MJWellness
Oct 13, 2016 12:10 PM

Marijuana & Pregnancy: More Conflicting Evidence?

The influence of marijuana on pregnancy is a hotly debated topic today. All conducted studies end up having superficial and conflicting results, as existing legal restrictions do not permit to expose pregnancy and marijuana to scientific scrutiny. In order to get to the bottom of this issue, medical students from Georgetown University are demanding more profound studies.

Though females have been using marijuana during pregnancy throughout the course of history, the modern herb is quite different from what our grandmothers were consuming. However, currently, ethical concerns along with legal barriers are limiting any investigations on prenatal marijuana use in humans.

Those studies that have been carried out on pregnant women were observational and coupled with such confounding factors as alcohol and tobacco. While animal studies also resulted in some discoveries on this issue, people obviously respond to cannabinoids differently than monkeys or rats. Thus, a group of medical students from Georgetown, Washington, D.C., took a shot at moving this issue forward.

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Studying Marijuana Effect on Molecular Level

By exploring the available research on cannabis use during pregnancy, the students wanted to understand the molecular mechanisms through which THC interfered with fetal growth and development. They analyzed all studies on this issue conducted from 1975 to 2015 and published their findings in BioMed Central Pharmacology and Toxicology.

According to their study, primary concerns of prenatal marijuana use were associated with the following outcomes:

  • Miscarriage and inability for an embryo to implant
  • Congenital disorders
  • Abnormal development of the fetal brain, stem cells, and blood vessel growth
  • Interference with the use of folic acid, necessary for fetal growth and development
  • Changes in gene expression that result in cognitive defects
  • Prolonged effect of THC because the compound takes a long time to clear from the maternal body

In addition to the existing fears, the researchers expressed a suggestion that THC may consider the fetus as cancer and chemically prevent its growth. As science has already proven the anti-tumor properties of THC, all that is left to do is to imagine how damaging this weed compound could be for a fetus.

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Controversial Findings

These findings contradict the results of the previous studies on this issue published on MJWellness, but you should understand that almost all information used in this study was based on animal and cell line research. In addition, some of the analyzed studies were focused either solely on THC or CBD.

An overview of studies conducted on humans earlier this year found no connection between prenatal marijuana consumption and premature birth, decreased growth, or birth disorders. These findings were received after controlling for cigarette smoking and other confounding factors. However, this study did not consider the molecular effect of THC on fetus growth and development.

Latest Study Suggests Marijuana Is Harmless During Pregnancy
Latest Study Suggests Marijuana Is Harmless During Pregnancy
A study review prepared by researchers at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology revealed no negative impact of marijuana on pregnant women and their children, but scientists still insist on further investigation of this issue.

The controversial findings of the mentioned studies only underline the importance of carrying out further research taking into account that a human body is a complex combination of cells, chemicals, external influences, and internal reactions.

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