Cannabis Consumption During Pregnancy May Lead To Anxiety, Aggression Among Children

Pregnant women and those who have just given birth are sometimes known to consume marijuana to relieve themselves of terrible morning sickness and stress. They also intake marijuana to get a high from all the stress and tension surrounding their pregnancy/childbirth. Latest research has revealed that children born to women consuming marijuana are twice more likely to be anxious, hyper-active or aggressive, in comparison to other kids.

The latest findings add weightage to earlier theories that consuming cannabis during pregnancy or right after giving birth will bring about behavioral changes in children. Scientists attribute the behavioral problems to changes in the activity of genes found in the placenta, the organ, which provides nutrients and oxygen to the growing baby.

Commenting on the findings, Yoko Nomura, a behavioral neuroscientist at Queens College, City University of New York, and a co-author of the new study, said, "Women tend to think smoking and drinking during pregnancy need to be avoided at all costs, but not cannabis. We have a long way to go to educate pregnant women, policymakers and even OB-GYN doctors on this issue."

Research conducted among pregnant women has revealed that a majority of them have used cannabis during their pregnancy, without thinking much about the consequences it would have on them and their fetus. A study done in 2016 discovered that during the year nearly twice as many women in California consumed cannabis during their pregnancy than in 2009.

Researchers said that earlier also pregnant women used to consume cannabis but the marijuana available nowadays is far more dangerous than the one consumed years ago. The levels of THC, the compound responsible for most of marijuana's psychological effects, have risen drastically over the years and this will definitely have a negative impact on the psychological nature of the children as they grow up.

Studies have shown that THC can pass through the mother's blood to the placenta and then to the fetus. This is the case no matter how the cannabis is consumed, whether from smoking it, eating it or being exposed to it through vapors, oils or creams. If they contain THC, it will all be passed on to the baby, researchers said.

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