US FDA warns against using cannabis during pregnancy.Women Using Cannabis During Pregnancy to Reduce Morning Sickness and Other Symptoms – LPC

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning against using cannabis during pregnancy. A National Public Radio (NPR) report explained how some women with extreme symptoms have turned to cannabis during pregnancy. (Please see link to full article below.) One woman said that her morning sickness was so severe that she couldn’t eat or even keep down her prescribed supplements.

“I had really intense food aversion and really intense nausea,” she said. “I wasn’t eating at all.”

It was her husband, not her doctor, who suggested iced tea with CBD and THC. She describes herself as a non-user, though she doesn’t have anything against others using cannabis. She took a few sips, she said, and her nausea went away.

Of course, she was concerned about the risks of taking cannabis during pregnancy in any form. None of her baby books discussed it. In fact, she couldn’t find much research about it anywhere.

“I was frustrated that I couldn’t really find any information,” she says.

Effects During Pregnancy Still Unknown – LPC

That’s because there haven’t been many studies into cannabis during pregnancy. The FDA strongly advises against the practice. The agency points to evidence that THC can affect fetal brain development. There is also evidence presented by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute that cannabis during pregnancy doubles the risk of premature birth.

Others have concerns as well, including Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “My concern about the use of marijuana during pregnancy is that it will interfere with brain development during the pregnancy. And that is a period of extraordinary vulnerability,” she said.

The issue is, there clearly isn’t enough information about cannabis during pregnancy. In fact, there is a lack of health information about cannabis in general. Doctors are hesitant to give a cannabis prescription simply because there is not enough evidence about its effectiveness or risks. The catch-22 is that research opportunities are limited. In the US, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is also in charge of giving possession exemptions to research facilities to cultivate cannabis for research.

In Canada, doctors openly questioned the medical cannabis risks and benefits in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. But cannabis research in general is pushing forward here.

For the woman that NPR spoke to, she made her own decision about cannabis during pregnancy based on the information she had. “I ultimately came to the conclusion that lack of nutrition is far worse than the little bit of marijuana that I’m consuming,” she said.

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