A stoned pregnancy, more women are turning to cannabis for morning sickness

by | August 21, 2018

A rising trend among women during pregnancy in an effort to cope with their morning sickness and nausea is to smoke cannabis. Testing the urine of three hundred thousand pregnant women in California, medical professionals found 7% of them had pot in their systems.

In the study, the researchers divided the pregnant women into different age groups. Overall, the rate of pregnant women using marijuana increased, growing from 4.2 percent in 2009 to 7.1 percent in 2016, according to the research published in the journal JAMA.

About 75% of women suffer nausea and vomiting when pregnant due to morning sickness, and about 1% experience a severe form of the sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum, so finding a solution to making life bearable for the months of pregnancy is at the start of every woman’s day.

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Lessons were learned after drugs such as thalidomide causing phocomelia as a side effect of the drug thalidomide, resulting in the shortening or absence of limbs, a product that was hailed as “completely safe” for everyone, including mother and child, “even during pregnancy,” as its developers “could not find a dose high enough to kill a rat.” By 1960, thalidomide was marketed in 46 countries, with sales nearly matching those of aspirin. 2.5 million Thalidomide prescriptions were then distributed to more than two hundred thousand people across the nation in a ‘clinical trial’ guise, but the patients were never tracked or followed up on. 

In the 1960’s FDA inspector Frances Kelsey, who prevented the drug’s approval within the United States despite pressure from the pharmaceutical company and FDA supervisors, was hailed as being the turning point of the FDA regulations, and ensuring that such a worldwide tragedy pregnancy in the future. The Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments Act in 1962 tightened up the restrictions for drugs that are allowed to be sold, and that they need to go through strict trials that can take up to twelve years before the public can be prescribed them.  

Photo by Leonard McCombe//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Modern Day Pregnancy

Take the recent case of Kim Kardashian advocating for Diclegis, also known as Diclectin in Canada, the only Food and Drug Administration-approved prescription medicine for morning sickness, according to its website.

CREDIT: INSTAGRAM

Now, a provocative new paper questions the efficacy of the drug. There were flaws in the 1970s clinical trial that the FDA and the federal department of Health Canada used to approve the drug, then known as Bendectin, according to the paper. It was published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One

The clinical trial, known as the 8-way Bendectin Study, was never published in a scientific journal, said Dr. Nav Persaud, a physician and associate scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, who co-authored the new paper.”I was surprised that there were so many serious problems with a study that forms the basis for approval and prescribing,” he said. “I have stopped prescribing this medication.” according to CNN

More Natural Methods 

They know that drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes,  and eating certain foods is dangerous for the baby, but when it comes to smoking cannabis – a grey line starts to appear for where the health benefits start to outweigh being able to function day to day, especially if there are other children in the home, and the dangers it poses to the growing fetus. 

Medical professionals have long warned about the health implications cannabis can have on the baby, including low birth weight and developmental problems, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the chemicals in marijuana, like tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, could pass through a mother’s system to her baby.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that “women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use” and “to discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy.” Also, “there are insufficient data to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding, and in the absence of such data, marijuana use is discouraged,” 

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With the rising trends, from parent chat groups on Facebook hosting thousands of comments about smoking while pregnant, and how it ‘saved my life’, it’s no wonder that women are taking more to the joints that the medicine counter. 

Yet, a study on the effects on fish eggs may make pregnant mothers think twice before using cannabis. Conducted by a group of researchers led by Decan Ali at the University of Alberta, placed various levels of THC, and CBD into the water with the eggs, finding that the water with the drug had lower survival rates with THC, and with CBD had the lowest rates of survival. 

“I hesitate to translate it directly to humans. However, the proteins that we are looking at, the receptors for these compounds, the way that our bodies work, are very, very similar,” Ali told The Star Edmonton. “We use concentrations for these compounds that we believe are physiologically relevant given what’s been measured in human blood plasma after smoking marijuana.”

Cannabis “does have clear uses for medicinal purposes,” Ali added.

“I think if you are thinking of becoming pregnant, maybe just take a step back and just rethink your use and consumption of these compounds during the time of pregnancy, in a very similar way that you would for alcohol.”

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Emma Williams

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via emma@raisevegan.com

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One Response to “A stoned pregnancy, more women are turning to cannabis for morning sickness”

  1. This Week in Cannabis News - 8/24/18 - EstroHaze
    August 24th, 2018 @ 10:24 am

    […] A Stoned Pregnancy, More Women are Turning to Cannabis for Morning Sickness […]

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