Doctors warn THC can accumulate in breast milk and, in pregnant women, it can cross the placenta into fetal tissue.

No cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding, urge doctors

The Canadian government is preparing to legalize the recreational use of marijuana as early as July 1, 2018 and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada is sending a warning to women of childbearing age. The SOGC will launch a campaign to inform them that they should not use cannabis while pregnant or nursing.

Doctors want to disabuse women of the notion that there is a slight or no risk of harm from using cannabis once or twice a week during pregnancy.

THC crosses the placenta

It warns that the principal psychoactive component of cannabis, THC, crosses the placenta into fetal tissue and can also accumulate in breast milk. That is regardless of how it is consumed whether smoked, vaped, eaten, or taken in pill or topical form.

Studies suggest there may be potential short- and long-term issues of growth and development associated with consuming cannabis while pregnant or nursing. These include pre-term labour, low birth weight, lower IQ scores, impulsivity and hyperactivity in childhood.

One part of the campaign will suggest that while tobacco and alcohol were not originally linked to adverse outcomes in pregnancy, we now know they are. It will urge people to not make the same mistake with cannabis.

Many believe there is little harm

Some research suggests that 70 per cent of women believe there is a slight or no risk of harm from using cannabis once or twice a week during pregnancy. But the doctors are definitive in their message: “don’t use cannabis when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and please talk to your doctor.”

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