Cannabis use among pregnant women has increased by 62% between the years 2002 and 2014. Most women take marijuana during pregnancy as it is believed that the plant can reduce morning sickness. A survey conducted by a cannabis lifestyle magazine, Miss Grass, this Mothers’ Day found that most women used cannabis during pregnancy for reducing nausea.
Furthermore, the women who were questioned also said that they felt as if marijuana use made them better mothers as it calmed them emotionally and mentally as well as maintained their physical wellbeing. However other previous researches have found that marijuana use during pregnancy can harm the child. It can cause behavioral, memory, and learning problems in children.
Now a new study echoes this as it has found what marijuana use during pregnancy exactly does to the brain of the fetus. This information can be helpful in finding solutions for the problem.
What Did This New Study Reveal?
A new study which has been published in the Experimental Biology journal says that pregnant women’s use of marijuana can negatively impact the baby’s brain. This study was carried out on rats and exposed how cannabis use effected the brain of a fetus in development.
A researcher of the study, Priyanka Das Pinky said, “The findings from this study will serve as an excellent premise for future interventions to restore memory in children exposed to cannabis during pregnancy, and for the first time, identify a specific mechanism by which learning and memory impairment occurs and how this impairment can be ameliorated.”
She also said that how marijuana impacts the child’s brain depends on the age of the pregnant woman who uses it, the trimester in which she does so as well as the dosage and way of taking weed. For the purpose of this research, female rats were exposed to a synthetic chemical which was equivalent portion-wise to moderate-to-high use of marijuana in humans. This chemical activated the same proteins that cannabis does in pregnant women.
The brains of the born baby rats were then examined, and it was found that connections between nerves in the hippocampus of the brain were reduced. It was found that at the core of the problem stood the decrease in neural cell adhesion molecules, NCAM.
This suggests that perhaps an increase in NCAM can help combat this negative effect of marijuana on the baby’s brain. However, more research is needed in this area for solid proof. It still cannot be said whether cannabis use is safe during pregnancy.
A new study shows that cannabis use in pregnant mums is actually harmful. This further proves what past studies have already found – that marijuana causes negative changes in the brain of the fetus. This study has found that NCAM is the protein reduced in the brain which decreases brain synapses.