It is estimated that three to thirty percent of women use different forms of marijuana during pregnancy, and marijuana use among women of childbearing age is increasing every single day. This begs the question as to whether it is safe to use marijuana and its products during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has maintained that marijuana is never safe to use during pregnancy.
While it has been stated that cannabis and its extracts may help to alleviate morning sickness, medical researchers have warned that its negative effects are exceedingly hazardous compared to the associated positive outcomes. According to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), marijuana use during pregnancy or if you’re planning to get pregnant could result in undesirable pregnancy outcomes and grave neurodevelopmental effects.
Specifically, researchers and doctors argue that marijuana may alter the normal functioning of the placenta hence reducing the flow of blood and oxygen to the fetus. Therefore, exposing the fetes to the active chemicals present in cannabis at an early stage may severely affect infant growth and development. Furthermore, studies have established a correlation between marijuana use among pregnant women and shorter gestational periods. Apart from impairing one’s judgment, marijuana can also cause dizziness which is a serious safety risk during pregnancy.
In fact, a number of studies have found out that children who were exposed to active ingredients present in cannabis and/or related products are at a higher risk of developing learning and behavioral problems at some point in life compared to other children. Such children may develop problems such as memory loss, inattention, impulsivity, and poor academic performance. However, more research is required to address any unanswered questions.
Despite the limited research on the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy, doctors have strongly warned against the use of both recreational and medical marijuana and related products during this period. Some of the possible risks of smoking or ingesting marijuana in any form include; premature birth, low birth weight, small length, small head circumference, and still birth. Additionally, marijuana can have a serious negative impact on a pregnant woman’s health. Therefore the bottom line is – Don’t use marijuana, in any form, during pregnancy or if you’re hoping to get pregnant.
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