Ah, pregnancy. For nine long months, you must ditch all your favorite habits for the benefit of the bun in your oven. Everything from eating a cheeseburger on the regular to drinking and smoking, expecting mothers must sacrifice for the well-being of their baby.
Some mothers love this. The freedom of letting go of these potentially hazardous habits and starting a new, healthy lifestyle for the well-being of the baby and for her own future. My mom wasn’t one of those women, though. She craved alcohol the entire duration of her pregnancy with me, and she wanted to smoke a cigarette every waking second of every day. When she finally had me and realized I wasn’t ever going to be interested in breastfeeding, she finally could have her first drink, and she deserved it.
The point is that in an ideal world, pregnancy shouldn’t be so hard on the mothers to be, which is why it’s so exciting that so much research has come about in regards to smoking weed while pregnant. I’m sure after a long day of having a sore back and swollen feet, accidentally peeing your pants just a little bit, and not being able to see your own vagina, it might be comforting to smoke a bowl at the end of the night to alleviate the stresses, reduce your pain, and fall asleep in an uncomfortable back or side position, since you can’t have a drink.
Here’s what we know about smoking weed while pregnant.
Is it Bad to Smoke Weed While Pregnant?
Using pot while pregnant is not tied to birth risks. Let’s get that out of the way first and foremost. Smoking weed while pregnant doesn’t make you an unfit mother, and it won’t cause birth defects as far as we know. There is evidence that marijuana may have been pinned for all of the horrible side effects that come with smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol, including low birth weights and premature births.
After reviewing this evidence and considering tobacco use and other potential variables, doctors at Washington University concluded the following:
“We found that maternal marijuana use during pregnancy is not an independent risk factor for low birth weight or preterm delivery after adjusting for factors such as tobacco use,” Conner et al. write. “There also does not appear to be an increased risk for other adverse neonatal outcomes such as SGA and placental abruption once we account for other influencing factors. . . These data suggest that the association between maternal marijuana use and adverse pregnancy outcomes may be attributable to concomitant tobacco use and other confounding factors. The increased risk for adverse neonatal outcomes reported in women using marijuana in pregnancy is likely the result of coexisting use of tobacco and other confounding factors and not attributable to marijuana use itself.”
Essentially what this means is that the initial link found between marijuana and pregnancy did not consider tobacco use, which is the biggest known culprit for low birth weights and premature births. The risk of these defects was attributed to marijuana when it should’ve been attributed to tobacco, since smoking weed while pregnant is not directly linked to these outcomes.
The doctors go on to urge that further, long-term studies are needed to come to a full conclusion, but with present evidence, cannabis is not the culprit for birth defects in mothers who have had a history smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol.
The doctors also clarify that their findings “do not imply that marijuana use during pregnancy should be encouraged or condoned,” but that more efforts need to be focused on preventing expecting mothers from smoking tobacco during pregnancy.
Marijuana and Pregnancy
Marijuana and pregnancy have had a long, ugly past. Prohibition set back cannabis research for so many years that we still don’t know what we could know about it by now. There have been previous studies on the effect of smoking weed while pregnant, but most of these studies have had conflicting results. Some of these studies showed that cannabis caused risk for harmful birth defects, and others showed no increased risk. Most of these studies are inconclusive, though, since they didn’t take into consideration the effect of other factors like smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. Most of these studies weren’t clinical, monitored trials. They focused on what the women said they did, with no evidence or ways to prove that what they said they did is all that they did.
There is still so much to consider. This specific study didn’t follow up the long-term health of the babies whose mothers smoked cannabis. Aside from low birth weights or premature births, there is evidence that smoking weed while pregnant can affect the baby’s brain in the long run. Cannabis use during pregnancy may affect the way the baby’s brain develops because it affects the formation of the connections between synapses in the brain during the development stage.
Can You Smoke Weed While Pregnant?
The answer is still unclear. Because of prohibition, there are limitations to our knowledge in regards to cannabis consumption and pregnancy. As far as we know, women who smoke weed and tobacco are 85 percent more likely to have a preterm birth, compared with women who didn’t use either substance. While it’s unclear that cannabis is the cause of the birth defects, it’s a good idea to consider the evidence. There is a chance your child could be born early or underweight. There is also a possibility that cannabis and brain development don’t mix.
Can you smoke weed while pregnant? I can’t give you a solid opinion for or against. If you’re going to smoke weed while pregnant, I’d recommend moderation. You don’t want to overdo it, but with the present evidence, I would personally conclude that once in a blue moon during your pregnancy shouldn’t hurt the child, unlike alcohol or cigarettes.