Written By Cris Mark
Cannabis (marijuana, hash, hash oil) continues to be a very controversial drug. To legalize or not legalize is the question in many places today.
If our perfectly legal, drugs such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are all proven to cause various conception and pregnancy problems, then why should I think that cannabis would be any safer?
While drug activists may be quick to tell you about how cannabis can be safely used as a herbal treatment for morning sickness, and while marijuana may be considerably safer than say “thalidomide” (we all know about that disaster prescribed for morning sickness) you really need to wonder and question the safety of using this very common recreational drug during conception, pregnancy or breast feeding.
Studies have proven that cannabis is higher in toxic carcinogens than cigarettes. Studies have also shown cellular damage to the lungs of cannabis smokers, who smoked only two joints of cannabis a day, to be as harmful as the damage caused by 28 tobacco cigarettes
The active ingredient in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which gives the following effects, a false sense of well-being; difficulty concentrating; distortions in time, and visual or auditory, hallucinations. Other effects can include, increased heart rate, reddening of the eyes, and extreme sleepiness.
The effect of Cannabis on reproduction also appears pretty conclusive. Marijuana reportedly lowers sperm production and testosterone secretion.
- According to several studies, pregnant women who continue to smoke cannabis are at a greater risk of their children being born with birth defects, of giving birth to low birth weight babies, and to delivering prematurely.
- Studies have shown an increased risk of certain cancers, such as leukemia, in children whose mother’s smoked cannabis while pregnant.
- Other recent research suggests that exposure to cannabis in the womb can affect the mental development of the child, later in life. At an early age these children showed some, reduced verbal and memory skills. By school age, the researchers noted, an increase in impulsiveness and a decrease in attentiveness in children whose mothers used cannabis heavily.
- Another study conducted on breast-fed infants, (accessed from moderate to heavy cannabis smoking mothers), found they were exposed to marijuana via the mother’s milk. Marijuana exposure via the mother’s milk during the first month after birth appeared to be associated with a decrease in infant motor development.
While I’m sure their are many other stories and studies on the web that will dispute the ones represented here, I can only say, why take a chance on something so important.
Cris Mark is a writer, and author of Making Babies At 40+. Visit her site Mid Life Mom’s to look at the many issues concerning the health, wealth, and needs of the mature mom. Your feedback and stories are always welcome.
Discussion board, link exchange, and our free newsletter can be found at http://www.midlifemom.com
Copyright@ Cris Mark
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