American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that breastfeeding mothers should avoid marijuana
The new study conducted by the AAP, which tested breast milk of cannabis using moms, showed traces of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
The study showed that THC can be detected in breast milk up to six days after marijuana use.
Traces of the substance was found in 63 percent of the 54 samples taken from breastfeeding mothers.
These women reported that they used marijuana before pumping off the breast milk.
The AAP’s research into the possible effects of marijuana on mothers has become a relevant field of study, as marijuana legalization across North America becomes more prevalent.
So far, 30 states have permitted marijuana for medical use and 8 states have legalized the substance for recreational purposes. On October 17, Canada will legalize recreational cannabis use, while Britain is faced with many advocates and investors who are attracting big dollars.
The AAP’s View On Marijuana
The AAP is against the prospect of having loosened restrictions on cannabis explaining that marijuana is not necessarily safe for babies.
It is recommended that women that are pregnant or breast-feeding avoid marijuana.
The chairwoman of the AAP Committee on Substance Use and Prevention, Sheryl Ryan explains that many states are giving the impression that marijuana is safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding,
“The fact that marijuana is legal in many states may give the impression the drug is harmless during pregnancy, especially with stories swirling on social media about using it for nausea with morning sickness.”
The study does not explain how the babies will be affected, but preliminary research suggests that the THC may cross the placenta to the fetus causing potential harm to brain development, cognition, and birth weight.
A professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Christina Chambers stated that research on the matter is needed now that the substance is more commonplace.
Chambers is one of the study’s authors.
“This creates a dilemma for pediatricians who want their patients to be breastfed and worry that some mothers if told not to use cannabis, may not breastfeed.”
More research would enable doctors to provide more evidence-based advice.