The most vulnerable state in a woman’s life is during pregnancy. This is because at this time she not only has one life to take care of but also another young life that is even more vulnerable. This therefore calls for caution. A woman who is pregnant should be wary of what passes through her mouth and proceeds right into her body. This is because whatever she eats can either make her gestation period and life after a healthy affair or a nightmare. More often than note the life behaviors of a pregnant mother impacts on the life of the foetus as well and therefore it is important for a pregnant woman to distance herself from all drugs and other risky life choices that may impact negatively on the life of her offspring. Just as good nutrition and clinical visits are emphasized to pregnant women it is also good to encourage these women to stay away from harmful drugs like cocaine, bhang and even alcohol. Unfortunately pregnant women have not seen the need to quit indulging in these risky behaviors even when they are expectant. If current research findings are to be believed, about 4% of women in the USA use illicit drugs while pregnant. Seventy five percent of these cases report the use of marijuana. Despite the widespread use of this product, the public is not aware of the potential neurobehavioral effects of this drug on the fetus or the newborn infant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most effective compound found in cannabis sativa. Unfortunately it is effective for all the wrong reasons as it affects the neurodevelopment in fetus and newborn infants. Needless to say it has been used in few doses to avoid nausea and vomit in cancer patients. It has also been used to increase appetite in patients but when used for non medical reasons nothing good can come out of this compound.
Recent studies have proved that children who are exposed to marijuana prenatally encounter such problems as social and cognitive disturbances. One of these study suggested exposing children to heavy marijuana use prenatally increased the risk of giving birth to low weight babies and the reduced head circumference in teenagers is a proof to this argument. It is also exposing fetus to heavy marijuana use prenatally increased the risk of childhood leukemia. Exposing fetus to heavy use of marijuana prenatally also resulted in both long term and short term memory loss. Even as the infants grow into youths they become very poor in judgmental skills and mostly become very slow in learning and adopting new ideas.
In another study, 42 postmortem fetal brain samples from pregnant women at mid gestation (between 18 – 22 weeks old) who voluntarily underwent saline induced abortion, a decrease in dopamine receptor (D2) mRNA expression in amygdala with significant prevalence in male fetuses. 7 Extensive marijuana exposure in utero was associated with the lowest reported mRNA levels. However this study did not show whether this change is transient or permanent but still it was able to prove that exposure to heavy use of marijuana resulted in low mRNA levels.
When a woman continues to use marijuana, the THC compound in it will not quit causing the side effects it is known for to this infant but will still continue to hurt the life of the infant. The compound will not stay in the mother alone but will be passed to the infant when breast feeding since it is secreted in milk. This may cause side effects in the life of the infant as it will be absorbed and retained in the body of the infant. Researchers opine that at the point of intake into the infant the proportions of the dangerous compound in the milk is minimal to cause any clinical problems but it is sufficient enough to cause serious long-term effects in the infant. It may take time but in the end it affects the neurobehavioral functioning of an infant .Infants exposed to marijuana through breast milk will test positive in urine screens for about 2-3 weeks. One study of 16 women indicated decreased plasma levels of prolactin especially in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
THC decreases IQ in children
When you are pregnant but you choose to indulge in using marijuana during your pregnancy be sure to have a child that is not very well upstairs. The exposure of a child to THC prenatally will decrease their Intelligence Quotient. This problem affects the teens as that is the period that they try to accomplish things by themselves. Most of the dangers that THC cause to infants are seen during the teen. They become poor planners which make it rather difficult to keep the pace with their other fellows.
The use of marijuana in pregnant women is a cause for concern everywhere and it is advisable that women should stay away from using marijuana not only for their health but also for the life of their offspring. The effects of marijuana that they absorb in their blood during infancy end up affecting them during their entire lives. THC is a dangerous compound and so women should avoid interacting with it to save their children from long-term neurobehavioral anomalies.
Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is an experienced doctor that has helped many cancer patients in their fight against the disease. She is also dedicated to offer help to addiction patients. She founded AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center which is home to many people seeking health breakthrough. Call on her now and learn more on how to fight drug addiction.