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Jamaican Study Of Pregnant Mothers Shows That Marijuana Doesn’t Harm Newborns

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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

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  1. I know that there might not be a lot of people that are okay with pregnant women smoking marijuana and look down on it because they have their own beliefs.
    I smoked while I was pregnant with my first daughter until I was 8 months because of being scared that the Hospital would take her away or find me to be an unfit mother.
    My Daughter is now 4 years old ( she was born 2012 ) and I can say she’s a fully healthy, social butterfly :)

  2. Crystal Hawkins on

    NaturalNews) Woven into the fabric of the human body is an intricate system of proteins known as cannabinoid receptors that are specifically designed to process cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the primary active components of marijuana. And it turns out, based on the findings of several major scientific studies, that human breast milk naturally contains many of the same cannabinoids found in marijuana, which are actually extremely vital for proper human development.

    Cell membranes in the body are naturally equipped with these cannabinoid receptors which, when activated by cannabinoids and various other nutritive substances, protect cells against viruses, harmful bacteria, cancer, and other malignancies. And human breast milk is an abundant source of endocannabinoids, a specific type of neuromodulatory lipid that basically teaches a newborn child how to eat by stimulating the suckling process.

    If it were not for these cannabinoids in breast milk, newborn children would not know how to eat, nor would they necessarily have the desire to eat, which could result in severe malnourishment and even death. Believe it or not, the process is similar to how adult individuals who smoke pot get the “munchies,” as newborn children who are breastfed naturally receive doses of cannabinoids that trigger hunger and promote growth and development.

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036526_cannabinoids_breast_milk_THC.html#ixzz4Iw1LIdUr

  3. Thanks for sharing great information about marijuana pregnant Mom’s health care issue.i love this article nice information marijuana pregnant.The Laughing Grass is the leading cannabis-related news site for in-depth marijuana and pregnancy,marijuana and depression comprehensive cannabis strain and product education.

  4. I am so glad to hear the positive responses. I was a regular smoker of marijuana before I got pregnant, and into the first month. I quit when I found out, just to be on the safe side. My son was born two weeks early, but healthy. 8lbs, 2oz. After I had him, I went into major postpartum depression. I couldn’t even speak without crying. I spoke to my doctor, and of course he wanted to prescribe medication. I refused to put any kind of chemicals into my body, especially since I am breastfeeding, and suggested marijuana. My doctor approved it and I’ve gotten so much better. Not only did it help with my depression, but it also helped with the pain after delivery, the pain in my breasts, and it gave me motivation. I know what’s going into my body, and feel safe giving my son breast milk. And now after reading your research, my heart and mind are even more at ease.

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