Article Updated 06/04/2018

Hello Parents,

Today I wanted to share data and some of my thoughts with you about a topic that has made headlines over the past year, cannabis and pregnancy.

I’m sure that you know that health professionals strongly advise against consuming alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other drugs during pregnancy.

In this article:

Cannabis is a topic making headlines with its recent legalisation in Canada. The product is still controversial, as everyone has a different opinion about it. Of course, I respect everyone’s opinion! However, just because we hear about cannabis frequently, and that the use of cannabis seems to be more socially acceptable, that you should take its use lightly in all situations. Unfortunately, new cannabis users include pregnant women, and this is concerning. When asked, “Do you use drugs?” some young women will answer no. However, when they’re asked, “Do you use cannabis or THC?” they answer, “Of course! All the time!” as if it wasn’t important.

We clearly know that marijuana, cannabis, pot, joints, grass or whatever you want to call it’s the most consumed harmful substance during pregnancy, and its use can impact the growing fetus.

THC Concentration in Today’s Cannabis

Photo - Plante de marijuana, cannabis et grossesseWith new hydroponic growing techniques, today’s marijuana is much more potent than in the past. Even if we know that THC concentrations vary, some researchers argue that cannabis is from 300 to 400 times more concentrated than before.

THC is the active ingredient in cannabis, and its scientific name is Δ‑9‑tetrahydrocannabinol, Δ‑9‑THC for short. This causes the effects of cannabis on the brain and body. Cannabis is more accessible and can be used for specific therapeutic purposes, such as relieving pain. However, its use can also lead to short- or long-term impacts that can be harmful to a person’s physical and mental health.

During pregnancy, THC can travel from the mother’s placenta to the fetus. The higher the concentration, the greater the effects. This ingredient will remain the body for several days or weeks, even if the future mother stops using it. Despite small doses, cannabis components can stay up to 1.5 months in the fetal body.

How can you really know what is in the pot you’re buying and smoking?

Often, cannabis producers and sellers use strategies to increase their sales power. You may end up using a product with all sorts of things added to it. Researchers, when analysing joints on the market, have found many mixes with scary ingredients, including:

  • Pesticides;
  • Other drugs;
  • Heavy metals;
  • Mould and fungus;
  • Other contaminants.

The list of ingredients found in these mixes is pretty incredible, and they can cause anxiety and confusion for the user.

Even if cannabis is sold in stores today and is to a certain degree regulated, nothing will protect the baby from the substances found in it.

Cannabis Addiction

Contrary to popular belief, some people can become addicted to cannabis at any age.

Frequent and prolonged use of cannabis by anyone can lead to physical addictions, abuse, and lead to serious health risks, including for pregnant women who are carrying a developing baby.

Studies have shown that THC found in cannabis increases dopamine concentrations. This is a chemical substance that produces the pleasure feeling in the brain. People increase their consumption to get this feeling.

To continue reading, go to the next article – The potential effects of cannabis during pregnancy.