Pregnant women who use pot have more enjoyable pregnancies.
Bold statement, eh? I believe it’s true. Stay with me.
Disclaimer: I have been using cannabis regularly since my second trimester. (I’m currently due in 4 weeks.) Being my first pregnancy, I really had no idea what to expect. I can tell you that it’s nothing like you think it’ll be, and that morning sickness is truly the worst hangover I’ve ever felt. It’s also never-ending. (and I’ve had some rough hangovers.) It’s one of those hangovers that if you smoke weed it’s either going to make the hangover a million times worse or cure your nausea – no in between – and so you smoke. And it’s worse. Much worse. That’s exactly what morning sickness feels like. All day. Every day. Sleep is the only remedy.
Today I’d like to delve into the pros and cons of using cannabis while pregnant. I’ve done a fair amount of my own research and questioned a couple of my doctors/midwives for advice. However, being that marijuana is still federally illegal, there hasn’t been adequate research or trials done for doctors to give sound advice on the subject. (Unlike alcohol, marijuana’s adversary.) I have my medical card, so it was one of the first things I asked about when I found out that I was pregnant.
“Well, I have to tell you that being completely sober is optimal for pregnancy. (obviously) BUT if you are going to use marijuana, edibles are your best option. Followed by vaping and topicals.”
The reason that edibles are a first choice for ingesting marijuana while pregnant is the way they are absorbed into the body. Thought I didn’t see this research presented anywhere, I personally believe part of the reason is because when you smoke, you are still ingesting carcinogens, second hand smoke, etc. When you pop an edible, those carcinogens are not present.
Let’s follow the path of an edible brownie. The cannabis is cooked into the brownie, preferably with butter. (it just tastes betta, ya feel me?)
After eating the brownie, the active ingredient THC is absorbed through the bloodstream and then through the liver.
It then takes about 30-90 minutes to reach the brain where it’s effects will be felt.
Fun fact: baby and mom’s blood never touch.
This is my preferred method while pregnant. Partially because of convenience, partially because edibles are sort of a gamble. I’m not always down for that unexpected ride.
So, you hit the pen. The vapor travels into your lungs where it’s absorbed by the inside lining of your lungs by tiny little air sacs called aveoli. This is where the gas exchange is made that the THC is then absorbed by the bloodstream, and travels to the brain where the effects are felt.
Like my doctor said: vaping is fast acting, and short lasting. Therefore, making it a first choice for me to still be functional throughout my day.
Personally, I don’t believe that marijuana should be ingested any other way during pregnancy. (if at all.) So these are the only two methods I want expend on. It’s painfully obvious that smoking through a pipe or lighting up a joint contains the same carcinogens that smoking cigarettes does. (No bueno, ever.) Vaporizers do not protect you from all risks. There are pesticides, tars, and vaping itself can aggravate asthma that wasn’t present before.
And what does the CDC say about using cannabis during pregnancy?
-THC crosses the placenta
-Low birth weight
-Small head size
-Increased risk of preterm or stillbirth
-Attention and behavioral issues developed later in life
When I investigated the case studies that were compliant with the CDC’s website, I found that most studies were taken a bit out of context. Most were non-conclusive with minimal evidence that supports these claims. In conclusion, they don’t really know how or if it affects babies during pregnancy.
Being a firm believer in cannabis, and it’s medical uses, I stand by using it. I found out that I was pregnant at 5 weeks, and I stopped using cannabis until my second trimester. Baby moves through two development stages during the first trimester, and I felt it was better to abstain completely during this time. By the end of the first trimester, all organs and systems are developed, and they begin functioning on their own. To me, that sounds like the most fragile and critical time. I think most moms would agree that once you start feeling baby move, you can be a little more liberal about what you put or use on your body and do so with confidence. Using has helped me stay productive, keep depression at bay, and has given me an all-around serenity surrounding my pregnancy. It astonishes me that having a glass of red wine is acceptable but partaking in a naturally growing plant is not. With the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana growing in the US, the view on this will inevitably change for the better.
You can call it a momma’s intuition.