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