Jun 022011
 June 2, 2011

Marijuana PregnantBy Janelle Stone

It’s almost too taboo to discuss: pregnant women smoking marijuana. It’s a dirty little secret for women, particularly during the harrowing first trimester, who turn to cannabis for relief from nausea and stress.

If you were to inquire about pot and pregnancy on the Web, Baby Center offers a strongly worded warning from Gerald Briggs, pharmacist clinical specialist.

Briggs says that pot affects the baby’s growth and development and–gasp!–may even cause childhood leukemia. But there are no facts or studies attributed to back up the claims.

More than 50 pages of comments were posted to the site about Briggs’ statements. Some proclaimed the virtues of smoking marijuana while pregnant, offering proof of healthy children and stories of functioning during pregnancy thanks to cannabis. Other comments viciously showed disdain for pregnant patients, resorting to name-calling.

jamaica marijuanaPregnant women in Jamaica use marijuana regularly to relieve nausea, as well as to relieve stress and depression, often in the form of a tea or tonic. In the late 1960s, grad student Melanie Dreher was chosen by her professors to perform an ethnographic study on marijuana use in Jamaica to observe and document its usage and its consequences among pregnant women.

Dreher studied 24 Jamaican infants exposed to marijuana prenatally and 20 infants that were not exposed. Her work evolved into the book Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science and Sociology, part of which included her field studies.

Most North American studies have shown marijuana use can cause birth defects and developmental problems.

Those studies did not isolate marijuana use, however, lumping cannabis with more destructive substances ranging from alcohol and tobacco to meth and heroin.

In Jamaica, Dreher found a culture that policed its own ganja intake and considers its use spiritual. For the herb’s impact when used during pregnancy, she handed over reports utilizing the Brazelton Scale, the highly recognized neonatal behavioral assessment that evaluates behavior.

The profile identifies the baby’s strengths, adaptive responses and possible vulnerabilities. The researchers continued to evaluate the children from the study up to 5 years old. The results showed no negative impact on the children, on the contrary they seemed to excel.

Marijuana BrainPlenty of people did not like that answer, particularly her funders, the National Institute on Drug Abuse. They did not continue to flip the bill for the study and did not readily release its results.

“March of Dimes was supportive,” Dreher says. “But it was clear that NIDA was not interested in continuing to fund a study that didn’t produce negative results. I was told not to resubmit. We missed an opportunity to follow the study through adolescence and through adulthood.”

Now dean of nursing at Rush University with degrees in nursing, anthropology and philosophy, plus a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University, Dreher did not have experience with marijuana before she shipped off for Jamaica.

The now-marijuana advocate says that Raphael Mechoulam, the first person to isolate THC, should win a Pulitzer. Still, she understands that medical professionals shy from doing anything that might damage any support of their professionalism, despite marijuana’s proven medicinal effects, particularly for pregnant women.

CASE CLOSED

Dr. Melanie Dreher’s study isn’t the first time Jamaican ganja smoking was subjected to scientific study. One of the most exhausting studies is Ganja in Jamaica–A Medical Anthropological Study of Chronic Marijuana Use by Vera Rubin and Lambros Comitas, published in 1975. Unfortunately for the National Institute of Mental Health’s Center for Studies of Narcotic and Drug Abuse, the medical anthropological study concluded: “Despite its illegality, ganja use is pervasive, and duration and frequency are very high; it is smoked over a longer period in heavier quantities with greater THC potency than in the U.S. without deleterious social or psychological consequences [our emphasis].”

Article From Culture Magazine

About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
  • benny

    It does not Show Harmful side affects to birth, because there has been no Heavy study. The fact that you can smoke weed. and its ok when pregnant but not cigaretts is not? is just retarded. You are rejecting the baby of oxygen when you smoke weed. drinking it on the other hand probly does not affect the baby as badly. the fact is. Weed is a THC by product of ACID. idiots.

    • Chrisyopher Reyes

      I just wanted to explain how your wrong. Cigarettes have over 4,000 chemicals in them unlike marijuana which has about 600. And weed is also known as to be the best drug for ashma better then any ashma medicine you can find anywhere and I’m guessing your wondering why? Its because when you smoke weed it opens up you airways unlike cigarettes that it gets them congested because of all the harsh chemicals. If you want to know some real facts look up Sol Lightman from UMASS.(and also all the studies and research that has been done and never continued was funded by who else but the tabacco companies who also funded presidential campigns and drug free america)

    • Magangel91

      sorry to tell you but the child i smoked with while pregnant is two years advanced for his age! and the child i did not smoke with is right on track. so the part where it says weed may even help in the excel i TOTALLY believe that! so you can say what you want but nothing is added to weed like cigarettes! WEED IS A NATURAL SUBSTANCE!

      • Groton ’74 Harvard ’79

        You can’t spell, yet are raising kids.

  • XD

    Benny is hilarious. So going swimming is harmful to the baby as well? Since when does smoking marijuana deprive anyone of oxygen? If you’ve never smoked you wouldn’t know that the majority of what you’re breathing in is oxygen, putting flame on weed does not create a vacuum and remove the air. And I WISH thc was acid XD

    Fucking moron, this guy could be voting!

    End constitutional debauchery, end prohibition!

  • Caleb

    Benny doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
    THC a by-product of ACID??
    Not even close.
    Of course Marijuana doesn’t affect pregnancy or fetal development.

    • Groton ’74 Harvard ’79

      What do you mean “of course”?

  • zac

    THC-Acid is what is in the plant. What gives it the psychoactive effects is the decarboxylation, done through burning, of the THC-Acid. This removes the acid (O=C-OH) and gives us the more popular cannabinoid THC. Although I don’t thats what Benny meant. I love and profess the benefits of marijuana. But I wouldn’t want to risk the future of my child by smoking it when my girl and I are trying. She also smokes and wouldn’t do it before and while she’s pregnant. As you should quite any substance when trying to create a child. This is just common sense.

    • nothinggirlJane

      maybe she could try making a tea if she wants to use it while pregnant…?

    • Troy Junior

      Lol not at all weed grows mold on it wich crytalizes it if u look at weed under a microsope that whitish yellowish overlay of the green weed are lil mushrooms not acid man acid cums from a poisonous frog and shrooms cum from cow shit get it together b4 u post sum dumb ass shit like that u just posted zac get it together ok buddy lol

    • Troy Junior

      Lol not at all weed grows mold on it wich crytalizes it if u look at weed under a microsope that whitish yellowish overlay of the green weed are lil mushrooms not acid man acid cums from a poisonous frog and shrooms cum from cow shit get it together b4 u post sum dumb ass shit like that u just posted zac get it together ok buddy lol

  • Chrisyopher Reyes

    I just wanted to explain how your wrong benny. Cigarettes have over 4,000 chemicals in them unlike marijuana which has about 600. And weed is also known as to be the best drug for ashma better then any ashma medicine you can find anywhere and I’m guessing your wondering why? Its because when you smoke weed it opens up you airways unlike cigarettes that it gets them congested because of all the harsh chemicals. If you want to know some real facts look up Sol Lightman from UMASS.(and also all the studies and research that has been done and never continued was funded by who else but the tabacco companies who also funded presidential campigns and drug free america)

  • Bill

    Sadly most of you are alluding the truth from being found by filling these pages with your ignorant, uneducated biased OPINIONS!!_ Marijuana is weather you like it or not EXTREMELY BENEFICIAL FOR HUMANS P.E.R.I.O.D. shut the f@#$% and do some research instead of re spewing out the same old nonsense, spoon fed propaganda.

  • Cyprian Pesce

    Marijuana has been scientifically shown to have health benefits; there is even a study showing cannibis SMOKE, no less, SHRINKING tumors in rats and mice…
    Listen everyone…that includes YOU IGNORANT SOB’s in US government…marijuana is illegal because of 3 reasons, NONE valid…fear, politics and the nasty tentacle-like grip of the religious Right wing jerk wads…probably afraid that marijuana would usurp the faith people currently have in THOSE (organized religions) gods…
    ‘Nuff said.

    • E’lexcia

      no the main reason it is illegal is because they are trying to find a way to tax it and they know if they did the black market would loose total control

  • http://www.veryimportantpotheads.com VIPelle

    Good interview with Dreher and it’s a scandal that follow-up studies weren’t permitted.

    Often missed is the fact that Dreher’s study found marijuana smoking mothers bore developmentally SUPERIOR babies.

    The study tested 24 Jamaican newborns exposed to marijuana prenatally and 20 nonexposed babies from socioeconomically matched mothers. At one month, the children of marijuana-using mothers scored markedly higher on autonomic stability, reflexes, and general irritability. Babies born to the heaviest smokers, those who smoked every day, at least 21 joints weekly, scored significantly higher in 10 of the 14 characteristics measured, including quality of alertness, robustness, regulatory capacity, and orientation.

    No ill effects from marijuana were found. Nineteen of the 24 Jamaican mothers reported that cannabis increased their appetites throughout the prenatal period and/or relieved the nausea of pregnancy. Fifteen reported using it to relieve fatigue and provide rest during pregnancy.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/L7WSAP2W5XXJOW2DQN5RHJ3PTM topaz

    Haha! Finally. It’s funny to me because a couple years ago my friends and I who smoked marijuana during pregnancy said the same thing. Our kids are a lot smarter/developmentally ahead than the kids of those who “judged” us for doing it… I feel most birth defects are genetic. I’m pregnant with my second child with severe nausea. Thank God for weed otherwise my baby would probably starve. I do plan on quitting once my nausea goes away which seems to be diminishing slowly but surely in mo. 4.

    • Groton ’74, Harvard ’79

      Why would your baby starve without weed? Also, booze and tobacco can cause birth defects; how you “feel” doesn’t matter, the science does.

  • Ellab84

    Question, is THC what helps for asthma, or is it something else in weed? And is there a specific name for premature weed plant? Because I heard making tea out of baby weed cures asthma after two months.

    • 2buds4me

      Interesting. Can you come up with a citation? You’re talking raw cannabis or heated? I’d like to hear more on this subject.

      • ellab84

        I heard it from people, can’t really find anything online. But they said drink it as a tea, and from my research thc doesn’t come out into tea. I dont really know much about this stuff never did any types of drugs, but I am into alternative medicine.

        • naturalmommy

          THC is fat soluble, so add a tablespoon or two of melted butter with some ganja and pour over the hot water and let it steep for at least an hour. I let mine steep for two hours and it was pretty powerful. Also, I have a nine month old son who already speaks in full sentences and is exceeding developmentally in many other areas as well. Knows all of his colors, letters, and numbers and has absolutely no health problems. Physical abilities are above average as well. I used ganja most of my pregnancy and have been breastfeeding since he was born (he’s never had formula.) I’m sorry, but screw all of you who don’t know the facts. Humans and ganja were made for each other.

    • Bob

      The terpenes in the plant itself provide anti inflammatory effects, plus the cannabinoids provide those effects as well. A Good deep toke with make you cough up any phlegm you may have in your sinus or lungs, clearing them out. Just blow your nose after a good long cough and you will breath better.

  • lolo

    The only reason Marijuana is Illegal is because of the high profits of our good o’l Health Care System. If weeds was more widely excepted and not illegal it would put a huge damper on the health care systems “income” as marijuana takes care of so many health issues that they prescribe pills for. OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IS THE #1 income in America and a HUGE portion of that comes from PRESCRIPTIONS!! Its all about the $ not about the true facts. I feel bad for the people that judge which out really knowing the facts. Should a baby be taken away for Marijuana use, ha absolutely not. And for anyone to say there is not enough medical research done on weed to know is just a joke, they have found traces of weed going back to the first sign of human life. It has always been used for Medicinal purposes. The state having your child over something so petty just makes me sick. Makes me really not like living in America, things here are just getting bad.

    • Groton ’74, Harvard ’79

      People here need to learn basic spelling and science. Weed can cause cancer and is not a cure-all. If you want to go, go; Uganda isn’t that far away.

  • Lillyjen

    I got to this site via an article on pregnancy and marijuana. I smoked while pregnant because it helped with the terrible nausua I had…. I had tonswitch toothpastes it was that bad. My son suffered no ill effects…. I’d love to read more about Dr. Melanie Dreher’s study… can someone direct me?

  • happyhappening

    i’d like to see how the children in the pregnant mother’s study in Jamaica are doing today. Anyone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/Hershibadass Hershi Kiss

    i can honestly say weed free up your mind opens it and lets u easily go in to deep thought about an interesting subject..weed is illegal because the gov’t cant make money from it and its the #1 demand in retail…im a california resident wid my weed license and the only thing im mad about is not smokin pot sooner then 16

    • Groton ’74, Harvard ’79

      First off, learn to spell. Second, cell phones, TV, shirts are all legal and the government can’t make money from that.

  • SJ

    I personally smoked with my 2nd pregnancy and had a Very healthy non complicated pregnancy and a healthy 8lb baby boy born 2weeks early who was very calm…’the perfect baby’ I did not smoke with my 3rd and I had a horrible pregnancy that ended in a ton of complications although my baby was healthy @38wks5days 7lbs she was very colicky and never really a ‘happy’ baby.I think marijuana has many possitive effects including medical Issues such as pain and morning sickness possibly even postpartum depression and the list goes on! To many people look down on this bc its labeled a ‘drug’ and is ‘addictive’ but compared to real ManMade addictive DRUGS Marijuana gets my vote everytime time! Ive never seen anyone put themselves in rehab over marijuana or go to a methedone clinic to come off it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MaNdUrZzBiiTcH Dying TO Live

    AZ CPS made me promise not to breastfeed my son because i use marijuana. Im very sad about this.

    • flowrpower

      And I bet they didn’t make you promise not to drink….its so hypocritical when alcohol can have negative effects where as marijuana does not

      • Groton ’74, Harvard ’79

        Everyone knows not to drink when pregnant. It’s common knowledge.

    • Dave DeRose

      Should of told them that there is cannabanoids already in beast milk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lori.a.clayton Lori Ann Clayton

    Marijuana is safe for everyone and should be legalized now .

  • Emaren
    • CanniBusiness

      Notice how it’s posted by a clinic? I’m not saying the results are tampered or anything, but the samples they chose could be completely biased. Like she says in the article too, “Most North American studies have shown marijuana use can cause birth defects and developmental problems. Those studies did not isolate marijuana use, however, lumping cannabis with more destructive substances ranging from alcohol and tobacco to meth and heroin”. The samples were from low-income families, which means that the parents may have been struggling with bills, and other expenses, and may not have had the time to nurture their children as much as they should have, who knows? There are so many factors that are not included in medical studies, almost like they’re hoping that people won’t question it. In a culture where only marijuana is indulged, you start to see actual results.

  • http://viralsoftwarebiz.com Kim S

    Legalize Marijuana NOW!! Peter do I have to wake you?

  • Amy

    I actually worked with an infant that had been exposed to cannabis in utero. At the time I didn’t know but he was so well adjusted. His mother told me he slept through the night the first night and I was floored. It wasn’t till I read this that I put two and two together that it was his mother’s use of the substance. He was extremely social, easy going, and hardly cried. He would let you know if he needed anything. Hard to explain but it would take him about 1 to 2 minutes for him to work up to a full cry. Cannabis needs to be made legal. It is so ridiculous that it’s illegal. It just down right ludicrous to me.

  • kwest

    my daughter recently just turned one and I must admit I smoked all the time when I was pregnant. I had a hard pregnancy lots of heart break lol but pot helped me not have anxiety and calm me, also helped me eat. it was as natural to me as taking prenatal vitamins. and my daughter gosssshhh she is as advanced as a 18 month old. that’s 6 months ahead! FROM DAY ONE SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT they say the average baby doesn’t smile til weeks she did a full blown smile. as a newborn she was very alert and strong. and now her vocab as a 1 year old is insane. there are 12 words shes says on a day to day basis. phrases like “I did it” or “dogdog go” she is just something else. very social too and always well behave unless sleepy. and i still smoke, it helps with keeping me relaxed after a long day of work, errands, baby girl, cleaning, etc. it helps unwine me at the end of the night and as moms you ALL KNOW HOW STRESSFUL IT CAN BE ESPECIALLY BEING A SINGLE MOM and i would rather smoke a joint then pop a antidepressant any day

  • kwest

    i forgot to mention a baby isn’t suppose to smile until 6 weeks, my daughter did at 3 days. my apologies

    • painkills2

      Do you know how to post a picture?

  • Groton ’74, Harvard ’79

    Pulitzers are only for writers.

  • Groton ’74, Harvard ’79

    I can’t stand how all the potheads just accept the study. If it had the opposite results, they would be up in arms about it.

    • arson

      I cant accept that all non smokers do exactly what you claim with every other test that has the opposite respons.. and you take up to commenting when it happens to be possitive… calling the kettle black ey!