Medically reviewed by Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH — written by Rachel Nall, MSN, CRNA top top January 2, 2019

Some pregnant women usage marijuana, and also researchers are still unsure how the medicine can impact a fetus. As a result, most medical specialists recommend refraining from smoking weed throughout pregnancy.

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Marijuana is the illicit drug ladies most frequently take during pregnancy, and use is increasing in specific areas.

As drug regulations are be safe in some parts of the world, it is necessary for researcher to recognize when marijuana is for sure to use.

In this article, learn around the feasible risks of smoking cigarettes weed when pregnant, and also what the professionals recommend.


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Share ~ above PinterestWomen have to avoid cigarette smoking weed during pregnancy.
Doctors advise versus using marijuana during pregnancy, but many misconceptions persist.

Some people think that because medical usage is legal in some locations of the unified States, the drug should be for sure to usage while pregnant.

Others may think that cigarette smoking weed is dangerous, but that other develops of the drug, such together edibles, will certainly not harm the fetus.

However, research reflects that using any form of marijuana can affect a fetus’s growth and development, follow to the Centers for an illness Control and also Prevention (CDC).

Marijuana comes from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plants. This plants save on computer a compound called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

THC has mind-altering properties that can reason a heightened sensation — a “high.”

Dr. Heather Bradshaw, a specialist in cannabinoid pharmacology at Indiana University’s room of emotional and mind Sciences, believes the there is no safe level that consumption, together the chemicals in marijuana may have lasting negative effects:

“We are on the cusp the understanding every one of the results of THC and also CBD ~ above the brain, although the is a tiny early to definitively state what is or isn’t affected during exposure in development. However, part research suggests that beforehand exposure the THC to the mind can boost chances of schizophrenia and influence motor development.”

Marijuana usage can likewise affect:

memorysensations, such together the figure of colorsbody movementthinking and also problem solving

The drug is illegal in numerous places, however legal to usage for medical purposes in some parts of the U.S. That is legal because that recreational use in a small number of countries.

People might use clinical marijuana come treat nausea, pain, and also muscle spasticity.


Possible next effects

The feasible side results of marijuana use during pregnancy include:

Low birth weight

A meta-analysis of 24 studies entailing pregnant women, marijuana use, and birth outcomes found a connection in between low birth weight and also maternal marijuana use.

Reduced birth load is associated with short oxygen levels, difficulty maintaining human body temperature, and also breathing problems, amongst other complications.

However, not every one of the research studies in the analysis showed a connection in between marijuana use and also low birth weight.

The researchers also found that babies born to women who had actually used marijuana during pregnancy were much more likely to need a remain in the neonatal intensive care unit, compared with those who had not been exposed come the drug.

A 2017 research of prenatal marijuana exposure and behavior in children additionally found a link to reduced birth weight, specifically in women who smoked cigarettes and marijuana.

Stillbirth risk

A 2013 examine from the national Institutes of wellness (NIH) thought about women who experienced stillbirth at 59 American hospitals.

The researcher tested blood samples indigenous the women and also the umbilical cords. They identified that marijuana usage was connected with a 2.3 times higher risk that stillbirth.

However, the researcher cautioned the it was challenging to different the effects of smoking marijuana and tobacco. People often use the building material together, and also tobacco can cause pregnancy complications.


Modern, massive studies ~ above marijuana use and pregnancy carry out not exist because there are many ethical issues concerning the study of pregnant women and also developing babies.

For example, it would be unethical to study the impacts of marijuana by asking a group of pregnant participants to usage the drug.

If the babies of these ladies had any kind of congenital abnormalities or developmental problems, the researchers would certainly be at fault because that harming them.

As a result, most existing research entails women that reported using marijuana during pregnancy.

According to research study from 2017, some potential effects include:

impaired fetal growthincreased rates of preterm deliveriesincreased prices of stillbirthspotential neurodevelopmental issues, together as behavioral problems that develop later in life

However, the is an overwhelming to prove that marijuana reasons one or all of these effects since researchers cannot carry out studies that control for various other factors.


Nausea, or morning sickness, is a typical pregnancy symptom.

Some physicians prescribe medical marijuana to treat chemotherapy-related nausea, and also the national Institute on drug Abuse (NIDA) report that part women use marijuana together a method to combat pregnancy-induced nausea.

However, no study exists to prove that this is a safe or reliable practice.

Also, nausea has tendency to take place in the earlier stages the pregnancy, once the medicine is an ext likely to impact the emerging fetus.

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It is finest to speak to a doctor about safe means to minimize nausea and also vomiting throughout pregnancy.