Will smoking marijuana during pregnancy harm the child?

There is no evidence that marijuana causes obvious birth defects. And this fact may be contributing to the impression that it’s safe to use during pregnancy.

But “it is not a benign substance,” warns Dr. Erin Lurie, a fellow in addictions medicine at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

A growing body of research suggests that exposure to marijuana in the womb has other, more subtle, effects – especially on the developing brain. In a nutshell, it may increase the baby’s risk of learning difficulties, impulsiveness and inattention, as well as other behavioural and mental-health problems later in life.

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Separate research teams in Ottawa and Pittsburgh have carried out the longest-running studies on the children of women who smoked pot during pregnancy.

The Ottawa study began in 1978, with the recruitment of about 600 pregnant women mostly from middle-class backgrounds. Some of the women had smoked marijuana; others smoked tobacco; still others used marijuana and tobacco; the rest abstained from both substances. The amount of marijuana consumed, and the duration of their use, varied from woman to woman. Their offspring have undergone extensive testing at regular intervals into adulthood. A select sample from the offspring continues to be followed up.

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The Pittsburgh study started in 1982, and also included about 600 mothers, although most were from low-income backgrounds.

Both these studies, plus other research, point to the same conclusions. “I think the similar results lend a lot of credence to our findings,” says the lead researcher of the Ottawa study, Peter Fried, professor emeritus in the department of psychology at Carleton University.

In particular, the studies indicate that marijuana affects certain aspects of executive functioning, which primarily take place in the brain’s prefrontal cortex.

Executive functioning “enables you to make decisions and anticipate the consequences of your actions,” explains Fried.

Marijuana also impairs attention and visual problem solving – for example, doing something as ordinary as a jigsaw puzzle.

As well, “the lack of sustained attention usually means they can’t inhibit themselves from doing other things.” This can translate into impulsive behaviour.

Fried says some of the effects of marijuana exposure are not immediately apparent in newborns. It wasn’t until the children were four years old that cognitive testing revealed significant differences in the executive functioning of offspring of mothers who smoked dope, compared to kids of abstaining moms.

Marijuana Legal In India?

In the Indian context, marijuana is mostly considered as being of recreational use, but it is not just that. Recreational use is probably true for not more than 5%; for the rest, it has medicinal purposes. The cannabis plant has tremendous amount of medicinal value and its potential for industrial usage can hardly be overstated. China is investing a few billion dollars in developing different strains of the marijuana plant towards several objectives. It has proper factories for processing marijuana. Many countries have developed fabrics. It has unlimited usage in diverse fields, including in the field of semiconductors.

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The cannabis plant is something natural to India, especially the northern hilly regions. It has the potential of becoming a cash crop for poor marginal farmers. If proper research is done and cultivation of marijuana encouraged at an official level, it can gradually become a source of income for poor people with small landholdings. That is one part. The other part is, even if you are growing paddy, you can grow marijuana on the margins.

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India should ideally focus on marijuana’s medicinal use. It is known to help people with eye ailments, cancer, and joint pain. Incidentally, China is also doing a lot of research on marijuana for cancer cure. Marijuana does not cure cancer but it reportedly stops cancer from spreading.

Cannabis For Stress & Anxiety

With a global increase of medical marijuana use to treat health conditions, advocates and studies are showing that medical marijuana can be used to treat anxiety disorders. Advocates believe that the chemical makeup of cannabis can be beneficial in treating anxiety, while others argue that it can actually cause anxiety.

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Medical marijuana has been used for centuries to treat depression and other medical conditions. More than 400 years ago, cannabis was used to treat depression in India and has since been studied and analyzed to determine the medical benefits and disadvantages for patients. Today, many states across America have legalized the use of medical marijuana, but usage still remains illegal under U.S. federal law.

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When taking a close look at medical studies and results of medical marijuana used to treat anxiety, it’s evident that the chemical makeup, specifically the presence of the chemical compound Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is the main ingredient to treat anxiety. Another compound, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, but may have a reverse affect on treatment for anxiety.

Medical marijuana, or medical cannabis, is the use of cannabis and its chemical compounds to treat illnesses, diseases and improve symptoms.

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The cannabis plant has historically been used worldwide to treat illness and health conditions. The American Medical Association and other medical organizations strongly oppose its use for medical reasons, but the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that the use of medical cannabinoids, the natural compounds that make up the genetics of medical marijuana, can be a therapy for a number of medical conditions, but do not recommend use until more research is complete.

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There are 85 natural compounds in cannabis, known as cannabinoids, which all relieve symptoms of illness by attaching to the receptors in the brain that look for similar compounds that occur naturally in the human body. Strains of medical marijuana are specifically bred to contain particular levels of each compound recommended for different conditions.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the cannabis compound that has found to have significant benefits for treating people with anxiety. CBD-rich cannabis can be treated for patients seeking anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety and anti-spasm affects. CBD does not make people feel “stoned” or “high,” and can actually counteract the anxiety-driven tendencies of THC. CBD is one 85 natural compounds found in cannabis. It is a major element, making up 40 percent of the plant’s extract and has a wider medical benefit than THC.

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The other popular compound to treat medical conditions is tetrahydrocannibinol, or THC, and can be used to relax muscles, reduce inflammation, reduce seizures stimulate appetite, lower blood pressure and is an anti-depressant.

 

Mexico Legalizes Medical Marijuana

The President, Enrique Pena Nieto, has officially published a bill allowing its use for health and scientific purposes. The bill was passed in April, with an overwhelming 371 members of the Lower House of Congress voting in favour, with only 19 politicians voting against or abstaining. It also received popular support from the Mexican Senate in December, with 98 senators voting to pass the bill and seven voting against.

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It also establishes that industrial products with concentrations of one percent THC or less would be legal to buy, sell, import and export.Recreational use of marijuana remains broadly prohibited in Mexico. But President Nieto – once staunchly anti-drugs – has called for a global rethink towards narcotics. He said they should be viewed through a public health lens which doesn’t criminalise users.

Peña Nieto’s decree effectively eliminates the criminalization of the medicinal use of cannabis, THC, CBD, and all cannabis derivatives, as well as legalizing the production and distribution of cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic uses.

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“The ruling eliminates the prohibition and criminalization of acts related to the medicinal use of marijuana and its scientific research, and those relating to the production and distribution of the plant for these purposes,” stated the Lower House of Parliament, known as La Cámara de Diputados.

This week, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) held their Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in Oakland, California, welcoming over 75 speakers from all aspects of America’s fastest growing industry. Of all the distinguished guests at the fourth annual conference, the most notable was surely Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who was honored as the keynote speaker.

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Fox’s keynote address touched on the need for an open global trade market for cannabis to allow the industry to reach its full potential, also demonstrating how the legalization of adult-use cannabis in his home country could end the intense violence caused by the cartels and illegal markets.

But it was the former President of Mexico’s comments during a separate press conference at the NCIA event that had the ears of reporters perking up.

On President Trump, Fox accused the administration of being “so crazy and so ignorant about what is going on in the world” and called the President himself “a disruptor” and “destroyer” of social progress globally. “The world is moving, and it’s moving in the right direction,” added Fox. “If anything, we don’t need America to be great — we need a great world.”

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Fox told reporters that Trump is “blind” and his “white, middle-class male” supporters shouldn’t be interpreting his perspective as their own world view. Fox added that Trump should not be imposing his will on the American people through executive orders.