NOV 01, 2019 10:35 AM PDT

FDA Cautions Against Cannabis Use During Pregnancy

WRITTEN BY: C Reardon

A recent article published by NPR addresses the rapidly growing number of females using cannabis during pregnancy. Those with tough pregnancy side effects are more likely to use the drug to ease their morning sickness and aid in unwanted weight loss. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning against this common trend, saying that they "strongly advise" women, both pregnant or still breastfeeding, against using cannabis of any form, as it has the potential to pose serious risks. This advisory includes CBD. 

Photo Source: Pixabay.com

The FDA cites current research that shows that the psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, THC, can cross the placenta and hinder fetal brain development, and that exposure to the drug can result in an increased risk for premature birth. Further, there is evidence that THC can be passed from mother to child through breastmilk. 

Much of the research done in the evolving field of cannabis and health has found conflicting results. Doctors and researchers alike are in the early stages of exploring this drug and the long-term health effects it could have on the human body. While initial studies supporting a link between marijuana and premature birth were not conclusive, more recent studies have proven that the relationship exists. 

A recent study assessed the data of more than 600,000 pregnancies in an Ontario hospital between the years 2012 and 2017. The data found that 1.4% of these women self-reported using marijuana during pregnancy to their doctor. Researchers compared women of similar socioeconomic backgrounds and with similar alcohol and tobacco usage. They found that those that used cannabis during pregnancy had a preterm birth rate of about 12%. Those that did not use the drug during pregnancy had a preterm birth rate of roughly half (6.1%).

Photo Source: Pixabay.com

Researchers and the FDA have yet to find a specific amount or frequency that would begin to cause adverse effects. So at this point, the best they can do is to warn against using the drug entirely during pregnancy until they know more. 

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