Marijuana during pregnancy. Although there is still not enough research, some studies conclude that marijuana has harmful effects on the brain of the fetus and adolescents
Marijuana during pregnancy. Federal health officials warned last week about the risks of marijuana in teenagers and pregnant women. President Donald Trump has donated $ 100,000 to investigate the risks. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams, warned about the dangers of the “new marijuana” in brains that are not yet developed.
Adams said that marijuana is harmful to teenagers’ developing brains and to the human fetus because cannabis has strengthened, with a three-fold increase in the concentration of the active ingredient THC in plants grown in the past 20 years. “This is not the marijuana your parents smoked years ago, ”said Adams.
For its part, the American Medical Association advises against the use of marijuana in adolescents, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.
The Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, said his opinion is the result of scientific research that ensures that the use of marijuana is a risk to the developing brain.
Federal authorities say they fear that the trend towards legalization may make it more attractive for teenagers to try marijuana. It is a drug commonly used among young people, they said, along with alcohol and electronic cigarettes. No state allows recreational use of marijuana in adolescents.
This opinion contradicts other demographic studies that ensure otherwise. We recommend you read the article we published recently called “Teenagers consume less cannabis in states where it is legal.” Because the forbidden has a great magnet effect for teenagers and legalization makes it attractive to their eyes.
The states that have legalized medical marijuana generally allow the use by minors with the consent of a legal guardian and the certification of a doctor. Adams believes that for teenagers it carries a risk of affecting brain development. Teenage marijuana abuse can affect certain parts of the brain related to attention, memory, decision making and motivation.
Marijuana is the illegal substance that pregnant women use most frequently. Some women consume it to relieve morning sickness. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics advise women not to use marijuana during pregnancy. Undersecretary of Health, Brett Giroir, believes that pregnant women who use marijuana to relieve morning sickness should stop doing so.
The government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) fund research on the use of marijuana in pregnancy, including one that includes women who have decided to continue using cannabis to treat morning sickness despite warnings.
The director of NIDA, Nora Volkow, says that although some studies suggest that marijuana may be harmful to the developing brain, they still do not have conclusive evidence, although she supports the surgeon’s thesis.
When Amy Smith decided to have a baby a few years ago, the first thing she wondered is what she was going to do with her pot use. Smith had spent a lot of time with the American army in Iraq and returned with heavy post-traumatic stress. Her doctors told her to take 22 pills a day to help her sleep and calm her depression and anxiety. Smith left all prescription medications and began to self-medicate with cannabis. Smith says the result was fantastic and decisive in his daily life, as it helped him get out of bed and not feel terrified every time he had to leave his house.
In 2014, Smith became pregnant with his first child. After talking with her doctor and her husband, she decided to use marijuana 4 to 5 times a week during pregnancy and breastfeeding. She decided that 22 pills a day were worse for the health of her fetus than a moderate consumption of marijuana.
Researcher Kelly Young-Wolff of the Kaiser Permanente Research Division of Northern California says there are many concerns about prenatal use of marijuana and the risk of adverse effects on the fetus. Kelly says that although the health effects of prenatal cannabis use are complex and not well understood, no amount of cannabis has been shown to be safe during pregnancy.
Despite this, Smith is part of a growing group of women who have decided to continue using cannabis during pregnancy because she believes that the effects of THC on the fetus may not be as harmful as the intake of 22 pills a day. Apart from her husband, she said nothing to anyone for fear of legal consequences.
There is no official state or federal level screening system for marijuana use during pregnancy in the United States. In many states, substance use during pregnancy is sufficient to report child abuse or neglect.
California is an exception to this rule. And the best evidence on the use of marijuana during pregnancy comes from Kaiser Permanente Northern California, the only major health care system in the United States that examines all pregnant women for prenatal use of marijuana as part of standard prenatal care by urine toxicology and self-report. This means that they have an objective way of measuring if marijuana use is increasing or decreasing among pregnant women.
In a study of these data they concluded that the number of pregnant women who used marijuana was twice what they recognized. It is not clear how the use of marijuana by a pregnant woman could affect the fetus, but what is clear is that the future mother could have serious legal problems in some states.
Shakira Kennedy was 27 when she discovered that she was going to have twins. Although most women experience morning sickness in their first trimester, Shakira’s unrelenting cycle of nausea and vomiting was so severe that she had to go to the emergency department several times during her pregnancy. He had to be treated for several health problems, including dehydration and the inability to retain food. Shakira Kennedy lost about 30 kilos of weight during the first trimester of pregnancy and was so tired that she even fainted once on the train while taking her six-year-old daughter to school. He tried different prescription medications but none worked. Desperate turned to cannabis.
Kennedy says that she had smoked marijuana recreationally when she was younger and discovered that it helped him with various ailments, from lack of appetite to constipation, and he hoped that it could now be useful for treating the symptoms associated with pregnancy. With New York’s medical marijuana licenses typically reserved for those with cancer or chronic diseases, Kennedy had to buy marijuana through the illegal market. She smoked it and helped her a lot.
On one of Kennedy’s prenatal visits, he admitted using marijuana to relieve his debilitating symptoms. She underwent drug testing and the results were positive. She was told that the positive result would be recorded in her medical file, and she thought it would have no further consequences. However, when he returned to the hospital to give birth to his twins a few months later, his babies were tested for drugs to detect different substances, from cocaine to methamphetamine. According to the test results, both babies were negative for cannabinoids, as well as for any other drug.
Kennedy believed that this was a closed case. But a short time later, the New York Children’s Services Administration (ACS) filed a negligence petition against Kennedy in the Brooklyn Family Court, claiming that he used marijuana while she was pregnant with her twins and took care of her daughter. Kennedy was ordered to undergo ongoing random drug checks. ACS also subjected her to home inspections and demanded that she attend a drug treatment program, as well as a class for parents.