Many pregnant women wonder if cannabis is safe during pregnancy or as a post-partum treatment for stress and anxiety. Some pregnant women use cannabis to treat nausea and anxiety. Nonetheless, we do not know exactly whether the use of cannabis has counterproductive effects that may affect pregnancy.
Many pregnancy-related symptoms such as stress and anxiety, nausea or reduce appetite, could improve with the use of cannabis. But is it cannabis during pregnancy dangerous? Can cannabis hurt the fetus? What about cannabis for post-partum treatment?
What is Cannabis Used For?
Cannabis is used both for medical and recreational purposes. Marijuana and its different cannabinoids are useful in the treatment of many health conditions. For instance, CBD is used in the treatment of epilepsy and anxiety or THC is used as an antiemetic and as a treatment for stress.
The FDA has approved one CBD medicine for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, the Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Moreover, THC has been used an antiemetic in cancer and AIDS patients for years, both natural cannabis and THC medicines such as Marinol.
Moreover, there are some studies about cannabis and its potential use in the treatment of cancer. In addition, CBD has been widely researched for its antioxidant properties.
Cannabis During Pregnancy: Can it Harm the Baby?
The use of marijuana during pregnancy has increased after cannabis legalization from 6% to 11%. However, we still don’t know if cannabis has a negative health impact on the mother or the fetus.
Some theories claim that cannabis intake during pregnancy can affect the development of CB1 receptors in the fetus. Furthermore, there appears to be an increase in preterm births in mothers who have used cannabis during pregnancy. Nonetheless, other factors such as socioeconomic status can also affect pregnancy and increase preterm births. Furthermore, according to another study, cannabis use in pregnancy was associated with low birth weight. In conclusion, these findings may suggest that cannabis might have a negative impact on the fetus.
Since its legalization, cannabis has become very popular, especially among younger mothers.
We still have a lot of research to do on cannabis and pregnancy. However, what we know for sure is that smoking, no matter if it is tobacco or cannabis, is harmful for both the mother and the fetus. Smoking puts the baby at risk for certain birth defects. Moreover, it increases the risk for pregnancy complications such as tissue damage in the unborn baby, particularly in the lungs and brain.
Cannabis and Pregnancy: Not Enough Scientific Data
Most of studies on marijuana and pregnancy are studies about smoking and pregnancy. As mentioned above, smoking is harmful for the baby as it increases birth defects such as tissue damage.
Most of studies are quite old and they do not reflect the current situation and variety of cannabis products. Cannabis products come with different ratios of cannabinoids and many of them do not even contain THC. In addition, prior studies have not been able to differentiate if the effects were caused by marijuana or by other substances.
In conclusion, we do not have enough information to draw conclusions if cannabis itself causes harmful effects on the fetus or if it is caused by other substances. The studies are old and there are very few current studies on cannabis and pregnancy. Also, almost all the studies are based on the effects of smoking cannabis and not on modern alternatives such as vaping cannabis.
Is Vaping Cannabis Safe During Pregnancy?
The best answer is you should consult with your gynecologist first. Nonetheless, it is not the same to smoke cannabis than vaping cannabis. Firstly, the combustion of plant material releases many harmful substances such as tar that are carcinogenic to humans. Nonetheless, if you vape cannabis, you will not inhale these cancer-causing substances. In other words, it is not the same to smoke cannabis than vaping or edibles.
Conclusion: Cannabis and Pregnancy
There are not that many recent studies on cannabis and pregnancy. Most of old studies are studies on smoking (cannabis or tobacco) and pregnancy. However, there are almost no studies on cannabis and vaping or cannabis as edibles.
We recommend you consult with a gynecologist about cannabis and pregnancy. Nonetheless, vaping cannabis is definitely safer than smoking it.