Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Poses Serious Risks


In November, the American Medical Association (AMA) made moves to ensure that pregnant women and their children will no longer be impacted by recreational marijuana use during pregnancy. Considering that self-reported usage rates among pregnant women range from 2-5%, increasing 15-28% in young, urban, and poor women, it seems their intervention is necessary.

Their first steps included promoting regulations that will require the placement of warnings on medical and recreational marijuana products, as well as placement of warnings wherever these products are sold.

What led to these recommendations? The AMA took into account several studies linking marijuana usage during pregnancy to medical and mental issues in children. Their recommendations also affect breastfeeding mothers.

Read on for more specific details about their recommendations and the affect the marijuana can have on children.

Marijuana Use in Pregnancy Proves Dangerous

Effects on Infants & Children

According to the research the AMA cited, marijuana use during pregnancy can cause a number of issues for infants and children, including:

  • Premature birth
  • Stillbirth
  • Low birth weight
  • Negative impact on fetal brain development
  • Behavior issues
  • Attention problems
  • Decreased problem-solving skills
  • Problems with visual-motor coordination

Breastfeeding & Marijuana Use

The main active ingredient found in marijuana is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Researchers have found traces of THC in breastmilk, and some have determined that it affects both the quality and the quantity of breastmilk. There is not enough information to fully evaluate if marijuana use among breastfeeding women impacts infants, but the AMA has urged physicians to avoid recommending medical marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Marijuana Use Linked to Use of Other Drugs

One study found that 25% of all mothers and newborns that tested positive for THC also had other illicit drugs in their systems:

  • 11.6% tested positive for opioids
  • 10.8% tested positive for amphetamines
  • 6.5% tested positive for cocaine

Their research also disturbingly found that samples taken from infants were more likely to test positive for THC than the maternal samples. This is because the THC crosses the placenta and effectively gives the baby a higher dose of marijuana than the mother.

Maternal & Passive Exposure Testing in Kansas City

Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City can conduct drug testing for common drugs of abuse, including marijuana, on pregnant women, mothers, and children. This includes passive exposure or environmental testing to determine if a child has purposefully or accidentally ingested drugs.

For more information about our services, call (816) 875-0464 today!

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