Is it safe to use Marijuana as a breastfeeding mother? Researchers found that THC lingers in breast milk for almost a week, but there is no study showing the effects of marijuana on babies yet.
The study was published on 27 August in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in the journal Pediatrics. The lead author of the study is Christina Chambers, who is a professor at the University of California, at San Diego’s School of Medicine’s department of pediatrics.
According to the research, samples from 50 women that used marijuana occasionally, weekly or daily contained traces of THC (the active component of the drug that causes the high) in 63% of the samples. The traces were present even after six days after the last reported use.
Chambers explains that the study was conducted to help doctors inform breastfeeding mothers about marijuana use:
“Pediatricians are often put into a challenging situation when a breastfeeding mother asks about the safety of marijuana use.”
We Need Answers – Breast Milk Is Vital for Infants, But is It Safe If it Contains THC Traces?
She added that there is no data on the effects of marijuana on babies because there isn’t “published data to support advising against use of marijuana while breastfeeding.”
Chambers argues that “if women feel they have to choose, we run the risk of them deciding to stop breastfeeding — something we know is hugely beneficial for both mom and baby.”
The study results were that THC could be potentially ingested from breast milk – the risk of ingestion was relatively low, but Chambers explains that “we still don’t know enough about the drug to say whether or not there is a concern for the infant at any dose, or if there is a safe dosing level.”
The professor added that marijuana products today are more potent than the ones available two or three decades ago.
A different report on the same issue of the journal shows that many pregnant women believe that marijuana use does not affect their babies. Moreover, social media is filled with marijuana remedies for morning sickness. With many U.S. states legalizing marijuana use, some women now believe that the drug has no impact on their pregnancy.
Chamber concludes that researchers must learn about the long-term effects of marijuana in breast milk and see if there are differences in the age of the baby that receives the milk, adding that:
“These are critical areas where we need answers as we continue to promote breast milk as the premium in nutrition for infants.”
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere