SEP 06, 2016 2:47 PM PDT

Of Weed, Women, and Wombs: How Marijuana Affects the Baby

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Marijuana has now been legalized in half of the states and in the District of Columbia. With this unprecedented legalization trend, more people are experimenting with this recreational drug, including pregnant women. After all, if marijuana can be used medicinally to treat appetite, nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, couldn't it also benefit pregnant women who may suffer similar symptoms?

Although the answer isn't black and white, many studies suggest exposure to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol - the main active ingredient in cannabis) does impact the fetus. One study reported that babies exposed to THC in the womb had thicker frontal cortices. Others cite impairment in memory and cognition. However, teasing apart the effects of cannabis use during pregnancy is harder than it sounds due to many other confounding factors. And frankly, researchers are just beginning to study this relationship. So, watch the video and stay tuned for more updates in the future!
About the Author
I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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