Smoking Marijuana is legal in many parts of the world and even in the US. Washington and Colorado have legalized the use of Marijuana for recreational purposes. Recent developments suggest that the drug might be considered for treating pain and injuries of NFL players caused during the play.
However, when it comes to smoking marijuana during pregnancy, the facts are mixed and confusing.
Is Marijuana During Pregnancy Less Harmful?
A general survey reveals that pregnant women interested in using drugs are more likely to try marijuana because it is believed to be comparatively less harmful for the development of the baby than heroin or cocaine.
Here is the truth:
- Marijuana or Cannabis is produced from Cannabis plant and contains delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinolthat creates the psychoactive or high effect.
- Usually this drug is smoked and inhaled through a vaporizer or a bong. Surprisingly, in many countries, it is traditionally used in topical balms, beverages, teas and tinctures for curing certain health problems.
- When marijuana is smoked or is ingested the user is exposed to the carbon monoxide that leaves its traces in the form of tar in the lungs due to which it is considered harmful.
Risks Associated With The Use Of Marijuana:
Marijuana during pregnancy study shows that it is not completely risk free:
- Regular smoking of marijuana has been known to restrict the growth of the fetus and lower birth weight.
- Pregnant women, who continue smoking the drug in advanced stages of pregnancy, are at higher risk of getting their health affected.
- An Australian studyconducted on more than 4,00,000 pregnant women has reported that children born from women smoking marijuana are more likely to require neonatal intensive care immediately after birth as they might suffer from breathlessness or increased toxicity level.
- Other serious symptoms include prolonged startle reflexes, disturbances in sleep cycle, increased frequency of crying, depression, deficit disorderand so on.
- A Brazilian study has noted that infants exposed to marijuana smoke are less responsive and more irritable and restless.
- A study conducted to assess the long-term impact of exposure to marijuana in the prenatal state suggests that exposure to high dose of marijuana in this stage can affect the learning skills and their emotional state making them more aggressive. However, the results are not confirmed as these children were also exposed to other types of more dangerous drugs and critical conditions such as malnutrition and poverty.
- Researcher and neuroscientist, Yasmin Hurd has said that exposure to marijuana in the womb can disrupt nerve connections/synapses.
Is Marijuana Safe During Pregnancy?
Drinking a glass of wine during pregnancy is not considered a taboo and there are many who cannot give up their addiction to illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Where does marijuana stand as compared to other drugs when it comes to safety issues during pregnancy?
- Alcohol is easily accessible, has wider social acceptance and is the highest used drug all over the globe. However, the fact remains that it is a drug and causes a multiple range of birth defects such as mental, physical and behavioral. Marijuana is certainly not as harmful as alcohol.
- Cocaine in comparison to alcohol does not have much association when it comes to birth defects. But it is known to increase the risk of toxicity and requirement for newborn intensive care due to withdrawal. Moreover, it is also associated with lower birth weight, smaller circumference of head, shorter length and prenatal growth retardation. The effect on height extends further into the childhood.
- Heroin, although not associated with birth defects, increases the risk to admission of the prenatal care unit and withdrawal and even may cause infant death syndrome.
[ Read: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome ]
The bottom-line is that although using marijuana provides few advantages, the risks associated with it are much higher. Hence, marijuana use during pregnancy is certainly not safe.
We suggest you go all fresh and healthy during pregnancy, and avoid the use of any kind of drug or similar products. Stay healthy, stay safe.
Do share your views in the comment section below.