Sorry Stoner Moms, Marijuana Use Implicated In Pregnancy Problems Like Preeclampsia

Bad news for those of you who sometimes indulge in a little pot smoking, scientists believe that marijuana can alter genes and biological signals necessary for a healthy pregnancy. In a study that will be published in the September 14 edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers from the Division of Reproductive Sciences at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center show that some of the compounds in cannabis could lead to pregnancy complications like preeclampsia.

The science is pretty advanced and the study hasn’t been conducted in humans, (because who would allow such an experiment while pregnant?) but researchers believe that they have enough information to justify a warning. They found that the abnormal signaling caused by exposure to these compounds, “disrupts the movement of early embryonic cells important to a healthy pregnancy, in particular trophoblast cells that form the placenta. Abnormal placental function is common in preeclampsia.”

Principal investigator, Dr. Sudhansu K. Dey, further clarified, “The findings or our investigation raise concerns that exposure to cannabis products may adversely affect early embryo development that is then perpetuated later in pregnancy.”

I know, I know, moms should know not to smoke pot while pregnant. Moms aren’t supposed to do anything while pregnant. They can’t cook on nonstick pans and they shouldn’t work in the last month of pregnancy. They should or shouldn’t drink depending on what day it is and what study you’re reading.

The reason that this study stands out is because it specifies the problems of marijuana use early in the pregnancy, while the placenta is still forming. That early on, plenty of moms don’t even realize they’re pregnant yet. They could be setting themselves up for a difficult and dangerous complication before they’re even aware that they’re carrying a child.

Preeclampsia is one of the better-known pregnancy complications, and it’s one that plenty of moms worry about. It occurs when the mother’s blood pressure spikes and there is protein in the urine after 20 weeks. The cause for preeclampsia is relatively unknown, though researchers believe that looking at this placenta formation issue might help them find out more about the complication itself.

The lesson here is that it’s not just pregnant women who need to avoid marijuana, it’s any woman who is having unprotected sex. There’s always a possibility that she could be in the very early stages of pregnancy, and that’s the time when the genes that create the placenta are so important.

Sorry stoga moms, you’re just going to have to hold off until your babies are born and tucked safely away in bed.

(Photo: Stepan Kapl/Shutterstock)

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