Cannabis e gravidanza

Can cannabis be used during pregnancy?

Such is the respect for a woman's body during pregnancy that any discussion regarding the taking of drugs or altering substances by a pregnant woman risks degenerating. To offend some sensibilities, to scandalise.
It's - let's face it - practically a taboo topic.

In Western society (and especially for Latin peoples, and especially in Italy), children, newborns and pregnant women enjoy more attention than other peoples (for example in Northern Europe, or in United States) seems excessive and almost ridiculous.
Motherhood is widely considered the “highest” event in a woman's life . From which enormous sacrifices are expected to guarantee the perfect development of the fetus. The immediate and unconditional renunciation of alcohol, tobacco, coffee and an infinite number of potentially even vaguely harmful foods. The adoption of a balanced and healthy lifestyle , free of physical effort or psychological trauma and oriented towards relaxation and well-being activities.

After such a premise, one might think that the question that constitutes the title of this article is as blasphemous as mentioning Rocco Siffredi under the Sistine Chapel.
And in fact, the writer is the first to invite readers to be extremely cautious when considering the arguments set out below.
Recommendations and scruples aside, the question in question is a question that many (or more likely many ) ask themselves, because cannabis (unlike, for example, tobacco and most liquors) is also associated with the concept of “ natural product ”, benign, pure. In short, we will say that the title question is a "legitimate" question.

Also because - net of possible adulterations in the cultivation phase - even marijuana is nothing more than a plant, obtained from the planting of a periodically watered seed, nothing more. And its final product, the one intended for consumption (mainly the buds) must not undergo any treatment, chemical or otherwise, before consumption. It is collected, dried and consumed. Like millions of other products of the earth that man collects, dries and consumes.

Can marijuana harm pregnant women?

If you are still not convinced of the pregnancy-cannabis association, let's start with a fact: in Jamaica , many women casually resort to marijuana (mainly in the form of tea or tonic) to relieve nausea, stress and depression often associated with the various cycles of pregnancy. Especially during the first trimester .

Before continuing, it is good to remind everyone that there are many types of cannabis, and that its impact on the body depends largely on the composition and type of cannabis. Indica or sativa, psychoactive or non-psychoactive, high in CBD or high in THC, for medical or recreational use, etc., etc.

There are many spontaneous questions: can THC harm the fetus? And is it later transmissible through breast milk?
The main problem regarding studies on the consumption of marijuana during pregnancy is essentially represented by the fact that in almost all of the documented cases in the world, the women examined had also taken alcohol, tobacco and other more or less read. That is, they had maintained their usual regime even after becoming pregnant.

In many cases their newborns had problems, but the practice makes it very difficult to separate the effect of the different molecules of the substances taken: was it the marijuana that damaged the fetus or one of the other substances?
Not only that: since in most countries in the world the cultivation and possession of marijuana are strictly prohibited, the mothers in question had presumably turned to illegal dealing. But - as we know - illegal dealing means the absence of quality controls, and therefore a final product altered by excess herbicides or pesticides, or chemicals to arbitrarily enhance the effect of the herb.

In short: if it is true that many of the children born to these mothers had problems (from being slightly underweight, or with a head circumference slightly lower than average, to presenting even serious malformations) it is also true that in a few cases the samples taken into exam they had only taken pure and simple cannabis .
On the other hand, it is established that THC crosses the placenta, but with what long-term effects it is still not clear: it is thought that it could cause damage to brain development, but there are no certainties.

In research several years ago ( The Association of Marijuana Use with Outcome of Pregnancy ) it emerged that from a sample of more than twelve hundred women who had testified to having used cannabis during the fateful nine months, children were born with a percentage of congenital malformations absolutely normal.
The problem, if you want to call it that, is that most of the mothers reported that they smoked only " occasionally ". For the same reason, we believe that the results of another research with the same target should be taken with a grain of salt, which would have highlighted how the children of mothers who used marijuana showed lower than average performance once they reached school age.

In short: the difficulty in comparing these data is caused by a certain empiricism. Furthermore, it is naturally ethically unacceptable to start an ad hoc trial of marijuana consumption during pregnancy, so we can only refer to the data... incidentally in our possession.

Another aspect that risks vitiating the considerations that can be drawn from these data occurs when the research or survey in question dates back many years. In fact, we know that the tetrahydrocannabinol - THC content in weed can be variable, but it has certainly increased exponentially in recent times, and therefore data on marijuana use that were reliable ten years ago may no longer be reliable today.

Is light cannabis harmful during pregnancy?

What has been said so far invites a certain skepticism about the consumption of marijuana during pregnancy, due to what we could call "absence of evidence of safety". But what is the position of cannabis light? Can CBD also be harmful to a pregnant baby?
Although certainly less studied than its psychoactive brother, no data to date authorizes us to suspect that CBD can damage the fetus .
On the other hand, at least on paper it could be of great help.

For example, we know that CBD relaxes muscles , which could make it a valuable aid in reducing the pain of oxytocin- induced contractions . Since the inhalation of combustion fumes is certainly not recommended during pregnancy (be it tobacco, marijuana or other), the most recommended method for taking CBD remains edible products and oil, easily available on the market.

We also know that CBD (in the form of oils, lotions or capsules) is a "harmonizer" : that is, it tends to regulate sleep-wake cycles and appetite (unlike THC, which tends to simply increase them): which best news for a period - that of pregnancy in fact - in which sleep, mood and appetite behave like runaway horses?

And - still on the subject of mood - CBD is also a valid aid for post-partum depression, or baby blues in its milder manifestations.
But be careful: always consult a doctor before undertaking personal initiatives!

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