Nugs and Prenatals:
Exploring the misconceptions associated with cannabis use during pregnancy
How cannabis affects the body
Thanks to our bodies’ ECS, cannabis can be effectively distributed throughout the body. The ECS, which is an abbreviation for the Endocannabinoid System, is a unique network of nodes that specifically interact with the compounds of cannabis known as cannabinoids. The network consists of two types of receptors rightfully referred to as CB1 and CB2 receptors. This system allows patients to experience the psychoactive and non-psychoactive effects associated with cannabis. Although CB receptors’ network is found throughout the entire body, most of the receptors are located in the gastrointestinal tract.
Cannabis use and pregnancy
Cannabis use while pregnant is fairly common among adult women around the world. There are hundreds of thousands of pregnant women who consume cannabis during the course of their pregnancy. Many pregnant patients use cannabis to combat the adverse effects of their pregnancy. Cannabis is also used during this time to help cope with the realization of reproducing another human being. The repercussions of cannabis use during pregnancy are more social than physiological. This is because most moms are drug tested throughout their pregnancy. In more cases, than we’d like to acknowledge, mothers have had their children taken from them by child service agencies simply for testing positive for low levels of THC during their pregnancy.
First-party accounts from medicated moms
After interviewing a group of mothers who consumed cannabis throughout their entire pregnancy, there was not a single parent who believed cannabis consumption during their pregnancy had adverse effects on their child’s overall health. Moreover, many of these ‘stoner mommahs’ believed weed to be the primary form of relief for common pregnancy ailments such as nausea, lack of appetite, and morning sickness. Some mothers recall their doctors recommending cannabis consumption to combat the aforementioned ailment. The true danger of cannabis use during pregnancy comes from the drug testing performed by certain state agencies to determine if a mother is ‘fit enough’ to raise a child. Since cannabis is technically still a schedule I controlled substance, most of these agencies will remove a child from their parent simply for consuming cannabis.
There are a bevy of misconceptions that are commonly associated with cannabis use during pregnancy. One of the biggest misconceptions is that cannabis use while pregnant will inevitably lead to a slew of health problems and defects for the child. Some of these ailments include Autism, Crohn’s Disease, Asperger’s, ADHD, and more. There are no studies that have been performed that can affirm the latter. Society simply believes that by using ‘dope’ during one’s pregnancy, they are essentially getting their child high way too soon. There also haven’t been any studies performed to support the previous statement. The propaganda of the Reefer Madness Era of the 1920s is credited with spreading this false information.
Why we don’t know more about cannabis use during pregnancy
There has been a limited amount of research performed on cannabis to scientifically evaluate what cannabis and cannabinoids can do to one’s body, albeit while bearing children. The world does not know enough about cannabis use on a physiological level because the substance is federally illegal. Despite being sold in more than half of the nation, cannabis remains a Schedule I drug as outlined by the federal US government. By default, this means that there can be no public studies performed on cannabis at this time. The MORE Act, a pro-cannabis bill, was recently passed in the US House of Representatives. However, it is unlikely that the bill will survive the Senate. Should the bill be passed into law, this would remove cannabis from the list of Schedule I drugs. Thus, allowing more public and private research on cannabis use during pregnancy.