Cannabis: Things you probably didn’t know about Marijuana.
As more states make marijuana legal for recreational use, scientists are looking into how it might affect a person’s health.
In this new study, scientists “wanted to look specifically at cannabis use early in pregnancy because that’s when the placenta is forming.”
At today’s Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual gathering, “The Pregnancy Meeting™,” researchers will present this new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, which highlights that cannabis use during the initial six to 14 weeks of pregnancy is linked to unfavorable pregnancy outcomes, primarily connected to the placenta’s function.
During pregnancy, the placenta is important because it gives the baby oxygen and nutrients, gets rid of waste and carbon dioxide, and makes hormones that help the baby grow.
It is possible for medications, street drugs, alcohol, and nicotine to cross the placenta from the bloodstream of a pregnant woman to her unborn child.
Researchers examined urine samples from the large, heterogeneous multicenter cohort known as the Nulliparous Mothers-to-Be (nuMoM2b) research. A total of 9,257 first-trimester pregnancies were included from the 10,038 nuMoM2b participants.
Researchers found that 540 (5.8%) people tested positive for marijuana after they had a drug test, indicating that these people most likely used cannabis in the first six to 14 weeks of their pregnancies.
The research discovered a correlation between the use of marijuana during the early stages of pregnancy and negative pregnancy results that are related to the placenta, including poor fetal growth, stillbirths, and a heightened likelihood of experiencing high blood pressure during pregnancy.
“We wanted to look specifically at cannabis use early in pregnancy because that’s when the placenta is forming, and a lot of information we currently have indicates that cannabis use does affect the placenta,” adds lead author Torri D. Metz.
“With recreational marijuana use becoming legal in more states, we need better data because patients are interested in understanding the risk of cannabis use in pregnancy so they can make an informed decision.”
Researchers say that the next step is to look at how long people use cannabis while pregnant and to see if “the window of exposure” makes a difference.
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