdictions where recreational use is still prohibited because many doctors feel it may be used as a standalone therapy or among other medicines. Although marijuana is gaining popularity, the FDA has not yet approved it as a safe or effective medicine to treat any health condition. Some patients have found relief from using marijuana, but it is not the miracle herb that many make it out to be.
The most frequent purpose for pregnant women to use cannabis is to relieve nausea during the first few months of pregnancy. Even though there are dangers connected with it, some physicians may prescribe medical cannabis to pregnant women to alleviate nausea. We have no idea what’s going on in these doctors’ heads. You should be aware that smoking marijuana while pregnant can have negative effects on your child and is something you should try to avoid entirely. If you’re struggling with chronic nausea, it would be best to speak with your primary care physician about other ways to manage the problem.
How do most people use Medical Marijuana?
Nowadays, people use medical cannabis in several ways. To prevent accidental exposure, it’s crucial to know which methods are common. People usually smoke marijuana by using a handheld pipe, smoking cigars, or joints (rolling hand-rolled cigarettes). However, it’s not just the drug that is harmful. Inhaling any type of smoking can have dangerous consequences for babies’ health. If a pregnant woman inhales cigarette smoke, her baby is more likely to be born premature, have a low birth weight, or experience birth defects.
Some types of marijuana are often mixed into foods, like candy, brownies, or other dessert items. If you’re pregnant, it’s important to be extra careful about accidentally consuming these foods since there’s no easy way to tell if they contain marijuana. This form of the drug is also more potent than vaping weed or smoking because a large amount can be included in a small portion of food.
Extracts of marijuana are a relatively new method of consumption that has gained popularity in recent years. People often call these extracts “dabs,” and they are made to have a lot of THC, which is the chemical in cannabis that gives people the “high” feeling. Extracts can be in the form of oil, wax, or shatter, which is a hardened substance. Extracts have the most THC when compared to other types of marijuana. It is normal practice to use lighter fluid to ignite the material and bring it up to an extremely high temperature before dabbing it. This can be particularly harmful to your child because it exposes them to the toxins present in lighter fluid and also provides them with huge doses of THC.
What Happens to Your Baby if You Use Marijuana?
The most significant difficulty associated with the use of marijuana during pregnancy is the existing lack of information regarding the effects that it can have on a child who is still developing. The legalization of marijuana is spreading much more rapidly than studies can keep up, and it could take years to determine what detrimental side effects are linked with its use. Despite the few available studies, there is growing evidence that consuming marijuana while pregnant might result in developmental delays, birth abnormalities, and, in some circumstances, a stillbirth. There can be disadvantages even after the baby is born, but they usually only last a short time.
Some of these researchers are currently undergoing animal testing, but the results are being applied to people as a precaution. Some of the dangers of smoking marijuana while pregnant are included:
- Learning deficits
- Premature birth
- Disorders that impede neurological development
- Symptoms of withdrawal after childbirth
- Behavioral, Memory, and social problems
Although there is a lot of research on marijuana, it is still not recommended to do any kind of drugs while pregnant. You want to keep your baby as far away from any sort of unnecessary substances as possible since they might harm their health. When marijuana is used in social situations, it is often combined with smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or taking other drugs. This can cause difficulties when trying to determine how the fetus is being affected by marijuana.
Moreover, you want to be in the best health possible during pregnancy, and medical marijuana can lead to general health problems like:
- Heart rate goes up
- Smoke inhalation causes lung issues.
- Sleeping hard or being woken up often
- Poor balance and coordination
While the list is not exhaustive, it’s important to mitigate all possible complications even if you don’t have a history of medical conditions. If you do have a medical history that could possibly exacerbate the potential for risk during your pregnancy, it may be the reason you’re prescribed medical marijuana in the first place. Keep in mind that it is common to titrate off of most other medications during a pregnancy, and your certified provider or primary care physician can consult with you regarding the specifics of how to go about doing that. Cutting out medical cannabis without any guidance, or going “cold turkey”, is not inherently dangerous but you’ll be more at ease by following the instruction of your healthcare team when it comes to replacing cannabis with something sustainable and safe for the next several months.
When Breastfeeding, Is it safe to take Medical Cannabis?
The health risks of cannabis while breastfeeding are significant. When a mother uses marijuana, moderate levels of THC may be absorbed into her breast milk. If the mother uses marijuana often, THC can build up in her breast milk. Consuming THC during nursing could potentially have an effect on the maturation of the infant’s brain because it is still under development. Additionally, there is some data that suggests breastfeeding mothers who use THC may see a reduction in their child’s motor skills at age one. It is best to stay away from marijuana until you are done nursing your child.
How can I find support?
If you’re having problems quitting marijuana, speak with your doctor to learn about the resources that are available or to discuss safer alternatives to manage pregnancy-related symptoms. For people who use marijuana all the time, you can also get help from organizations that deal with drug abuse. They can help you take the steps you need to stop using marijuana.
Medical marijuana can be beneficial to many people suffering from health issues, but a newborn should never be introduced to unknown substances that could be harmful to their health. Providing your child with a drug-free atmosphere is the best approach to assure that they do not encounter any adverse effects from drug use.
It can be hard to stop using marijuana, especially if you’ve become dependent on it, however, there is help out there. To avoid being tempted, it might help to talk to family and friends and ask them not to use or talk about marijuana in social situations. If you don’t know what kind of ingredients or chemicals are in something, it’s usually best to stay away from it.
REACH OUT TO A PHYSICIAN TODAY
In Ohio, 672 physicians are currently certified to recommend patients to the Medical Marijuana treatment plan. Lots of MMJ offices can be found online; however, not all of them have withstood the test of time. Ohio Green Team is the highest rated medical marijuana office in the state, and has been in practice since the program was put in place in 2018. OGT has five certified MMJ physicians who are often available for day-of appointments, with approximately 12,000 patients approved and a 5-star customer rating.
Get in touch with us!
Ohio Green Team – Medical Marijuana Doctors & Recommendations
1733 W Lane Ave Suite 6, Columbus, OH 43221