“Can I smoke weed while breastfeeding?” Nowadays, when smoking cannabis has been legalized in some states there are more and more breastfeeding mothers obsessed with this question. The majority of people using marijuana think of it as a “gateway drug” which do not have any lasting effects on a human organism. But a few researchers already have some fairly convincing arguments against it.
Smoking pot and its effects
Marijuana, or cannabis, is a preparation of the Cannabis plant often used as a psychoactive drug. It contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – an active agent causing intoxication. In 1988 scientist discovered that the membranes of the human neural cells have protein receptors and THC binds with them. Smoking weed causes THC to get through the lungs into the bloodstream and after that into the brain. The intoxication lasts from a few minutes to 5 hours, depending on the intensity of the drug. The substances contained in marijuana are rapidly absorbed into the body fat, and it can take a full month for the drug to withdraw.
The signs of cannabis intoxication are:
- rapid, loud speech, fits of laughter at early stages;
- drowsiness, apathy, numbness at late stages;
- lack of concentration, coordination disturbance, forgetting things during conversations;
- inflammation of the eyeballs (“red eyes”), typical smell from clothing or bad breath (smell similar to such of a burned rope);
- twisted sense of time;
- sugar cravings, excess appetite.
Smoking pot raises the possibility of the lung cancer because marijuana contains more substances bad for lungs than tobacco. It reduces the quantity of healthy spermatozoa in men and contributes to the disruption of the menstrual cycle and the development of infertility in women. Smoking weed leads to the psychological addiction and the necessity of larger doses of the drug in future in order to reach the desirable narcotic effect. In later stages, when the organism is getting used to the drug and marijuana does not cause the desired effect the addicts can begin taking heavy drugs, such as heroin. Cannabis addicts usually have problems with their memory, concentration and learning abilities. They can xperience weight loss. If a woman is smoking weed during pregnancy THC enters the fetal bladder and can cause deviations of the mental and physical development of an unborn child. A breastfeeding mother also pass THC to a baby through the breast milk. The continuous intake of marijuana leads to the changes in brain activity similar to those caused by most other drugs.
Smoking weed and breastfeeding: the lack of evidence
Answering the question “To smoke or not to smoke?” a lot of breastfeeding mothers try to search the net for any scientific research on the issue. But there is simply not enough data!
“How on earth can I presume to give an answer I feel good about when no one seems to know what the right answer is? And how can anyone state they know the answer when there just hasn’t been enough research done within the marijuana-using community to validate how pot affects breastfeeding babies?” writes Brittany Driver for “The Cannabist”. And we can not argue her point because there is indeed no such research that has provided ultimate results.
There are two parties with opposite opinions on the issue of smoking weed while breastfeeding. After all, the positionis is still controversial. Conservatives are usually against smoking weed while breastfeeding. Of course, it is dangerous for a baby! It even harms a full-grown man!
Consequences of smoking weed
Some experts expressed the opinion that smoking marijuana while breastfeeding leads to such consequences as weight loss, leukemia and neurobehavioral damage. It also may cause physical and mental underdevelopment in general as a long-term effect. Researchers believe that babies who get THC with breast milk can become intoxicated and unable to suck well. Chemicals and toxins in the weed are also very dangerous for a baby. Smoking cannabis during breastfeeding boost the risk of SIDS.
But there are more than enough experts that assert quite the opposite! According to the Gallup survey in 2013, 58% of the USA population thinks that marijuana should be legalized. Some researchers even believe that there can be some positive effects after the intake of small doses of cannabis. It seems that nobody knows the correct answer. Unfortunately, Until there are some genuine research results, we cannot speak with confidence about “right” and “wrong”.
Is it safe to smoke weed while breastfeeding?
The question still stands. And while we cannot do anything about breastfeeding mothers thinking it is ok, we can tell that smoking anything during breastfeeding is not completely safe. There are always some risks, a possibility of aftereffects. Abstain from questionable drugs, eliminate bad habits and avoid unnecessary risks – and your baby will grow up happy and healthy!