There is not a lot of data available on the effects of medicinal marijuana on a woman in her pregnancy or the child that she is carrying. A large number of states in America are starting to legalize medicinal as well as recreational marijuana. Also, there has been an increase in marijuana use in women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tests have shown a large increase in the number of pregnant women that use medical marijuana. When medical marijuana was first legalized in 1996 that number was four percent, 10 years later it rose to seven and now, with the legalization of recreational marijuana in North California, who knows?
Surveys have shown that women have started using marijuana to treat their morning sickness. In doing this, women are also exposing their fetuses to the effects of marijuana as well. There have been cases where ingredients from marijuana were able to bypass the placenta. Scientists also found marijuana in breast milk in some cases.
Due to the low amount of data available about the effects of marijuana on fetuses and babies, there is no way to tell how extensive is the damage caused when women do this. Even so, some studies have shown that babies have a lower birth weight because of marijuana use. Visits to the neonatal intensive care unit are also more common. Other studies could not prove or disprove any of this.
The biggest issue in all this is that it is unethical to subject pregnant women to the use of marijuana. Because of this, test groups cannot be created, and no detailed tests can be performed.
This is all necessary to create a valid study.
How Close Are Scientists to New Data?
Despite all this, the existing information about the effects of marijuana on pregnant women should be enough to put off, or at least make women think twice before using, marijuana during pregnancy. Something else people should consider is that due to the advancements in science, current day marijuana is a lot stronger than before. Marijuana’s active compound, THC is more potent than ever. The pesticides used to protect the plant also contain toxins that can have an adverse effect on the baby.
Because of the fact that marijuana is getting easier to obtain by the minute, answers to all these questions become more and more important. The issue is how to quantify something like this without endangering people’s lives. We can only hope that scientists will start taking a more serious approach to answer these question and that they will do this soon.
There are very few people on this planet who enjoy their work more than Aner Banner. His friends often readily admit that Aner eats, sleeps, and breaths science 24 hours a day. He is always challenging old methods, proposing new ideas, and seeking to solve difficult problems. Aner spends most of the day imparting his wisdom to the young minds of a small elementary school. Thankfully he has also mastered the art of making science come alive for the future leaders of our nation. He is loved and well respected by students, parents, and faculty alike. His motto forever remains “never stop learning.