Marijuana use during pregnancy is a controversial issue, but it really should not be. There are those who use and support marijuana that likes to say marijuana has no more effect on infants and developing children than it does in full grown adults. But that is categorically untrue.
Studies conducted on rats, various other animals and humans have shown that brain development is especially hindered and altered while marijuana is used. Marijuana enters the bloodstream when used, and that means it goes straight from the using mother to the developing child and affects how that child matures.
For those who may not be all that concerned about how their child is going to be affected by marijuana during pregnancy, a look at the potential side effects may be enough to sway them.
The primary effect is that of cognition and comprehension changes. A child born from a weed-using mother will react differently to outside stimuli, often being easily frightened and unable to cope with certain kinds of lighting, sounds and visuals. They will also have trouble remaining attentive, solving problems and remembering things. Essentially, they will struggle greatly in school and may never be able to receive a basic education.
All of these is likely caused by neurological damage, but whether that is the case and the full extent of that damage are not known. The research is simply not conclusive enough to provide definitive answers on some of the most burning questions regarding the effects of marijuana on developing children. There have been several studies that were meticulously conducted on the subject, but it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the neurological damage and just what that would mean for the children. This is mostly due to a lack of cases relating to the subject, which is a good thing since it means not a lot of mothers are exposing their children to marijuana as they develop.
But as marijuana trends higher and becomes more ingrained in the daily habits of the populace, these effects are going to start to become more widespread. Before it becomes a major problem and someone’s child is irrevocably damaged, families, and mothers, in particular, need to take action. They not only need to ensure that the pregnant mother does not smoke weed, but also that no one is smoking weed around the pregnant mother.
The risks are simply too high, and the chance that the child will be greatly harmed is not a risk that should be taken. For those wanting to emphasize how not every child exposed to marijuana develops these problems and how the neurological damage is not always severe, they should carefully consider why they are taking that stance. Is it because they believe there is no danger or because they want to cast marijuana as a victimless drug. The harmful effects of this drug on developing children are very real, and only complete abstinence during pregnancy will ensure that unborn children are not prematurely scarred by its effects.