Know The Effects of Smoking Weed During Pregnancy

smoking weed while pregnant

If you are pregnant and feeling queasy and your stomach gets upset whatever you eat, you probably want to get a remedy by any means to get the appetite back. You also may have some pre-baby jitters. So, you want to calm your nerves as well. These are the reasons a lot of pregnant women are smoking weed as it removes anxiety and works against nausea while giving you back your appetite.

So, is it a safe and health friendly remedy for your morning sickness or you are making a dangerous habit that harms you and your baby? Health experts and the medical community say that, smoking weed while pregnant is very harmful and should be avoided. It can even harm your baby after birth, affecting the child’s development in the long term.

Some Facts about Weeds and Pregnancy

Some Facts about Weeds and PregnancyWeed is a drug which is mostly known as marijuana. It is extracted from a plant named Cannabis sativa.  For its mind-altering effect, weed is being used throughout the world. People smoke weed mostly for recreational purposes. It can cause relaxation, euphoria and a hyper-sensory perception. The use of weed is prohibited in most states, but a lot of people and pregnant women are using it to have better nerve functions and increased appetite.

The active ingredient of weed is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which can cross over the mother’s placenta and reach the baby causing severe health issues to the child and mother as well. There are also other effects of smoking weed while pregnant. For more details, read through the article.

Some surprising facts about smoking weed during pregnancy are given below –

    The prevalence of pregnant women who smoke weed has increased dramatically in past decades. In some cases, it is up to 7 percent.

    • A lot of pregnant women smoke weed not for habit, but to get rid of morning sickness, nausea, and nerve pain.
    • Marijuana or weed can last up to 30 days in our body, which means that a pregnant woman who smokes weed exposes her baby/fetus to the drug for a prolonged period of time.
    • Smoking weed produces 5 times more carbon monoxide than the cigarette; this may cause oxygen deficiency in the fetus.

    These are some quick yet surprising facts about a woman smoking weed while pregnant. Read below sections to learn more about side effects, medical usage and misconception of smoking weed while pregnant.

    Is It Safe smoking weed during pregnancy?

    Is It Safe To Smoke Weed While Pregnant What About Medical UsageMarijuana is a well-known painkiller and also removes the feeling of nausea. For different other purposes, several states of the United States have made the use of marijuana legal if it is used for medical purposes.

    However, the amount of doses is not possible to regulate during the use of weed via smoking. According to ACOG and most health experts, there is still no perfect measurement for;

    • A standard Formulation
    • Standard Dosage
    • Standard Delivery System of the Drug

    For the above reasons, most of the health experts and professionals advise not to use weed for those women who are hoping to get pregnant or who are already pregnant. Moreover, inappropriate amounts of smoking or taking by any other means causes serious health problem both for the mother and child.

    Hence, women are advised to consult with their doctors to get alternative remedies and treatment for their problems.

    Potential Effects of Smoking Weed While Pregnant

    Potential Effects of Smoking Weed While PregnantAccording to a very recent study of a research paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of women smoking weed while pregnant has increased dramatically since 2002. A study shows that only 2.4 percent of women who take marijuana while in 2012 it became 3.9 percent. In 2016 the percentage was 7%. The number is still increasing.

    It is now a global concern on how marijuana is affecting these women. Well, there are still conflicting and limited evidence on how marijuana affects the birth outcome. According to WHO (World Health Organization) and other several kinds of research marijuana may cause;

    • Preterm Birth
    • Low Weight of the Newborn Child
    • Impaired Development of Fetal
    • Small Head Circumference
    • Stillbirth
    • Small Length
    • Rare Form of Cancer

    These are the most common effects of taking weeds at the time of pregnancy. However, the after effects are many and there are also potential risks for proper child growth even after the child’s birth.

    Effects of Weed on Baby after Birth

    Weed or marijuana contains the brain stimulating ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Several studies have found that this element can be the reason to alter the course of natural brain development. Which may cause several problems for a child even in older life. However, although most of these types of research are animal based, it is still clear that long-term exposure to weed can cause neurological disorders which can affect both physical and mental health of a child. Research shows that a child from a mother who took weed at the time of pregnancy may have the effects like;

    • Increased Offensive and Delinquent Behavior
    • Impulsivity
    • Hyperactivity And
    • Attention Problems

    Mothers who exposed their children to weeds as a fetus are also more likely to get involved with drugs, cigarette, and marijuana. These Childs may also face problems like the memory problem, attention issues, unsatisfied school performance and controlling impulses. Also, we need research to conclude here, but it is best to avoid smoking weed while pregnant.

    The misconception About Weed and Pregnancy

    Misconception of Weed and PregnancyA lot of people smoking weed think that “Vaping” using a vape pen is safer than smoking. Instead of using smoke, vape pen uses water vapor which is a safer solution to take marijuana. A lot of pregnant women mistakenly think that, vaping while pregnant is safer for their child’s health.

    However, vaping may decrease the amount of carbon monoxide intake, but it still contains  THC, the active ingredient of weed. This THC can still cause severe brain damage to the fetus producing a baby with physical and mental issues. However, it requires more research to draw the conclusion about how much it can affect the baby and the mother. For now, it is wise not to take the risk and avoid taking weeds.

    Quitting Weeds While Pregnant

    Who does not want to have a healthy baby? If you are hoping to have a baby or already pregnant and you have an addiction to marijuana. It is best to open up and talk to your doctor. You require an honest effort to assess the treatment plan. It will depend on your condition and need.

    Quitting weeds while you are pregnant requires physical, psychological and emotional support. At present, there is no FDA (The Food and Drug Administration) approved medication strategy for the treatment of weed addicted pregnant women. For this reason, a lot of health specialist treats marijuana addiction to behavioral therapy. The overall treatments that are fruitful in treating marijuana addiction are;

    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
    • Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
    • Contingency management
    • Meditation
    • Art therapy
    • Acupuncture
    • Mindfulness
    • Yoga (As you are pregnant, be careful while performing Yoga)

    If you still find yourself addicted to marijuana you may consider entering a drug addiction treatment program. The trained personnel will help you in the best way possible.


    Doctors recommend not to use weeds during pregnancy. There are several reasons behind that. There are different types of weeds available and many of them are severely harmful. Again, a harmful chemical can still present even if you use it for medical purposes. Smoking weed while pregnant also associates with several risk factors during pregnancy and in the newborn.

    As the research is still not 100 percent clear, many pregnant women wonder if it is harmful or not to eat or smoke weed. As taking weeds to have several potential risks, so it is best to avoid the use of these kinds of drugs which is not helpful for the health.

    After reading this article, I believe you have got the information regarding while smoking weed while pregnant. If you have any question to ask, do not hesitate to write back. Have a Happy Pregnant Time!

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    I am Dr. Pamela H. Young and a specialist in Maternal-Fetal Medicine or, perinatology. I got a Doctoral Degree and a Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Parma, and a Fetal Medicine Foundation Diploma in Fetal Medicine at the Kings College, London, UK. I have been honing fetal-maternal medication in Reggio Emilia and Parma for more than 15 years, and I went about as a mentor and analyst for the Fetal Medicine Foundation, Italian Branch. But what I like most is my writing as a freelance blogger which I started back in 2010. As an expert, I know that maternity care is the most pivotal job for every mother and her family. With my writings, I try to inform my readers about the proper maternity care, how to manage health concerns of the mother and fetus prior to, during, and shortly after pregnancy. As a doctor, it's my duty to help people provide with proper medicare and information about healthcare. Through the blog, I am just doing a part of that job. I am happily married to a heart surgeon, and we have three daughters, residing in Brooklyn.


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