Can You Eat Edibles While Pregnant
Some experts believe that it is best to avoid consuming edibles that contain cannabis while pregnant, as it could potentially cross the placenta and affect the developing baby. Edibles can be extremely potent, and it can be difficult to control the amount of THC that is consumed.
When it comes to your kids, there is not much of a difference between smoking weed versus eating cannabis edibles or cannabis oils. Many women question whether smoking weed — or using cannabis in any other form — is OK when you are pregnant. Until research into the use of cannabis in pregnancy becomes more substantive, pregnant women need to know that smoking pot while pregnant is generally considered to be far from safe. Research is still emerging into the long-term effects of using marijuana during pregnancy on both the pregnant person and her child, but thus far, studies have shown the potential risks of low birth weight, stillbirth, and behavioral problems.
Most studies do not find any increased likelihood of birth defects for pregnancies exposed to occasional marijuana use. A Journal of the American Medical Association study that examined over 660,000 pregnancies found that preterm birth rates were substantially higher in reported marijuana users compared with nonusers — around 12%. Babies born to mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy had smaller birthweights, according to one large study from 2016. A recent meta-analysis found babies exposed to cannabis had about four-ounce lower weights, while a study looking at over 26,000 Ontario births found that pregnant women who used cannabis were nearly three times as likely to deliver babies with lower birth weights.
Using marijuana during pregnancy has been linked to low birth weight, premature delivery, and a higher risk for some birth anomalies, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). More studies are being done, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend that you should not use marijuana when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Because THC is found in breast milk, the American Academy of Pediatrics also advises against the use of marijuana when breastfeeding. The FDA recommends that you do not use CBD, THC, and marijuana in any form while pregnant or breastfeeding.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) discourage the use of marijuana of any form in pregnancy because of the potential risks for both parent and child. Because there is not enough research, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that even though marijuana is usually considered safe, there is no safe amount to be consumed while pregnant and nursing. While it is important to note that studies and their results are not definitive, the latest studies are discouraging enough for the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to recommend that you do not use marijuana during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends doctors check pregnant women for use of marijuana, and urges users to stop – even in cases where pot is used medicinally – during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that there are no approved indications or guidelines regarding marijuana use during pregnancy — though the effects of cannabis use during pregnancy are still not completely understood. Marijuana use in pregnancy has increased in Colorado to such an extent that dispensaries are beginning to label their edibles as potentially harmful for women who are pregnant or nursing.
In a recent study of recommendations made to pregnant women in Colorado marijuana dispensaries, researchers found the majority (69%) were selling products for treating morning sickness, while 36% told women the drugs were safe for pregnancy. More than half of women who used marijuana in pregnancy, as Mallory Pollock* did, did so to manage morning sickness – and 92 percent said it worked.
Many women who used marijuana during pregnancy reported being recreational users before they became pregnant, and turned to the drug to help manage some of the uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy. In a report published in January by the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from Columbia University found that 3.9% of American women who are pregnant reported using marijuana, and another recent US study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found teenage girls were more than twice as likely to use marijuana when they were pregnant.
Cohort studies have suggested five per cent of women are significantly out, and have said 10 to 16 per cent of middle-class women and 23 to 30 per cent of those living in the inner-city use cannabis while pregnant. A 2015 publication from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) quoted the 2008 Canadian Report on Pregnancy Health, which stated five per cent of women used illegal drugs in pregnancy five per cent of women used illegal drugs during pregnancy (although it did not say how many used cannabis). A 2015 study found 70 per cent of pregnant women in the US who had used cannabis in the preceding year believed that using drugs once or twice per week was either mildly harmful or did not pose any risks.
Studying the effects of cannabis exposure on pregnant women and their children is complicated by the fact that women who use cannabis frequently also use tobacco and other drugs, making it difficult to tease apart effects from different substances, and leading to findings that are often contradictory and inconclusive. Studies conducted years ago with cannabis at lower levels of THC might not accurately represent possible risks to current cannabis users.
Some studies suggest there is a higher likelihood of pregnancy complications among those who regularly smoke marijuana, such as premature labor (births prior to 37 weeks), low birth weight (weight at birth of less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces [2,500 grams], short stature, small head size, and stillbirth. According to studies published in 2014, the increase in stillbirth risk has been linked to cannabis use in pregnancy, either alone or along with illicit substances.
Research on the effects of using pot during pregnancy is limited, but so far, science suggests that it poses enough risk that doctors are cautious. The research that is out there has not shown any obvious health concerns with an individual breastfeeding while reporting smoking pot on a daily basis, other than the potential for delayed motor development (learning how to crawl and walk at an earlier age).
Another study, conducted by the team of Young-Wolff at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, found that pregnant women who had extreme nausea and vomiting had a four-fold higher odds of using marijuana compared with women who did not have the diagnosis of nausea and vomiting – although it is unclear if their morning sickness led them to using pot, or whether pot made their morning sickness worse. The researchers tested the effects of cannabis use before birth by growing brain cells in mice in the presence of THC, injecting pregnant mice with THC, and studying the brains of human fetuses who were aborted electively, with their mothers having used cannabis in pregnancy. It found that babies whose mothers consumed marijuana during pregnancy had better physiological stability, were more alert, and were less fussy one month later than those whose mothers had not been exposed to cannabis.
Edible marijuana products (such as cookies, brownies, and candies) and cannabis oils may even pose risks than smoking, as they usually contain a far higher quantity of THC than smoking.
What happens if you eat edibles while pregnant?
The health of the unborn child may be negatively impacted by marijuana use during pregnancy. Some research suggests that consuming cannabis-infused foods or marijuana may raise your baby’s risk of developing neurological problems before birth.
Is it safe to use weed during pregnancy?
Yes, marijuana may assist with morning sickness, but scientists caution that it may also have negative consequences on the fetus’s long-term neurodevelopment. According to certain studies, cannabis use can have an adverse effect on a pregnant woman’s pregnancy and the child’s long-term neurodevelopment.