Cannabis Use in Pregnancy & Neonatal Outcomes
by Nikki Warren on May 02, 2022
Shockingly, cannabis use in pregnancy is on the rise. Perhaps there is a misperception that if cannabis is good for some health issues. Then it must be good for us in general?!
That couldn’t be further from the truth! We should also remember that medicinal cannabis is completely different to recreational cannabis. This retrospective cohort study of 661,617 women set out to determine what effect cannabis use during pregnancy had on the health of the mother and newborn. 1.4% of participants (9,427 women) reported using cannabis during their pregnancy.
Cannabis use in pregnancy can affect the health of the mother. Cannabis use during pregnancy can cause some health issues. Recreational cannabis and medicinal cannabis are different.
Some people believe or make the assumption that cannabis is safe to self-prescribe and safe because it is natural. Just because something is natural does not make it safe and you need to see a natural health practitioner. Alongside medical management to have an assessment. To asses whether medicinal cannabis can be prescribed to you for your pain or anxiety.
Incorrectly self-prescribing any treatments including cannabis can be dangerous. Some people do not trust the medical system for various reasons which can be understandable due to their personal medical traumas. However, please seek medical attention and work with a natural healthcare professional instead of self-prescribing.
It is also inappropriate to 'prescribe' supplements or cannabis to friends or family that you are trying to help. This is extremely dangerous without being a healthcare professional and having validated education in health. You may mean well and want to help your friends and family but it could be more harm than good and delay them from correct treatments.
Medicinal cannabis can potentially be a safe treatment for pain in non-pregnant women. Seeing babies in the neonatal intensive care unit can be a good reminder that cannabis use in pregnancy is not ok. If you feel like medicinal cannabis is something you would like to explore whilst you are not pregnant, you may ask your healthcare provider.
Cannabis use in pregnancy is unsafe. Studies have been done to confirm the health impacts. Cannabis exposure may be associated with many negative impacts on the baby's health. Cannabis exposure may also be associated with many health risks for the mother and birth.
Reported cannabis exposure was significantly associated with preterm birth and small for gestational age. Cannabis use was also associated with placental abruption and transfer to neonatal intensive care. Cannabis use was linked with a 5-minute Apgar score of less than 4 (out of 10). This study is a good reminder that cannabis is NOT a safe treatment for morning sickness relief.
Experiencing morning sickness can be quite severe for some women during pregnancy. However, cannabis should not be used to cope with this. There are too many negative effects it can have on both the mother's and baby's health.
There are other ways that pregnant women can support themselves during morning sickness. Many dietary and lifestyle treatments can be used to help reduce contributing factors to morning sickness. Some supplements - both herbal and nutritional may assist in reducing morning sickness.
I would recommend seeking assistance from your Naturopath to get you on a treatment plan to help manage your morning sickness. This is much safer to do for yourself and baby.