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Marijuana Use Dangerous During Pregnancy

Update Date: Aug 15, 2012 10:15 AM EDT

Attention to all prospective mothers out there who have been known (personally or by others) to enjoy a good toke once in a while: though the medical benefits of  marijuana are at times incontestable, as it is in treating glaucoma or mental medical disorders such as bulimia or anorexia, high potency and synthetic marijuana can be detrimental to the cognitive development of an unborn fetus.

According to an article published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis, American researchers state the argument that 'high potency' marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids which pose a potential real threat for pregnant women.

The study's co-author Dr. Delphine Psychoyos from the Center for Genetic and Environmental Medicine at Texas A&M University explains to "The emergence of bioengineered crops and novel, medicinal marijuana strains, means that marijuana is no longer what it used to be in the 1970's and early 1980s': some new, high potency strains, including some medicinal marijuana blends such as 'Connie Chung' and many others, contain up to 20 times more THC, the psychoactive constituent of marijuana, than did 'traditional' marijuana from the 1970's and early 1980's "Furthermore, with the emergence of dispensaries and Internet websites, high potency marijuana and Spice products are now readily available to the general population."

According to the study, recent research has shown that marijuana exposure during the early stages of pregnancy has been associated with anencephaly, a non-sustaining life condition where a large part of the skull or brain is absent, neurobehavioral deficiencies, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities and memory impairment in toddlers and 10 year olds, as well as neuropsychiatric conditions, including depression, aggression and anxiety, in teens.

This is further supported by the findings of a seperate study published in the Sept. 14 edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry which offers evidence that exposure to cannabis products may adversely affect early embryo development that is then perpetuated later in pregnancy. Heavy smoking during the first three weeks of pregnancy, the stage before a pregnancy test can turn up positive, with complications during labor and other neurological and physiological disorders in the infant.  

Like other recreational drugs, such as cigarettes and alcohol,  pregnant women or women trying to get pregnant should not indulge or should indulge with careful moderation. Researchers say that due to marijuana advocacy groups, many mothers-to-be do not realize the long-term effects of the drug.

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