New Study Shows How THC In Cannabis Is Harmful For Fetal Development


While cannabis is being advocated for quite vigorously, some groups of people are better off avoiding the herb. These include adolescents and pregnant women. Unfortunately, the use of weed among expecting mothers is only increasing. Pregnant women are using the substance for relief from nausea and anxiety along with other reasons.

A new research has added to the pile of evidence which says that cannabis use during pregnancy is dangerous. Coming from researchers from Queens University and Western University, this study says that THC interferes with the development of the placenta and fetus. Tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychotropic compound found in cannabis. It is responsible for making people high by intoxicating them.

Diving into the research work

For the purpose of the study, researchers made use of a rat model as well as human placental cells. Their aim was to show how exposure to THC doing pregnancy can impact both the fetus and the placenta. The team exposed a low dosage of THC which was equal to the daily use of cannabis.

They found that use of THC reduced birth weight by 8%. It also decreased the growth of the brain and the liver by more than 20%. This study was also able to show how THC prevents oxygen and nutrients from crossing through the placenta to reach the fetus. Researchers found that THC prevents the transfer of glucose through the placenta from the pregnant mother to the baby.

Furthermore, scientists found that THC reduced placental vasculature among rats as well. This means that the flow of blood from the mother to the fetus was low. These two factors could explain what causes a reduction in the birth weight of the offspring of expecting mothers who use cannabis.

Co-author of the study said, “Marjiuana has been legalized in Canada and in many states in the US, however, its use during pregnancy has not been well studied up until this point. This study is important to support clinicians in communicating the very real risks associated with cannabis use during pregnancy.”

Existing Research On The Subject

A JAMA report said that more and more women are using cannabis during pregnancy. This is not good news as scientific evidence supports how harmful pot is to pregnant women. A study from the UNC School of Medicine found that use of cannabis during pregnancy can cause developmental issues in the fetus.

This research said both CBD and THC are harmful for the fetus. The Nature Neuroscience journal published a report that said that weed use during pregnancy impairs the brain of male offspring. A report from the Experimental Biology journal emphasized on the same. It said cannabis adversely affects the baby’s brain.


The research work showed that THC exposure during pregnancy can cause issues in the development of the fetus as well as in the functioning of the placenta. This study is important to understand that cannabis is not safe for everybody. Pregnant women should not only just avoid the herb, they should completely quit it.


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