Hey Momma. Cannabis + Pregnancy. It’s time for an abundance of caution.

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that physicians advise women against using marijuana while pregnant and breastfeeding.

Please don’t take a chance on my brain development, Momma.

You and the baby will never be sorry that you played it safe.

You already know being pregnant is stressful.

From the ongoing doctor appointments, changes in your body, plans and preparation, emotional highs and lows, and advice—wanted or not—from friends and strangers. Sometimes it feels like you’re the center of everyone’s attention.

Our role at Public Health Muskegon County is to provide facts and scientific information from reliable sources that help you make the best decisions about cannabis during your pregnancy. 

We know it’s a plant. And plant-based medications are safe, right?

Despite a long history—there’s much we still don’t know about cannabis and its effect on the human body. Some recent studies have shown that it can help people manage some illnesses and health issues. However, when you’re pregnant and your baby’s health is in your hands, you need to be 100 percent sure that nothing you eat, drink or do causes any harm. 

Post-birth meconium testing, as well as statewide surveys of pregnant mothers, show evidence that more women are using cannabis during pregnancy than ever before. Reasons include morning sickness, inability to gain weight, stress/anxiety, habitual needs, etc. The fact is that there is very little research showing that cannabis use is safe to use during pregnancy, making use for any reason during this important time of child development, a risk you should not be willing to take.  

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women avoid cannabis consumption, and your physician probably will, too. 

Read the study “European Epidemiological Patterns of Cannabis- and Substance-Related Congenital Neurological Anomalies: Geospatiotemporal and Causal Inferential Study” to learn more.

Here are Eight Things to Know About Cannabis and Pregnancy.

There is research that shows using cannabis while you are pregnant can cause health issues in newborn babies.

It includes low birth weight, which isn’t a great way for a baby to begin life.

Children born below 5 pounds 8 ounces can put them at risk for many other complications such as breathing problems, bleeding in the brain, heart problems, digestive and eye problems, as well as an underdeveloped immune system making your child more prone to infection. In addition, there are several studies that tracked children through early adulthood who were exposed to marijuana during pregnancy. These kids were at higher risk for problems later in life—including the ability to plan, focus, and remember, along with impulsive behavior, hyperactivity, increased aggression, being prone to depression, and having anxiety issues. The issues cited are more common in children whose mothers consumed one or more marijuana joints per day—which is considered heavy use.

You’re probably aware that smoking is unhealthy for you and your baby-to-be, including smoking cannabis.
The smoke from marijuana contains some of the same chemicals as tobacco and may increase the risk of your baby having developmental issues. If you’ve sworn off smoking tobacco, consider giving up cannabis smoking, too.
Smoking marijuana may increase carbon monoxide levels in the blood, which can decrease the amount of oxygen the baby receives.
Some studies have suggested that among women who smoke marijuana regularly, there is an increased chance for pregnancy complications such as premature birth, low birth weight, small length, small head size, and stillbirth.
CBD is easy to access and can be purchased in health food stores, online and even in gas stations.
It comes in tinctures, lotions, bath bombs, and edibles. There are no scientific studies showing that use of CBD is safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
THC is detectable in breast milk—which means your baby can be ingesting a small amount—about 2.5 percent of the nursing mom’s dose.
THC stays in the breast milk anywhere from 6 days to 6 weeks. The brain development of a baby is happening quickly during the first years of life (and brain development continues until people are about 25 years old). It’s known that THC can affect brain development at any age. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that breastfeeding mothers avoid using cannabis.
Cannabis edibles, including tinctures, might seem like a practical alternative to smoking for pregnant women.
But, the risk is equal regarding smoking and the unknown effect of THC on babies.
Part of the reason we don’t know much about the effect on cannabis on women and fetuses pregnancy is a lack of long-term research.
Cannabis’ status as a Schedule I drug puts limits on the number of studies conducted in the U.S. Until further research is conducted, mothers will have to use their best judgment based on the evidence available and the advice of their physician.
Public Health-Muskegon County urges you to talk to your physician and think about cannabis like any other substance or product that may harm your developing baby.
When in doubt—wait. Nine months isn’t that long!