This is THE number one question I receive as a doula and cannabis advocate.
It’s also the one I can’t answer definitively one way or the other. So much of the answer depends on specific information on each client and their history. There’s always risk involved with medicating to alleviate signs of illness or even to obtain a personal state of homeostasis. If your illness is one of which there is no cure or your medication needs are incredibly specific, your risk:benefit ratio would be no different during pregnancy.
The medical risks associated with cannabis use and pregnancy do not seem to be life-threatening. By saying this, don’t assume CannaDoula doesn’t acknowledge them. Of the main concerns noted were low birth weight, pre-term (but not premature) live birth, and cognitive and behavioral issues in adolescence and other dangers.
While most of these issues could be connected to factors including cannabis, most of the studies are poorly designed and need to be studied with outliers accounted for before a correlation to marijuana use can be determined.
Until then, we rely on the extremely powerful social evidence becoming more available every day. As more come out of the “cannabis closet”, the proof of its awesome medicinal properties become hard to refute. Cannabis is such a multi-functional plant ; one that has healing properties beyond our current scope of understanding. Federal prohibition has done its job to impede the progress of research from medical science professionals. Until then, we trust patients to prove to us this plant is medicinal and of use in fertility health, mental wellness and of course, pregnancy.
In what ways? Well rather than throw cannabis at some symptoms, let's take a look at a comprehensive list of symptoms associated with pregnancy and see if an edible, tincture, massage oil or good ole fashion bowl of flower would alleviate them:
Pregnancy is no joke. Pregnancy is not always fun and pregnancy does one heck of a number on a human being’s body. That isn’t to say these symptoms are not worth every moment in order to create and sustain life, but struggle love isn’t cute romantically and it certainly isn’t when it comes to how we survive life’s events and experiences. Struggling to live isn’t living, and every pregnant person should be living their best life!
Earlier I mentioned having flower while pregnant. Flower has its place in every cannabis consumer’s lifestyle. As such, Cannadoula suggests reducing marijuana flower use during pregnancy and that clients reduce their inhalation of marijuana flower. Worth mentioning in this section, there seems to be a lot of cannabis and tobacco use in study participants, pregnant and not pregnant. Tobacco products have been studied at nauseam for decades with conclusive evidence that tobacco use during pregnancy increases the likelihood of pregnancy term labor and or low birth weight. If this sounds familiar, it’s because they are the same risks research has associated with cannabis use during pregnancy.
I can’t help but think that these two issues; cannabis/tobacco use being co-occurring and the similarity of some of the risks attributed specifically to cannabis. For thousands of years cannabis has been used by pregnant people with no major up-curve in pregnancy and birth related illnesses or developmental problems besides the ones also attributed to that second substance scientists can’t seem to remove as an outlier...
We are a culture used to medicines being pushed to us with very little scientific research, so how does this happen? If a drug has 5-10 years of research, it can be approved by the FDA quickly for consumer purchase. Yet hundreds of years of recorded history involving cannabis use and no notable negative side effects thus far. It’s more than enough for the countless pregnant people sick (literally) and tired (LITERALLY) of navigating their birthing year without it being the best year of their life! We believe that in pregnancy the consumption of cannabis, cannabis-infused edibles, and cannabis skin care regimens were made for one another!
These findings also make it crystal friggin clear that it seems to be up to the public (professionals, consumers, public officials and entrepreneurs ) to carry on collecting anecdotal evidence along with sound and unbiased scientific research funded independently if possible.