Pot Unsafe While Pregnant

Fetal development of the central nervous system can be impaired by potent marijuana

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Most people have known that smoking marijuana was not safe for pregnancy. Modern, high-potency marijuana poses additional dangers for fetal development.

A recent study reviewed the use of marijuana or Spice while pregnant. Results from the study found that negative outcomes were measurable after the first two weeks of pregnancy.

"Do not smoke marijuana while pregnant."

Delphine Psychoyos, PhD, from the Center for Genetic and Environmental Medicine at Texas A&M University, led an investigation into potentially harmful effects of marijuana on babies in the womb.

For this study, Dr. Psychoyos and colleagues reviewed recent medical findings on the effects of modern, high-potency marijuana on babies during their gestational period.

Researchers found that consuming high-potency marijuana or the marijuana substitute, Spice, can negatively effect the proper development of babies’ central nervous system.

These negative effects became a risk factor as early as two weeks into the pregnancy.

This study estimated that high-grade, modern strains of marijuana on today’s market are as much as 20 times more potent with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than original marijuana strains.

Dr. Psychoyos said, “The problem is that many women who are pregnant, or are planning to become pregnant are totally unaware of this increased potency and the risks they pose.”

“This is because many websites on mothering and pregnancy, and those run by pro-marijuana advocacy groups, base their discussions on data collected prior to 1997, when no detrimental affects on pregnancy had been reported.”

“[P]rior to 1997, pregnant women were mostly exposed to low potency, ‘traditional’ marijuana, which was the common form of marijuana in the market in the 1970s and early 1980s.”

Researchers reported that neurobehavioral issues like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities and memory problems were all risk factors for consuming marijuana or Spice while pregnant.

Authors estimated approximately 20 percent of pregnant women worldwide could have used marijuana.

This study was published in August in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis. No financial information was given and no conflicts of interest were reported.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 17, 2012
Last Updated:
August 20, 2012