Pregnant women sometimes come into the coffee shop, and when the pregnant woman has left the premises, with a bag of weed, there are often reactions from visitors and staff. From “local prohibition for pregnant women” to “she has to know that herself” and everything in between.
What do we actually know about pregnancy and cannabis? We know that tobacco, alcohol, some medicines, stress and other things are bad for mother and unborn. This is something that is widely known. But what about cannabis? When a pregnant woman takes cannabis by using a vaporizer or consuming an edible, for example. Does this have an effect on the unborn child? If so, is this a negative effect?
On various informative websites, including those of the trimbos institute, we can find a whole list of negative effects;
- Growth retardation at birth.
Some studies show that children are born smaller and lighter if the mother has used cannabis during pregnancy. The head circumference is also smaller. This growth retardation disappears before or during puberty.
- Complaints during childhood.
Other complaints that the child may have if the mother uses cannabis during pregnancy are:
- Concentration problems.
- Anxiety complaints.
- Difficulty with complicated tasks.
Children may have difficulty with tasks in which their brains have to perform several complicated tasks at the same time.
- Drug use.
Possibly adolescents are more likely to use cannabis themselves. However, not enough research has been done yet to be able to say this with certainty.
Those who are against cannabis can quickly use these arguments against weed.
But new research shows something interesting. After filtering tobacco use and other disruptive factors, there appears to be no statistical connection between cannabis use and negative birth outcomes. The researchers explain:
“Cannabis use of the mother during pregnancy has independently – after filtering out the disruptive factors – no undesirable outcome at birth. So the association between maternal weed consumption and negative birth outcomes can be attributed to tobacco use and other disruptive factors”.
The study therefore concludes that cannabis use – in itself – has no harmful effects. But when you combine the herb with tobacco, the chance of a negative effect increases.
An older study in Jamaica supports the recent findings. In the 1980s, a study was conducted there among 44 mothers who did and did not consume weed during pregnancy. There children were tested one, three and 30 days after birth in different areas. The results are astonishing. Babies exposed to cannabis scored higher in reflex tests and on basic functions such as blood pressure and heart rate. Weed babies were also less irritated and more alert. The research team examined the children again later. Around their 4th/5th year of life the children were tested for IQ and behaviour using the McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities. This part of the study included the domestic environment and attendance at school.
“We cannot really say that there is no impact at all on children whose mothers have used cannabis during pregnancy. What we can conclude, however, is that children who go to school regularly, have stimulating experiences at home and are encouraged to behave adult have a better chance to perform at a high level. Regardless of whether the mother used weed during pregnancy.”
So if you decide to smoke a joint during pregnancy, do so pure and not with tobacco. This way you can enjoy the benefits of the herb without the harmful effects of tobacco. Vaporizing is of course an even safer way to get your weed in. Because there is no burning at all, the health risks are negligible.