A team of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan will study the effects cannabis use during pregnancy has on the brain development of a fetus a mother is carrying.
Robert Laprairie is an assistant professor and research chair with the college of pharmacy and nutrition, he says so far most of the data available is observational in nature, the USask study will use special equipment to provide cannabis smoke to rats. He says they have purchased special equipment that can vent cannabis smoke to cages with pregnant rats, once the rat pups are born, they will track their progress as the age.
Laprairie explains that rats are used because they are a lot like people genetically and in terms of how they respond to cannabis. Laprairie suggests that they should have results or know more by the summer. His hypothesis is that they will see greater levels of anxiety in the baby rats and that they will underperform in memory testing.
Laprairie say next steps will include testing different types of cannabis and potentially looking at other outcomes, like pre-disposition to substances and addiction.
Several states have legalized weed for medical use. It’s often referred to as medical marijuana. Expectant moms or women wishing to become pregnant may wish to use weed for medical purposes, like relieving nausea.
But medical marijuana is difficult to regulate during pregnancy.
According to the ACOG, there are no:
- standard dosages
- standard formulations
- standard delivery systems
- Food and Drug Administration-approved recommendations regarding use in pregnancy
For these reasons, women hoping to become pregnant or who are pregnant are advised against using weed.
Women can work with their doctors to find alternative treatments.
Doctors recommend against using cannabis during pregnancy. Because types of weed can vary and chemicals can be added to the drug, it’s even harder to say what’s safe. Plus, weed use has been associated with increased risk for problems during pregnancy, in the newborn, and later on in a baby’s life.
If you’re pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, be honest with your doctor. Tell them about your use of weed and any other drugs, including tobacco and alcohol.