Whether you want to use weed for recreational use or medical purposes, it’s now easier to get your hands on than ever. Cannabis stores are open across Canada, and it’s even easier to buy weed online. Anyone over 19 (18 in Alberta and Quebec) can buy and use weed legally, and for the most part, it’s safe for people of all health backgrounds. However, some users might wonder- is weed safe during pregnancy?
Weed has many medical benefits- especially for women facing morning sickness. It can reduce pain, relieve nausea, and even improve your sleep and help release stress. With that said, using weed during pregnancy might not be the best idea, especially as THC can impact your system in many ways. Here’s a guide on how weed can affect your pregnancy.
How Does Weed Affect Your Body?
Weed is the colloquial term used for marijuana or cannabis flower- the dried and cured buds harvested from cannabis plants. Weed can be consumed in multiple ways- most commonly by smoking or vaping it. You can also use a range of marijuana-infused products like edibles and tinctures that give you the same effects.
When you consume weed in any form, a range of cannabinoids reach your system and interact with cannabinoid receptors. Most importantly, THC can activate reward circuits in the brain, resulting in an uplifting and euphoric mental high. It can also alleviate various physical and mental symptoms such as pain, inflammation, stress, anxiety, nausea, and more.
Due to the helpful physical and mental effects of THC, many people now use weed for medical purposes. Nowadays, it’s a common treatment for conditions such as Arthritis, MS, anxiety disorders, depression, and even cancer. It’s shown to be safe even for users suffering from serious health problems, although excessive weed use can have its drawbacks.
Why Pregnant Women Use Weed
Due to its range of medical benefits, many pregnant women use weed during their pregnancy. Statistics from ACOG show that weed is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy. Some studies estimate that 2-5% of pregnant women use marijuana whereas others report that 15-28% of young, urban pregnant women use marijuana.
The most common reason for marijuana use during pregnancy is its ability to relieve morning sickness. Although high quantities of marijuana can sometimes make users nauseous, using it in moderation can help reduce headaches, sickness, and nausea, making it very helpful for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness.
It can also help relieve all kinds of physical tension, making it useful for pregnant women suffering from pains, aches, and strains. Research also shows that marijuana is very helpful for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, issues that commonly plague women facing pregnancy. With that said, it’s not necessarily advisable and it’s essential to know the potential drawbacks of using weed during pregnancy.
Is Weed Safe During Pregnancy?
Although many women use weed during pregnancy, how safe it is for your child is still questionable. Most users can use weed safely regardless of their health background, provided that it’s used in moderation. However, pregnant women need to consider whether the THC in marijuana will impact their child’s development.
One study found that marijuana use among pregnant women in Jamaica did not impact their child’s development. The study assessed the development of 59 children, half of whose mothers used marijuana while pregnant. The study found that marijuana use did not stunt the children’s growth, and children whose mothers used marijuana during pregnancy even performed better on autonomic stability and reflex tests.
However, other studies suggest there may be risks of marijuana use during pregnancy. One study noted that THC can act as a developmental neurotoxin, meaning it can potentially affect the brain of an unborn child when a pregnant woman consumes THC. Although it’s unknown how this may impact the child, this suggests it’s best for pregnant women to avoid marijuana use.
A 2017 report from CADTH on marijuana use during pregnancy found mixed results. Some studies found that marijuana use during pregnancy could increase the risk of decreased birth weight, need for intensive neonatal care, spontaneous preterm birth, and increased risk of stillbirth. However, other studies reported that marijuana use did not increase the risk of adverse effects during pregnancy.
Should You Use Weed During Pregnancy?
So far, research on the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy is still unclear. Some studies suggest THC can pose risks to pregnant women whereas others suggest marijuana use won’t have any adverse effects. Nonetheless, it’s best for pregnant women to avoid weed as much as possible.
As safe and beneficial as marijuana use can be, it’s best not to take any risks during pregnancy. THC is a strong chemical that can have many potential effects on the brain, and it’s best to avoid using it during your child’s development.
If you feel that you need marijuana to help with morning sickness and other complications during pregnancy, then talk to a doctor. They’ll be able to advise you on marijuana use, whether it can help, the risks, and possible alternatives.
Can You Use CBD During Pregnancy?
Marijuana contains high levels of THC, a psychoactive chemical that gives you a euphoric high along with many powerful physical and mental effects. However, THC can also have unwanted negative effects. As such, many users use CBD products as a safer alternative to THC.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s said to give you many of the same medical benefits of THC without making you high. Studies on the safety and side effects of CBD show that it’s extremely safe for human consumption. Some users report minor side effects such as fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in their mood or appetite. However, most find it useful for issues such as pain, inflammation, stress, nausea, and anxiety without any side effects.
As such, some pregnant women use CBD as an alternative to marijuana during pregnancy. It’s a much safer option, albeit there is currently no research on the effects of CBD during pregnancy. The FDA advises against the use of THC or CBD during pregnancy until there’s more information on the long-term effects.
Weed is often used during pregnancy for its ability to relieve nausea, sickness, pain, stress, anxiety, and more. However, while some studies suggest weed won’t impact the development of your child, others suggest it can have adverse effects. CBD is a safer alternative, but with no long-term research to show how safe it is for pregnant women, it’s best to consult with a doctor before using it during pregnancy.