Pregnant women who smoke pot endanger their children in a variety of ways, according to a study of studies done on the subject by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Sifting the literature, the scientists found evidence in animals – and limited evidence from the few studies that have been done among humans – that pot and pregnancy don’t mix.
THC, pot’s active ingredient, readily crosses the placenta into the fetus and can remain there for weeks. THC works by meddling with neural pathways and can have that same effect on pathways developing inside fetal brains and neurological systems. The disruption of one such pathway, called BDNF, can boost the risk of brain and mental impairments such as autism or low IQ.
THC and marijuana’s other elements also can interfere with the actions of folic acid, which is essential for normal fetal development. Inadequate folic acid has been linked to spontaneous abortion, low birth weight and neural defects such as spina bifida.
TRENDPOST: The dangers of smoking or eating marijuana pose documented neurological risks not only for fetal development, but also for children and teens. With today’s weed having as much as 25 times more THC than in 1970, and with secondhand smoke having been documented as a health hazard, pregnant parents should give up the habit until the child leaves home.