Is cannabis safe to use during pregnancy? This is a question that many women have asked themselves. For centuries cannabis was widely used in cultures around the globe by pregnant women for a plethora of different ailments without any known adverse consequences to their unborn child.
According to modern science, however, women who consume cannabis during pregnancy may be doing untold harm to their children. I call bullshit but will allow you to form your own opinion after reading the facts below.
What the Science Says and Why it’s Flawed
According to the CDC, there are potentially several issues with consuming cannabis when pregnant. During pregnancy, research shows that consuming cannabis could lead to low birth weight. They also state that according to studies that cannabis smoke has many of the same chemicals as tobacco and could increase the risk of issues with the baby’s development when consumed during pregnancy. Other studies have noted that cannabis consumption during pregnancy could lead to problems with your child’s attention span.
Why it’s Flawed
While every one of these studies showed that consumption of cannabis during pregnancy could indeed hurt the child long term, there’s something these studies don’t blatantly tell you. That is the fact that there were no controls in place to take into consideration that these mothers could have also been utilizing tobacco or alcohol products. Alcohol and tobacco both have been proven to cause all of the issues outlined above.
There are also THOUSANDS, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS or even possibly MILLIONS of anecdotal stories of successful, driven, educated, and completely healthy individuals who were born to mothers that consumed cannabis during pregnancy. So now that we have taken a look at the studies showing the adverse effects that cannabis consumption could have been the cause of potentially, you are probably asking yourself, is there a comprehensive study on this subject that has considered everything? The answer to that question my friend is yes. Unfortunately, the mainstream media often overlooks it and for ridiculous reasons as you will see below
The Science They Don’t Mention in Mainstream Media
The truth is out there, and I’m not talking about aliens. I’m talking about hardcore science that shows the real facts about the risk, or lack thereof, from consuming cannabis during pregnancy. The most extensive and conclusive study ever performed on moms to be who consumed cannabis during pregnancy came out of Jamaica and was conducted in the 1980s.
The Jamaican Cannabis Study You Probably Never Heard Of
According to Herb, “Back in the 1980s, Dr. Melanie Dreher and a team of researchers conducted one of the most in-depth longitudinal studies on the use of marijuana during pregnancy that has ever been published. But, chances are, you haven’t heard about it.”
This study showed that babies that were born to mothers who consumed cannabis during pregnancy and who did not consume alcohol or tobacco were more alert, less irritable and scored higher in many areas. Babies born to these mothers scored significantly higher than babies that were born to mothers who did not consume cannabis during pregnancy on reflex tests. They also had much more regulated and average heart rates and blood pressures.
The team of researchers followed up with the children again when they were 4 and five years old. It was then that the children’s IQ and behavioral performance were tested per the McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities. This test found no significant differences between children who were exposed to cannabis prenatally and those who were not.
Why this Information Isn’t More Publicly Available or Mentioned
So why do you not hear about these statistics more often? Well, it could be because the original research study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. NIDA suspected that Dr. Dreher’s findings would be in-line with the findings of other NIDA financed studies led by Peter Fried that showed cannabis to be harmful to fetal development. After her research study showed different results, the funding was immediately pulled. Dr. Dreher was advised to continue the research under Peter Fried but did not proceed.
Recent Studies and Statistics Surrounding Pregnancy and Cannabis
Now that we have looked at some of the science surrounding prenatal cannabis consumption let’s take a look at some of the recent news about this topic.
Dispensaries in Colorado Recommending Cannabis During Pregnancy
Researchers recently published a study in the Obstetrics and Gynecology journal that showed a majority of cannabis dispensaries in Colorado were recommended cannabis products for use during pregnancy. For the study, a combination of 400 medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries was randomly selected.
To conduct the investigation, researchers called the dispensary posing as a pregnant woman suffering from morning sickness. The results showed that roughly 70% of the dispensaries recommended cannabis products to the callers to treat morning sickness. Approximately 1/3 of these dispensaries also told the researchers that cannabis was safe during pregnancy.
Increase in the Number of Expecting Moms Who Utilize Cannabis During Pregnancy
According to an article by Forbes published in December 2017, marijuana use while pregnant is on the rise. This was based upon findings published in a study in JAMA. This study which was conducted in California and showed that from 2009-2016, cannabis use prenatally spiked from 4.2 to 7.1%. The highest increase was amongst expecting mothers under the age of 25.