Can you take Marijuana while pregnant?

When a woman becomes pregnant, several substances can impact her health and the health of her fetus. These include prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and illegal substances. Because women and their fetuses are so sensitive during this time, it is recommended pregnant women remain completely drug-free throughout their pregnancy.

Marijuana is a drug derived from cannabis, which usually contains high levels of THC — the cannabis compound responsible for making a person feel “high.” This drug can be smoked or ingested.

If you are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant and wonder if you can smoke marijuana or “weed” while pregnant, set up a meeting with your doctor. In general, it is recommended women abstain from smoking weed while pregnant. This is because the effects of smoking marijuana while pregnant are not well documented. However, smoking, in general, is thought to be negative for personal health as well as the health of developing fetuses. It is likely your doctor will advise you to avoid smoking marijuana while pregnant for this reason.

Even if you are pregnant and use marijuana for medical reasons, it is recommended to find alternative treatment options. Marijuana use during pregnancy is very hard to regulate, as there are no standard doses, formulations, delivery systems or FDA-approved recommendations in relation to medical marijuana use during pregnancy. Ask your doctor about alternative medications to medical marijuana if you are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant soon.

Is Marijuana harmful to your baby? Common side effects

Does smoking marijuana while pregnant harm the baby? The answer is yes.

There are several risks involved with using marijuana while pregnant. Research has indicated the effects of marijuana on a fetus can include low birth weight, premature birth, small head circumference, small length and stillbirth. Some experts say being exposed to THC in marijuana can affect how a baby’s brain develops.

Additional, ongoing research also indicates babies whose mothers smoked marijuana while pregnant may develop health issues as they get older. This is because some experts consider the cannabinoid THC to be a developmental neurotoxin. Exposure to marijuana and THC during pregnancy may result in babies having problems with memory, attention span, controlling impulses and performance in school.

Although research is still ongoing concerning whether smoking marijuana harms a fetus, it is important to completely abstain from using marijuana while pregnant.

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.