Weed (one of marijuana names) is the most used drug during pregnancy. Many studies have estimated the number of women smoking weed while pregnant. As per the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), about 2 to 5 percent of women tend to use weed during pregnancy. This number may even increase in a particular group of women.
Marijuana drug that can be made made from dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds of a cannabis plant. Marihuana is known to be commonly used drug by women, even by pregnant women.
Marijuana is a drug that is illegal in many states; however, in some states, its usage is legal. Also, it is used to treat some specific illnesses. This intake of marijuana is termed as medical or medicinal marijuana.
Can You Smoke Weed While Pregnant?
Smoking weed during pregnancy is proven to be harmful to the mother and the baby’s health. Marijuana contains a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes harm to the development of the baby. Let’s take a brief look at the health effects of THC and pregnancy.
Possible Side Effects of Marijuana on Pregnancy
According to doctors, smoking weed while pregnant may lead to the following consequences:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Small head circumference
- Small length
When women use marijuana during their pregnancy, the THC, along with other chemicals, tend to pass through the placenta and then to the baby. The placenta grows in the uterus and supplies the baby with the food and oxygen through the umbilical cord. THC and pregnancy studies have shown that the chemicals present in marijuana can also reach the baby’s brain.
Using marijuana during pregnancy may also lead to the baby having problems after birth. The baby is more likely to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Marijuana may cause the following effects to the baby after birth:
- Behavior problems
- Problems with memory, problem-solving, learning and paying attention
- Sleeping disorders
- Withdrawal symptoms such as tremors or crying for long periods after birth
Different studies have shown that daily or even weekly usage of marijuana can make your pregnancy high-risk. Many studies have also shown that exposure to marijuana in the uterus can cause an alteration in the brain of the fetus.
One of the researchers even found that the amygdala, which is an area of the brain that controls emotion, showed some abnormality in function in male fetuses whose mothers would smoke pot while pregnant.
Marijuana can also affect the memory and the cognitive ability of adults. Therefore, it may have the same effect on developing babies. Marijuana is also known to have an impact on the brain neurotransmitters and biochemistry of a fetus, the intake of oxygen, and can even alter the heart rate of the fetus. It has the ability to stay in the system for an extended period of time; therefore, a baby’s exposure to it while in the uterus can be more prolonged than the mother would even know.
Many midwives suggest that occasional use of marijuana during pregnancy helps in treating morning sickness and anxiety. However, THC present in marijuana causes significant changes in the processes of the human body. When marijuana is smoked or ingested in any form by a pregnant woman, pot and THC enter the fetus’ bloodstream, which means that the drug is being shared with the baby.
If you are someone who had smoked weed before the pregnancy, then it is nothing to worry about. There is no such evidence that proves that marijuana used before pregnancy will cause damage to the fetus. However, it may cause problems in conceiving.
In conclusion, it is not safe to smoke weed during pregnancy due to the risk of early labor, complications during pregnancy, and effects on the baby. But if you are using marijuana during pregnancy, make sure to visit the doctor regularly and limit your intake.