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36 Don't children born to pot-smoking mothers suffer from ``Fetal Marijuana Syndrome?''




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This article is from the Hemp / Cannabis / Marijuana FAQ, by Brian S. Julin verdant@twain.ucs.umass.edu with numerous contributions by others.

36 Don't children born to pot-smoking mothers suffer from ``Fetal Marijuana Syndrome?''

If a fetal cannabis syndrome exists, cases are so rare
that it cannot be demonstrated. Many mothers use marijuana
during pregnancy -- it controls the nausea called `morning
sickness' and many say it actually increases the appetite
and reduces stress. This is especially important in less
developed countries, where modern medical care is not as
easily available, but even so, the benefits of responsible
marijuana use may outweigh the risks even under modern
medicine.

Studies conducted in Jamiaca have shown that mothers who
smoke marijuana have healthier children, but this may be due
to the extra income generated by marijuana dealing and other
factors. It has been a common ploy in the War on Drugs to
claim that marijuana, and especially cocaine, causes birth
defects or behavior problems like alcohol does. This scares
caring mothers into thinking drugs are `evil.' The claims
are not based on valid scientific research -- many of them
do not even consider the life-style or living conditions of
the mothers before pointing at drugs with the blame.

Obviously, pregnant mothers should not smoke as much pot as
they possibly can. If marijuana is abused, it may hurt the
health of both mother and child. Delta-9-THC does cross the
placenta and enter the fetus. Oddly, though, the marijuana
metabolite, 11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-THC does not, and the
fetus does not break delta-9-THC down into 11-nor like the
mother's body does, so unborn children are not exposed to
11-nor. The third trimester is the time when the child is
most vulnerable. Parents should bear these facts in mind
when they make decisions about using cannabis.

``Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Cannabinoids'' by Ernest L. Abel in
``CurrentReasearch on the Consequences of Maternal Drug Abuse''
Theodore M. Pinkert ed. NIDA Research monograph # 59

``The Effects of Early Marijuana Exposure'' by Ernest L. Abel, Gary A.
Rockwood, Edward P. Riley in ``Handbook of teratology'' pp. 267-288.

(Jamaican studies)

``Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica An
Ethnographic Study '' by Melanie C. Dreher , Kevin Nugent, Rebekah
Hudgins in ``Pediatrics'' Vol. 93 Iss. 2 pp. 254-260. pub. February,
1994.

(THC fetal exposure)

``Placental Transfer and Fetal Disposition of
Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) During Late Pregnancy in the Rhesus
Monkey'' by William Slikker Jr, H. C. Cunny, J. R. Bailey, M. G. Paule
in ``'' pp. 97-102.

``The Influence of Anesthesia, Pregnancy, and Sex on the Plasma
Disposition of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and
11-nor-9-carboxy-delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in the Rhesus Monkey''
by Merle G. Paule, John R. Bailey, William Slikker Jr. in ``'' pp.
315-320. ed. pub.

 

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