Cannabis, Marijuana, is commonly used as drug by people of reproductive age. The rise in use of marijuana takes place and at the same time THC percentage in drug has increased. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. The researchers have used a rat model and human placental cells to show maternal exposure to THC during pregnancy which has high effect on development of organs of fetus and in placental function.
Researchers have exposed a low dose of THC mimics to the daily use of cannabis by pregnant woman which showed the reduction of birth weight by 8 percent and caused defect in the development of brain and liver by 20 percent.
“The above data suggests use of cannabis during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight babies and this is the first study to support the fact that THC alone has direct impact on placental and fetal growth.”said Dan Hardy, PhD Associate Professor.
The researchers also found that exposure to THC caused a disease in a glucose transporter called GLUT-1 which indicates that THC is preventing the placental transfer of glucose, a key nutrients, from mother fetus. And the reduction in placental vasculature in rat model reduced blood flow from mother to the fetus.
However Marijuana has been legalized in Canada and in many states in US and its use during pregnancy restricts growth in offspring” said David Natale.
So, both of these factors are contributing to growth defect observed in the offspring.
Source: Science daily