Marijuana Use During Pregnancy

Marijuana Use During Pregnancy
Exposes Mom and Baby to Health Risks


The October/November 2015 issue of Nursing for Women’s Health, the clinical practice journal of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, published an article that addresses best practices for nurses working in this field. Some 10 percent of pregnant women use marijuana during their pregnancy. This poses health risks to themselves and their babies, in some cases even before mothers-to-be know they are pregnant.

“Consuming marijuana in large doses can result in acute marijuana intoxication, with symptoms including rapid heart rate, anxiety, paranoia, and even hallucinations,” say the authors.

“Marijuana can enter the bloodstream within seconds, the brain within minutes, and cross the placenta to reach the fetus. Repeated marijuana use can also alter receptors in the brain during fetal development as early as two weeks after conception, leading to problems with attention, memory, and problem solving.

“Marijuana exposure can also affect an infant’s birth weight, decrease length of gestation, and increase risk for preterm labor,” they warn.

The article advises nurses who care for pregnant women to screen them for drug use, including marijuana use, at the first prenatal visit to safeguard the health of both mother and baby.

Read Medical Express News article here.

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter produced by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Subscribe to The Marijuana Report and visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

About National Families in Action (NFIA)

NFIA consists of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. Our vision is:

  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants)
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy

About SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana)

SAM is a nonpartisan alliance of lawmakers, scientists and other concerned citizens who want to move beyond simplistic discussions of “incarceration versus legalization” when discussing marijuana use and instead focus on practical changes in marijuana policy that neither demonizes users nor legalizes the drug. SAM supports a treatment, health-first marijuana policy.

SAM has four main goals:

  • To inform public policy with the science of today’s marijuana.
  • To reduce the unintended consequences of current marijuana policies, such as lifelong stigma due to arrest.
  • To prevent the establishment of “Big Marijuana” – and a 21st-Century tobacco industry that would market marijuana to children.
  • To promote research of marijuana’s medical properties and produce, non-smoked, non-psychoactive pharmacy-attainable medications.
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