Study shows that marijuana harms pregnancy in the first trimester
A new study has shown that marijuana can have serious health impacts on pregnancy within the first trimester.
The study has found that the use of any form of cannabis product during the first 12 weeks can have a significant health impact on fetal development.
The research was carried out at the College of Medicine at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant in the US and looked at the weight of children born following mothers using cannabis in the first trimester – often times they may not have known they are expecting.
“That’s why these findings are especially important — people can often be well into the first trimester and don’t even know they are pregnant,” said lead author Beth Bailey, professor of psychology and director of population health research, according to CNN.
“Our study drills down to look very specifically at a specific time point in pregnancy — the first trimester. We found a significant decrease in birth weight of 154 grams. In terms of pounds, it’s about a third of a pound,” she said.
She added that while one third of a pound may not seem like much, it is these decreases in weight that are linked to other health problems.
“Low birth weight is one of the strongest predictors of a child’s health and development long-term,” she said. “These kids are more prone to developmental delays, higher rates of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), learning disabilities, and have higher rates of emotional problems.”
If the use of marijuana during pregnancy were to continue into the second and third trimesters, the study found that birth weight dropped by another 31 grams.
It also found that the head circumference of the newborn was reduced if marijuana was used during pregnancy, which is a sign that the brain hasn't developed properly.