Is cannabis use safe during pregnancy to deal with morning sickness? Some Colorado-based cannabis dispensaries say so.
What Science Has to Say
However, studies show that there may be a potential link between smoking marijuana during pregnancy and adverse effects on babies, including premature birth, low birth weight, small length and head circumferences, and even stillbirth.
It is also possible for children born from women who used marijuana while they were pregnant to experience other problems as they get older, including behavioral issues, shortened attention span, and compromised motor coordination as a result of cannabis affecting receptors in the brain of the young.
Though the link is not entirely clear and further studies are required to solidify whether or not smoking weed during pregnancy is dangerous for mother and child, the association may still be there. So why are Colorado cannabis dispensaries recommending marijuana to expectant mothers to deal with their morning sickness?
What Cannabis Dispensaries Say
In fact, a new study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology discovered that approximately 70 percent of cannabis dispensaries in Colorado that were contacted by investigators associated with the study recommended cannabis to alleviate nausea – a common side effect during the first trimester of pregnancy – in pregnant women.
Among the 400 dispensaries contacted, 28 percent were only licensed for retail, which means they are not licensed to sell anything medically related. Not only that, but almost 19 percent of the dispensaries did not even recommend speaking with a healthcare practitioner before taking cannabis.
This might not come as a huge surprise, given the rise of cannabis acceptance in the US, especially in states that have legalized recreational marijuana. To suggest that cannabis use during pregnancy is completely safe and even recommended seems a bit outrageous, especially since this recommendation is not coming from physicians, but from the dispensaries that supply cannabis.
The Medical Community and Cannabis Use During Pregnancy
While it is true that people’s perception and attitude about cannabis is changing every day, it is up to the medical community to ensure that the general population is kept up-to-date on the potential hazards of smoking marijuana, especially for pregnant women.
Just because marijuana is legalized in some parts of the country does not mean that the substance is safe to use, especially when it comes to the THC compound that is found in the plant.
Equating the legality of marijuana to its safety in use would be like advocating alcohol – which is also legal – to pregnant women. Obviously, liquor stores and supermarkets that sell it would not recommend it to help ease morning sickness. In much the same way, cannabis dispensaries should not either. If any recommendations are going to be made to pregnant women to alleviate their pregnancy-related ailments, those recommendations should come from their obstetricians or other medical professionals.
Clearly, those Colorado-based dispensaries that advocate cannabis to alleviate morning sickness are navigating territory that is well beyond their scope.
OBGYNs do not recommend taking cannabis during pregnancy. Not only do studies back up the potential dangers, there is also the obscurity of these products because they are unregulated and do not necessarily list all the content and additives that could be in them. Pregnant women could be taking a chance with their babies’ lives, as well as their own.
Further, handing out marijuana to pregnant women can eventually lead to other issues in addition to complications in childbirth and with the health of the baby, such as addiction, which could increase the odds of requiring help from Colorado drug rehab.
Studies suggest that about 30 percent of people who use marijuana may develop some level of marijuana use disorder, and those who use it before the age of 18 years are up to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder compared to older users.
Some studies also suggest that marijuana use may increase the chances of using other illicit substances, as well as lead to the development of addiction to such substances.
There is already a drug epidemic in the US, and introducing any type of drug – including something as seemingly harmless as marijuana – does not make things any better. In fact, many would argue that cannabis is a “gateway drug” that could end up sending some people down the dark path of addiction that can only be overcome with help in a Colorado drug rehab program.
Addiction and pregnancy are a terrible mix. If you or any of your loved ones are suffering from addiction, Colorado drug rehab may be your best bet to beat your substance abuse. Call now to learn about admissions.