Many women experiencing the unpleasant symptoms of early pregnancy, like morning sickness, have turned to alternate forms of treatment. Something a bit more natural and green. Unfortunately, marijuana can have permanent effects on your fetus.
The Washington Post reports that a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, published Monday, indicates that more women than ever are toking away their morning sickness, with potentially serious consequences. The study’s intro reads:
Between 2001 and 2013, marijuana use among US adults more than doubled, many states legalized marijuana use, and attitudes toward marijuana became more permissive. In aggregated 2007-2012 data, 3.9% of pregnant women and 7.6% of nonpregnant reproductive-aged women reported past-month marijuana use. Although the evidence is mixed, human and animal studies suggest that prenatal marijuana exposure may be associated with poor offspring outcomes (eg, low birth weight, impaired neurodevelopment).
According to the study, in 2002 about 2.4 percent of pregnant women between the ages of 18 and 44 reported that they’d used weed in the last month. By 2014, that number was 4 percent.
Research on the effects of the gandja on pregnant women is actually quite limited, but the Washington Post cites another study that suggests there’s a connection between prenatal marijuana exposure and children with increased frontal cortical thickness. Kids whose mothers smoke weed while pregnant have also reportedly shown “impaired functions such as impulse control, visual memory and attention during school years.”
Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, wrote in an editorial connected to the study that marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug by pregnant women, and that this comes from a misconception that is relatively harmless to the growing fetus. She states:
Even with the current level of uncertainty about the influence of marijuana on human neurodevelopment, physicians and other health care providers in a position to recommend medical marijuana must be mindful of the possible risks and err on the side of caution by not recommending this drug for patients who are pregnant.