Weed While Pregnancy

Ally - posted on 12/20/2012 ( 38 moms have responded )

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Hi i am 7 months preg. i smoke weed,
ive been reading on the internet that it isnt bad , but im not sure,
what do you think , please help?

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Jodi - posted on 12/30/2012

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Krysta, I don't need to compare pregnancy stories to tell you that while the marijuana MAY have been of benefit to you, it could still potentially have had a negative effect on the brain development of your child. In your case, perhaps the benefits outweighed the potential negative ones, but that doesn't make it "okay" to recommend its use during pregnancy for everyone. In particular, recreational smokers are being incredibly selfish to continue their habit during pregnancy with the knowledge that ther *could* be potentially harmful effects - it is right down the same road of putting alcohol, cigarette smoke and other harmful substances into your body (you know, like deli meats, fish, and so on). We ALL need to be aware of what we are ingesting while we are pregnant, and acknowledge the potential harm it could have on our baby. And I use the word "potential" because the effects are different for everyone, but you don't KNOW what those effects will be on YOUR baby until it shows itself. Believe me, I question the heck out of myself when my daughter was born in a placenta that failed to feed her properly and she was severely underweight at full term, wondering what it was I had done. Imagine questioning your choices if you had deliberately used something that is not proven to be safe during pregnancy? Probably best not to risk it unless the alternative is a greater risk.

"its a natural herb that grows freely" - so you'd take magic mushrooms during pregnancy too then?

Jodi - posted on 05/08/2014

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Yes, and there are drunk drivers who have had children in the car who didn't crash and kill their kids. I still wouldn't say it was a good idea. I also would suggest they are pretty irresponsible, even if they only do it occasionally, not all the time.

If you "need" a puff or two to keep from being stressed, you are psychologically addicted. End of story.

Jessayy17 - posted on 05/05/2014

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For me I quit smoking and drinking and all kinds of partying as soon as I found out. I'm in my senior at a school notorious for parties with 3 wild roomates whom I use to enjoy crazy nights (and days with). It has been super hard and lonely at times but I know that it is for a good cause and I can muster up the will power for the sake of my baby. People say second hand pot smoke and a beer every once in a while isn't bad but if anything were to happen, god forbid, I would think it was my fault and not be able to live with the possibility that I could have prevented a birthed fact of something. I know it's hard but if it were me, I would quit. The downer part of motherhood I know :p but that babe's you got all be worth the effort :)

[deleted account]

Take no risks . That person growing inside of you is a person that you don't have the right to damage for life. so it is your responsibility not to.

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Janileydi - posted on 05/29/2014

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Hey I'm pretty sure it won't kill you to let go of the weed for nine months till baby is born yeah sure some babies come out OK but others don't its like playing Russian rullette with your baby. I love Coronas and boy did I miss them especially on hot Florida summer days but I stopped for my babies sake :) I think your better of being safe then sorry baby girl hope you come to a conclusion with this issue xoxoxo

Matina - posted on 05/07/2014

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Your correct, I'm just saying there are mothers with older children who have smoked during pregnancy with healthy children. To each his own. However, it's silly to insinuate pregnant women who smoke while pregnant are less responsible or are bad mothers because they smoke. I'm not saying I was a huge pot head but I read people say pot smokers give birth to small babies and what not. That's not true. If a person isn't addicted, doesn't use heavily, can function and needs a puff or two to keep their stress level down(or their food) I see nothing wrong with it.

Jodi - posted on 05/07/2014

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If your healthy 9lb baby boy is still an infant, you have no idea if it has done damage or not - it affects neurological connections.

Matina - posted on 05/06/2014

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I smoked weed until my second trimester. It helped greatly with my morning sickness and stress. I gave birth to a healthy 9lb baby boy.

Erica - posted on 04/30/2014

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I am 27 week and 3 day just stop and I am asking god to help me and that my son comes home

[deleted account]

you don't want birth defects that could cause a lifetime of problems for you and your child. So the best care is to not drink smoke or use drugs at all to insure it. healthy food , water, rest, exercise are the best for physical health of an unborn child to insure a healthy person that has to live a lifespan of 80 or more years. That is who and what your baby is a person not just a cute little child. That you bring to school buy toys for and feed berries . That baby inside of you is a person that has the right to live a healthy life.

[deleted account]

you can at least wait until your kid is 16 or 18 before you smoke weed with them its okay but probably not so good . prebirth is a bit young to start getting high

Jodi - posted on 01/05/2013

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Yes, but that doesn't mean advising those mothers that it is THEIR choice, THEIR body, THEIR baby is the right thing to do if it is something that can potentially negatively affect their baby.

Amanda - posted on 01/05/2013

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Jodi, I had a friend who smoked cigarettes during pregnancy her Dr actually told her not to quit smoking because the stress could affect the baby. I dunno if what this Doc said was true or not, I gave up cigarettes when I was pregnant and had no negative effect on my baby. I had another friend who said, quite flippantly, that when her daughter was born she only had bronchitis, Getting someone to quit anything for the health of their offspring is nearly impossible unless that person already puts that baby's health ahead of their own satiation.

Jodi - posted on 01/04/2013

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" So bottom line, its YOUR choice, YOUR body, YOUR baby. "

Is that your advice to people smoking cigarettes during pregnancy too?

Jenna - posted on 01/04/2013

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Ally, it seems people on here would rather argue with themselves than help you out. So bottom line, its YOUR choice, YOUR body, YOUR baby. You do as you see fit seeing as how we will not be the ones taking care of your baby, you will. I wont tell you I did and my kids are fine, because THC will affect every baby differently. I wish you the best of luck and congratulations on your new baby!

Ashley - posted on 01/04/2013

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can you just not put your own selfish habits aside during pregnancy?? it's 9 months of your life. Give it up for 9 months! I smoke weed too. the DAY i found out i was pregnant for both boys that was it. I stopped the day that positive sign came up on the pregnancy tests. I didnt smoke again until my youngest was a year old. And at that i smoke a joint when the kids are in bed sleeping. Some people like to have a beer to relax in the evening, i smoke a joint. I just dont understand trying to justify smoking weed during pregnancy. I dont care what anyone says but it has to have some sort of effect on the baby. Quit for 9 months and dont risk your babys life. Its rediculous

Ashley - posted on 01/04/2013

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can you just not put your own selfish habits aside during pregnancy?? it's 9 months of your life. Give it up for 9 months! I smoke weed too. the DAY i found out i was pregnant for both boys that was it. I stopped the day that positive sign came up on the pregnancy tests. I didnt smoke again until my youngest was a year old. And at that i smoke a joint when the kids are in bed sleeping. Some people like to have a beer to relax in the evening, i smoke a joint. I just dont understand trying to justify smoking weed during pregnancy. I dont care what anyone says but it has to have some sort of effect on the baby. Quit for 9 months and dont risk your babys life. Its rediculous

[deleted account]

no weed during pregnancy. or if so minor amounts , risk your own life and body but don't put your habits on others especially your kids

Amanda - posted on 01/01/2013

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Use of Marijuana During Pregnancy
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By Lynn Zimmer and John P. Morgan

Warnings that marijuana causes birth defects date back to the late 1960s.1 Some researchers claimed to have found chromosomal abnormalities in blood cells taken from marijuana users. They predicted that young men and women who used marijuana would produce deformed babies.2 Although later studies disproved this theory,3 some current drug education materials still claim that genetic damage is passed on by marijuana users to their children.4

Today, researchers look for a direct effect of THC [for tetrahydrocannabinol, either of two physiologically active isomers, C21H30O2, from hemp plant resin] on the fetus. In animal studies, THC has been shown to produce spontaneous abortion, low birth weight, and physical deformities—but only with extremely large doses, only in some species of rodents, and only when THC is given at specific times during pregnancy.5 Because the effects of drugs on fetal development differ substantially across species,6 these studies have little or no relevance to humans. Studies with primates show little evidence of fetal harm from THC.7 In one study, researchers exposed chimpanzees to high doses of THC for up to 152 days and found no change in the sexual behavior, fertility, or health of their offspring.8

Dozens of studies have compared the newborn babies of women who used marijuana during pregnancy with the babies of women who did not. Mainly, they have looked for differences in birth weight, birth length, head circumference, chest circumference, gestational age, neurological development, and physical abnormalities. Most of these studies, including the largest study to date with a sample of over twelve thousand women,9 have found no differences between babies exposed to marijuana prenatally and babies not exposed.10 Given the large number of studies and the large number of measures, some differences are likely to occur by chance. Indeed, researchers have found differences in both directions. In some studies, the babies of marijuana users appear healthier and hardier.11 In others, researchers have found more adverse outcomes in the babies of marijuana users.12

When adverse outcomes are found, they are inconsistent from one study to another, always relatively minor, and appear to have no impact on infant health or mortality.13 For example, in one recent study, researchers reported a statistically significant effect of marijuana on birth length. The marijuana-exposed babies, on average, were less than two-tenths of one inch shorter than babies not exposed to marijuana.14 Another study found a negative effect of marijuana on birth weight, but only for White women in the sample.15 In a third study, marijuana exposure had no effect on birth weight, but a small negative effect on gestational age.16 Overall, this research indicates no adverse effect of prenatal marijuana exposure on the physical health of newborns.

Researchers have also examined older children for the effects of prenatal exposure to marijuana. A study of one-year-olds found no differences between marijuana-exposed and nonexposed babies on measures of health, temperament, personality, sleeping patterns, eating habits, psychomotor ability, physical development, or mental functioning.17 In two studies, one of three-year-olds,18 the other of four-year-olds,19 there was no effect of prenatal marijuana exposure on children’s overall IQ test scores. However, in the first study, when researches looked at Black and White children separately, they found, among Black children only, slightly lower scores on two subscales of the IQ test. On one subscale, it was children exposed to marijuana only during the first trimester who scored lower. On the other subscale, it was children exposed during the second trimester who scored lower.20 In neither case did the frequency or quantity of mothers’ marijuana use affect the outcomes. This makes it highly unlikely they were actually caused by marijuana. Nonetheless, this study is now cited as evidence that using marijuana during pregnancy impairs the intellectual capacity of children.21

Also widely cited are two recent case-control studies describing a relationship between marijuana use by pregnant women and two rare forms of cancer in their children. A case-control study compares people with a specific disease (the case sample) to people without the disease (the control sample). Using this method, researchers identify group differences in background, environment, lifestyle, drug use, diet, and the like that are possible causes of the disease.

A study of children with non-lymphoblastic leukemia reported a tenfold greater risk related to their mothers’ use of marijuana during pregnancy.22 A second study reported a threefold greater risk of rhabdomyosarcoma.23 These calculations were based on women’s reports that they used marijuana at some point during pregnancy. In the first study, ten out of the 204 case-group mothers (5 percent) reported marijuana use, compared to one out of the 204 control-group mothers (0.5 percent). In the second study, 8 percent of case-group mothers reported using marijuana, compared to 4.3 percent of controls.

These studies do not prove that marijuana use by pregnant women causes cancer in their children. They report a statistical association based solely on women’s self-reports of marijuana use. It is likely that both groups of mothers underreported marijuana use; in other studies, researchers have found that marijuana use by pregnant women typically ranges from 10 to 30 percent.24 There is reason to suspect greater underreporting by control-group mothers, who were randomly selected and questioned about their marijuana use on the telephone. Because the mothers of the sick children were trying to help researches identify the cause of their children’s disease, they had more reason to be honest about their illegal drug use.

Like all case-control studies, these two studies identified many differences between case-group mothers and control-group mothers, all of which could possibly lead scientists to discover the cause of these rare forms of cancer. Other factors associated with childhood rhabdomyosarcoma include low socioeconomic status, fathers’ cigarette smoking, a family history of allergies, children’s exposure to environmental chemicals, childhood diets that include organ meats, mothers’ use of antibiotics during pregnancy, mothers being over age thirty at the time of the child’s birth, overdue delivery, and the child having had fewer immunizations.25 Without additional research, none of the factors that are statistically associated with childhood cancer can be identified as causes of childhood cancer. At this time, there is no corroborative evidence to link marijuana with cancer. In fact, in a recent study, researchers found significantly lower rates of cancer in rats and mice following two years of exposure to extremely large doses of THC.26

Since 1978, psychologist Peter Fried and his colleagues have collected longitudinal data on prenatal marijuana exposure as part of the Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study (OPPS). Over the years, these researchers have administered hundreds of tests to the same group of children, assessing their physical development, psychomotor ability, emotional and psychological adjustment, cognitive functioning, intellectual capacity, and behavior.

Out of all the OPPS studies and all the tests given, researchers have found very few differences between marijuana-exposed and nonexposed children. At age one, researchers found that marijuana-exposed infants scored higher on one set of cognitive tests.27 At age three, the children of moderate marijuana users (one to five joints per week during pregnancy) had higher scores on one test of psychomotor ability.28 At age four, the children of women who smoked marijuana heavily during pregnancy (an average of nineteen joints per week) scored lower on one subscale of one cognitive test.29 However, at ages five and six, this difference was no longer present.30 When the children were six, the researchers added several new measures of “attentional behavior.” The children of heavy marijuana users scored lower on one computer-based test of “vigilance.”31 Eleven new psychological and cognitive tests, administered to six- to nine-year-olds, showed no statistically significant differences between the children of marijuana users and nonusers. Parents rated marijuana-exposed children as having more “conduct problems,” but this difference disappeared after the researchers controlled for confounding variables.32

Despite the overwhelming similarities in the children of marijuana users and nonusers, in their published reports OPPS researchers consistently highlight the occasional negative finding. Fried believes that these findings underestimate the harms of prenatal marijuana exposure. He suggests that “more sensitive measures” are needed because:

instruments that provide a general description of cognitive abilities may not be capable of identifying nuances in neuro-behaviour that may discriminate between the marijuana-exposed and non-marijuana exposed children. . . . Tests that examine specific characteristics that may underline cognitive performance may be more appropriate and successful.33

Recently, Fried predicted that a new test of “executive function” would reveal marijuana-related deficits in preteen youngsters.34 A short time later, Fried announced that preliminary analysis of his data showed this effect was present.35 Almost immediately, his announcement appeared in U.S. government reports as evidence of marijuana’s harm to the fetus.36 Additional reports of harm based on the OPPS sample, which now includes fewer than thirty marijuana-exposed children, may be forthcoming—despite the fact that, according to Fried, the consequences of prenatal drug exposure typically diminish as children get older.37
After controlling for known confounding variables, Fried estimates that prenatal drug exposure accounts for 8 percent or less of the variance in children’s scores on developmental and cognitive tests—and this estimate is for alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana combined.38 In essentially all studies, marijuana contributes less than alcohol or tobacco.39 In addition, the findings differ from one study to another, and show no consistent relationship of fetal harm to either the timing or degree of marijuana exposure. While it is sensible to advise women to abstain from all drugs during pregnancy, the weight of current scientific evidence suggests that marijuana does not directly harm the human fetus.

NOTES
1. F. Hecht et al., “Lysergic-Acid-Diethylamide and Cannabis as Possible Teratogens in Man,” Lancet 2 (1968): 1087. G. Carakushansky et al., “Lysergide and Cannabis as Possible Teratogens in Man,” Lancet 1 (1969): 150–151.

2. T. H. Maugh, “Marihuana: The Grass May No Longer Be Greener,” Science 185 (1974): 683–685.

3. S. Matsuyama and L. Jarvik, “Effects of Marihuana on the Genetic and Immune Systems,” in R. C. Petersen (ed.), Marihuana Research Findings, 1976 (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1977), 179–193. K. Morishima, “Effects of Cannabis and Natural Cannabinoids on Chromosomes and Ova,” in M. C. Braude and J. L. Ludford (eds.), Marijuana Effects on the Endocrine and Reproductive Systems (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1984), 25–45.

4. Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education, Marijuana: Effects on the Male, (Atlanta, GA: PRIDE, 1996). W. R. Spence, Marijuana: Its Effects and Hazards (Waco, TX: Health Edco, undated). Peggy Mann, The Sad Story of Mary Wanna (New York: Woodmere Press, 1988), 30.

5. J. Herclerode, “The Effect of Marijuana on Reproduction and Development,” in R. C. Petersen (ed.), Marijuana Research Findings: 1980 (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1980), 137–166. E. L. Abel, “Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Cannabinoids,” in T. M. Pinkert (ed.), Current Research on the Consequences of Maternal Drug Abuse (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1985), 20–35. D. Hutchings and D. Dow-Edwards, “Animal Models of Opiate, Cocaine, and Cannabis Use,” Clinics in Perinatology 18 (1991): 1–22. M. Behnke and F. D. Eyler “The Consequences of Prenatal Substance Use for the Developing Fetus, Newborn, and Young Child,” International Journal of the Addictions 28 (1993): 1341–1391. T. Wenger et al., “Effects of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Pregnancy, Puberty, and the Neuroendocrine System,” in L. Murphy and A. Bartke (eds.), Marijuana/Cannabinoids: Neurobiology and Neurophysiology (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1992), 539–560.

6. A. M. Rudolph, “Animal Models for Study of Fetal Drug Exposure,” in C. N. Chiang and C. C. Lee (eds.), Prenatal Drug Exposure: Kinetics and Dynamics (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1985), 5–16

7. P. A. Fried, “Postnatal Consequences of Maternal Marijuana Use,” in T. M. Pinkert (ed.), Current Research on the Consequences of Maternal Drug Abuse (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1985), 61–72. M. S. Golub et al., “Peer and Maternal Social Interaction Patterns in Offspring of Rhesus Monkeys Treated Chronically with Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol,” in S. Agurell, The Cannabinoids: Chemical, Pharmacological, and Therapeutic Aspects (Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 1984), 657–667. J. Herclerode (1980), see Note 5.

8. D. M. Grilly et al., “Observations on the Reproductive Activity of Chimpanzees Following Long-Term Exposure to Marijuana,” Pharmacology 11 (1974): 304–307.

9. S. Linn et al., “The Association of Marijuana use with Outcome of Pregnancy,” American Journal of Public Health 73 (1983): 1161–1164.

10. P. H. Shiono et al., “The Impact of Cocaine and Marijuana Use on Low Birth Weight and Preterm Birth: A Multicenter Study,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 172 (1995): 19–27. E. M. Knight et al., “Relationships of Serum Illicit Drug Concentrations During Pregnancy to Maternal Nutritional Status,” Journal of Nutrition 124 (1994): 973–980S. K. Tennes and C. Blackard, “Maternal Alcohol Consumption, Birthweight, and Minor Physical Abnormalities,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 138 (1980): 774–780. J. Hayes et al., “Newborn Outcomes with Maternal Marijuana Use in Jamaican Women,” Pediatric Nursing 14 (1988): 107–110. P. A. Fried and C. M. O’Connell, “A Comparison of the Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Tobacco, Alcohol, Cannabis and Caffeine on Birth Size and Subsequent Growth,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 9 (1987): 79–85. C. M. O’Connell and P. A. Fried, “An Investigation of Prenatal Cannabis Exposure and Minor Physical Anomalies in a Low Risk Population,” Neurobehavioral Toxicology and Teratology 6 (1984): 345–350. G. A. Richardson et al., “The Effect of Prenatal Alcohol, Marijuana and Tobacco Exposure on Neonatal Behavior,” Infant Behavioral Development 12 (1989): 199–209. S. Astley, “Analysis of Facial Shape in Children Gestationally Exposed to Marijuana, Alcohol, and/or Cocaine,” Pediatrics 89 (1992): 67–77. F. R. Witter and J. R. Niebyl, “Marijuana Use in Pregnancy and Pregnancy Outcome,” American Journal of Perinatology 7 (1990): 36–38.

11. M. C. Dreher et al., “Prenatal Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica: An Ethnographic Study,” Pediatrics 93 (1994): 254–60. K. Tennes et al., “Marijuana: Prenatal and Postnatal Exposure in the Human,” in T. M. Pinkert (ed.), Current Research on the Consequences of Maternal Drug Abuse (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1985), 48–60.

12. E. E. Hatch and M. B. Bracken, “Effect of Marijuana Use in Pregnancy on Fetal Growth,” American Journal of Epidemiology 124 (1986): 986–993. J. Kline et al., “Cigarettes, Alcohol and Marijuana: Varying Associations with Birthweight,” International Journal of Epidemiology 16 (1987): 44–51. B. Zuckerman et al., “Effects of Maternal Marijuana and Cocaine Use on Fetal Growth,” New England Journal of Medicine 320 (1989): 762–768. P. A. Fried et al., “Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Decreased Length of Gestation,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 150 (1984): 23–26. R. Hingson et al., “Effects of Maternal Drinking and Marijuana Use on Fetal Growth and Development,” Pediatrics 70 (1982): 539–546. P. A. Fried and J. E. Makin, “Neonatal Behavioral Correlates of Prenatal Exposure to Marijuana, Cigarettes and Alcohol in a Low Risk Population,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 9 (1987): 1–7. M. D. Cornelius et al., “Prenatal Tobacco and Marijuana Use Among Adolescents: Effects on Offspring Gestational Age, Growth, and Morphology,” Pediatrics 95 (1995): 738–743. N. Day et al., “Prenatal Marijuana Use and Neonatal Outcome,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology13 (1991): 329–334.

13. N. L. Day and G. A. Richardson, “Prenatal Marijuana Use: Epidemiology, Methodologic Issues, and Infant Outcome,” Clinics in Perinatology 18 (1991): 77–91. G. A. Richardson et al., “The Impact of Marijuana and Cocaine Use on the Infant and Child,” Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 36 (1993): 302–318. M. D. Cornelius et al. (1995), see Note 12. C. D. Coles et al., “Effects of Cocaine, Alcohol, and Other Drug Use in Pregnancy on Neonatal Growth and Neurobehavioral Status,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 14 (1992): 22–33.

14. N. Day et al. (1991), see Note 12.

15. E. E. Hatch and M. B. Bracken (1986), see Note 12.

16. P. A. Fried et al. (1984), see Note 12.

17. K. Tennes et al. (1985), see Note 11.

18. N. L. Day et al., “Effect of Prenatal Marijuana Exposure on the Cognitive Development of Offspring at Age Three,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 16 (1994): 169–175.

19. A. P. Streissguth, et al., “IQ at Age 4 in Relation to Maternal Alcohol Use and Smoking During Pregnancy,” Developmental Psychology 25 (1989): 3–11.

20. See Note 18.

21. Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Legalization: Panacea or Pandora’s Box (New York, 1995). Drug Watch Oregon, Marijuana Research Review 2 (1995): 4.

22. L. L. Robison et al., “Maternal Drug Use and Risk of Non-Lymphoblastic Leukemia Among Offspring,” Cancer 63 (1989): 1904–1911.

23. S. Grufferman et al., “Parents’ Use of Cocaine and Marijuana and Increased Risk of Rhabdomyosarcoma in Their Children,” Cancer Causes and Control 4 (1993): 217–224.

24. N. L. Day et al., “The Epidemiology of Alcohol, Marijuana and Cocaine Use Among Women of Childbearing Age and Pregnant Women,” Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 36 (1993): 232–245.

25. S. Grufferman et al., “Environmental Factors in the Etiology of Rhabdomyosarcoma in Childhood,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 68 (1982): 107–113.

26. National Toxicology Program, Toxicology and Carcinogenesis: Studies of 1-Trans-Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in F344/N Rats and B6c3F1 Mice (Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996).

27. P. A. Fried and B. Watkinson, “12- and 24-Month Neurobehavioral Follow-Up of Children Prenatally Exposed to Marijuana, Cigarettes and Alcohol,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 10 (1988): 305–313.

28. P. A. Fried and B. Watkinson, “36- and 48-Month Neurobehavioral Follow-Up of Children Prenatally Exposed to Marijuana, Cigarettes and Alcohol,” Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 11 (1990): 49–58.

29. Ibid.

30. P. A. Fried et al., “60- and 72-Month Follow-Up of Children Prenatally Exposed to Marijuana, Cigarettes, and Alcohol: Cognitive and Language Assessment,” Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 13 (1992): 383–391.

31. P. A. Fried et al., “A Follow-Up Study of Attentional Behavior in 6-Year-Old Children Exposed Prenatally to Marijuana, Cigarettes, and Alcohol,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 14 (1992): 299–311.

32. C. M. O’Connell and P. A. Fried, “Prenatal Exposure to Cannabis: A Preliminary Report of Postnatal Consequences in School-Age Children,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 13 (1991): 631–639.

33. P. A. Fried, “Prenatal Exposure to Marijuana and Tobacco During Infancy, Early and Middle Childhood: Effects and Attempts at a Synthesis,” Archives of Toxicology 17 (1995): 240–241.

34. P. A. Fried, “The Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study (OPPS): Methodological Issues and Findings—It’s Easy to Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water,” Life Sciences 56 (1995): 2159–2168.

35. National Conference on Marijuana Use: Prevention, Treatment, and Research, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Arlington, VA: July 1995).

36. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, “Marijuana: Its Uses and Effects,” Prevention Pipeline 8, no. 5 (1995): 3–5.



37. P. A. Fried, “Prenatal Exposure to Tobacco and Marijuana: Effects During Pregnancy, Infancy, and Early Childhood,” Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 36 (1993): 319–337.

38. Ibid.

39. P. A. Fried, “Cigarettes and Marijuana: Are There Measurable Long-Term Neurobehavioral Teratogenic Effects?” Neurotoxicology 10 (1989): 577–584. N. Day et al., “The Effects of Prenatal Tobacco and Marijuana Use on Offspring Growth from Birth through 3 Years of Age,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 14 (1992): 407–414. H. M. Barr et al., “Infant Size at 8 Months of Age: Relationship to Maternal Use of Alcohol, Nicotine, and Caffeine During Pregnancy,” Pediatrics 74 (1984): 336–341. P. A. Fried and B. Watkinson (1990), see Note 28. A. P. Streissguth et al. (1989), see Note 19. M. D. Cornelius et al. (1995), see Note 12. J. Kline et al. (1987), see Note 12. P. A. Fried (1995), see Note 33.

This article is excerpted from Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence by Lynn Zimmer, PhD, and John P. Morgan, MD (New York: Drug Policy Alliance, 1997). Permission to reprint this article was granted by the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation’s leading organization working to end the war on drugs. For more information, visit www.drugpolicy.org.


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Krysta - posted on 12/30/2012

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Jodi- how was your overall experience of being pregnant? I bet like most woman you had a very easy going one. Maybe you were prescribed some light nausea pills? Maybe you had some aches and pains here and there? Unlike most woman, I took 49 trips to the ER, I was scheduled 3 times a week to go in for IV's for fluids, I was put on 19 different nausea pills until finally a Dr prescribed one to me that was only given to cancer patients (nor did he tell me it had NEVER had any study done on a developing fetus of any sort). Your suppose to gain 6-7 lbs in your first 20 weeks of being pregnant, by the time I was 6 months along I had lost 54lbs! My body was physically incapable of keeping food/ fluids of any sort down. That's when my midwife suggested an increase in my marijuana use, thanks to weed my daughter was able to gain a proper amount of weight and be born perfectly healthy. So sometimes a Dr doesn't know what is best for YOUR body. & I bet a lot of your Dr's out there haven't told you everything about the drugs they have you on what tests have been proven, not to mention a number of things can cause the brain to stay at a certain maturity level.. (hard drugs during pregnancy, alcohol during pregnancy, physical/ emotional/ psychological/ sexual abuse, even a parent lacking in the developmental accomplishments of their child will cause a brain maturity problem, not having a social group, and soooo much more!) And most people forget that marijuana is 1 of the ONLY "drugs" that has never been chemically altered by man, its a natural herb that grows freely... so how bad is it??? Also do you realize you do things on a daily basis that cut of oxygen supply to your child? for example, bending down to sharply; coughing; sneezing; even SEX will decrease the oxygen to your little one.

Jodi - posted on 12/29/2012

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LOL @ Krysta. Let's have a pissing contest then, since you clearly decided to start it. You studied early childhood education. I studied psychology (my first degree) and education (my post graduate degree). It's really quite irrelevant.

I guess the age depends on the studies you read. Maybe that's what they tell you when you study early childhood education. In psychology, I saw many references in studies being 25, which includes the ongoing emotional development. Ask any child psychologist.

That study you talked about wasn't a CONTROLLED study, i.e. it was not controlled for other variables. Marijuana has neurological effects on the brain. It crosses the placenta. It also isn't the ONLY study at all. You have just chosen to be selective.

Did you SERIOUSLY say you'd rather have a small baby if that was a side effect? Have you actually ever had a baby that ended up born so small that there were complications as a result of that? Smoking marijuana so that your child will be smaller is fucking pathetic. A smaller baby indicates impaired growth in the uterus, which indicates a negative effect. And unless there has been a longitudinal study until completion of brain development on those same babies, you have NO WAY of knowing if that was the only effect.

There have been recent studies that show that there is a trigger in the brain that affects development of an individual's maturity, and certain factors appear to prevent this trigger from going off, which therefore explains why there are some 40 year olds who still act like they are 20 and never seem to grow up (I'm sure we've all encountered one of those). It is now appearing that this is a scientific phenomenon, but it is still being explored as to the extent of those triggers. One is excessive consumption of alcohol. But this is only a new thing that is being studied. How do you KNOW drug use during pregnancy (marijuana or otherwise) which is known to have effects on the brain, doesn't affect this? You don't! Why on earth would you risk it?

Not to mention that marijuana use is associated with early pregnancy loss.

Krysta - posted on 12/29/2012

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The only real human research that's been performed on marijuana use in pregnancy was done in Jamaica. 50 woman, 25 smoked 25 did not. The study was conducted from the time they conceived til the time the children were 14 years old. 89% of the women who smoked during pregnancy found that their children performed better in 4 out of 5 developmental areas. To complete my BA in Early Childhood Education I had to do an extensive report on marijuana use and the effects on the fetus. The only semi negative results were having your child around 9 days earlier than your EDD, and a slightly lower birth weight. I don't know about you, but I don't mind giving birth to a slightly smaller child. My daughter was 6lbs 8oz, had her completely natural and I still received 32 stitches on the inside and 22 on the outside of my vagina. Imagine giving birth to a 10lb child and the damage that does... most 10lb babies are delivered by c section, or by having to use a vacuum suction (which can result in brain and skull damage). And for Jodi- the brain development is a 23 yr process, unless you fall into a very rare 3% category for adolescents who can access different chambers of their brain.

Jodi - posted on 12/26/2012

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Not to mention the fact that not all of the effects show themselves when the baby is young. Brain development is a 25 year experience for a child.....Having a perfectly normal 20 month old is not evidence of no effects.

Michelle - posted on 12/26/2012

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Well Krysta, you were lucky the first time round but you may not be this time. If you read all the evidence then it always says COULD not WILL. There is always a chance that things could go either way.

Isn't it our job as a mother carrying our child to give it the best chance possible? Would you sit down and play russian roulette everyday? That's what you're doing to your child.

Krysta - posted on 12/26/2012

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Hello :)) I smoked medical marijuana through my ENTIRE pregnancy, and never had 1 single complication. My midwife actually encouraged me to smoke. It kept my nausea down, and it allowed me to eat fuller meals which in turn helped me gain the proper amount of weight. My daughter was born at 38 weeks, weighed in at 6lbs 8ozs, and my labor was only 2 hours!! After I delivered, my midwife (who has 27 yrs experience and has delivered over 22,000 babies herself!) told me that my daughter had the most beautiful/ healthy skin she had ever seen on a newborn. Also, my daughter within mins of being born was already fully supporting her own neck! My daughter will be 1 in 20 days, and her doctors are thoroughly impressed with her development! She is doing things that most 18-20 month old are doing, and she began walking at 8 months as well. She can already put together sentences pretty well too. So don't let people fool you, your body filters soooo much before it gets to baby! oh and I was smoking cigs as well through the pregnancy. Judge all you want, but my daughter is very intelligent and I'm currently pregnant with my 2nd child and still smoking!

Jodi - posted on 12/21/2012

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Smoking marijuana has an effect on the developing brain, just like any mind altering drug. While it may be harmless to your brain, as an adult (although that is still a debated issue), there is definite evidence that it has an effect on the developing brain. They have done recent studies on teens and the impact of smoking marijuana, and it does actually have an effect on their brain development.

So, on that basis, given that the effect of the drug does cross the placenta, not a good idea, because you could be impacting the brain development of your child both now and for the years to come. I am sure you will hear about people smoking it and their baby being born perfectly healthy (you have an example of that here), BUT, is their child yet a fully grown adult and have a fully mature brain development? Maybe their child is perfectly healthy PHYSICALLY, but it isn't the physical health that is necessarily the main concern.

Amanda - posted on 12/21/2012

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It's still smoking. No amount of smoke is good for baby. As for the cannabis aspect, baby should be fine. If you plan on breastfeeding you should keep consumption low because it can delay baby's major motor skills during the first month of life. Some states will test you for THC after baby's birth (yes they will test you, not baby because baby will not be positive) and DHS/CPS will become involved if you are positive. If you are a regular smoker you will want to quit soon because it builds up in the system and you want enough time for it all to flush from you system. You can find a lot more info on cafemom.com in the momslom group, they have state-by-state info.

Samantha - posted on 12/20/2012

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I heard if you do any kinds of drugs while pregnant the baby does it too. And the baby can get really sick. There was this on Tv and this lady did crack(I think) or maybe it was pot I'm not sure but when she had her baby he had got really sick and had to have tubes and everything. So be careful

Ashli - posted on 12/20/2012

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I have smoked weed while I was pregnant with my daughter up til I was 7months, and then stopped because when you have the baby they will test the baby and if its in ur childs system you will loose custody, I even smoked with my baby im pregnant with now. and I stopped recently. and its not a bad thing. My daughter is perfectly healthy 4 yr old.

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