Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Could Harm Baby


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A recent study has shown that using pot during pregnancy could harm a fetus' brain development.

It states that THC, the ingredient most active in marijuana, can interfere with brain cells and how they are wired. The study was performed on mice as well as brain tissue from human fetuses, finding that the formation of connections in nerve cells in specific parts of the brain, such as the cerebral cortex, can affect thinking skills and memory formation.

"Our advice is that [pregnant] mothers should avoid marijuana, “said neuroscientist Tibor Harkany of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and the Medical University of Vienna, in Austria, who led a study detailed today (Jan. 27) in the EMBO Journal.

And although mice are not human models, the fact that human fetuses were used gives the study more credibility and something to seriously consider.

The scientist, Harkany adds that the effects of prenatal marijuana exposure could even last into adulthood. The drug could have direct effects, or it could sensitize the brain to future drug exposure or neuropsychiatric problems.

If that revelation isn't bad enough, wait - there's more. The exposure of THC to unborn babies can have other effects, such as the risk of having cognitive deficits or psychiatric disorders.

From Medscape: Cognitive deficits in children range from profound mental retardation with minimal functioning to mild impairment in specific operations.

Parents have already been warned of the negative affects of alcohol and tobacco on unborn children, so it is probably safe to say that drugs of any kind would most likely have a negative impact as well, on an unborn child.

Doctors warn that it is much better to be safe than sorry, and erring on the side of caution can only benefit the unborn baby.

Image via Wikimedia Commons