The Effects of Cannabis on the Fetus
Are you pregnant? Do you continue to smoke cannabis even though you are carrying an unborn child? Perhaps you feel as though your cannabis smoking is not causing your unborn baby any harm. If so, what follows could be the most important message you ever here.
Because recent research conducted by the Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands reveals smoking cannabis during pregnancy may cause lasting changes to your child’s brain.
The researchers scanned the brains of 54 children whose mothers smoked cannabis during pregnancy. The results were compared to brain scans of children not exposed to cannabis during pregnancy.
Their findings were published in Biological Psychiatry.
The results were shocking:
Children exposed to cannabis during pregnancy exhibited a thicker prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that controls cognition and decision-making.
The researchers admit the results of the study are difficult to interpret since many of the mothers also smoked tobacco during pregnancy. Thus, it’s hard to conclude whether a thicker prefrontal cortex is due to tobacco or cannabis exposure, or perhaps a combination of the two.
Researchers say the active chemical in cannabis, THC, passes to the fetus via the placenta.
Researchers say the legalisation of medically prescribed cannabis will increase the odds of more children being exposed to cannabis during pregnancy. The study thus supports those opposing the liberalisation of cannabis laws in the United Kingdom.
However, the researchers also stress that more research is required so that the causal relationship between brain defects arising during pregnancy and cannabis consumption may be better understood.
It’s believed around 2-13% of women use cannabis during pregnancy.
If you suffer from an addiction to cannabis, contact ADT Healthcare for cannabis rehab treatment.
About the author:
Jon writes for ADT Healthcare and a number of other websites. Jon graduated with a degree in psychology in 1992. Jon has been in recovery for 19 years.