There has been an increase in the number of pregnant women using marijuana, but they should reconsider their choice. Autism and childhood psychosis are linked to the use of marijuana by pregnant mothers, according to a new study.
The placenta seems to be affected by cannabis use during pregnancy, which may be linked to higher levels of anxiety, aggression, and hyperactivity in newborns and children. Researchers in the United States studied 322 mother-child pairs in New York City as part of a broader study on stress during pregnancy. Hormone levels were evaluated from hair samples, ECG recordings were used to examine heart function, and parental questionnaires were used to assess a child’s behavioral and emotional functioning over the research period.
The Use Of Cannabis During Pregnancy Increase Aggression In Children
The study team also studied some of the subjects’ placental tissue at the time of birth. New research adds to the increasing body of evidence that smoking cannabis during pregnancy may have harmful consequences for both the mother and her child, according to Dr. DaghniRajasingam of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the UK.
Cannabis usage during pregnancy has been linked to higher levels of aggression, anxiety, hyperactivity, and the stress hormone cortisol in children compared to those whose mothers did not use the drug.
Placental tissue was found to have decreased expression of immune-activating genes, including cytokines, which are critical for preventing infection, after researchers sequenced RNA molecules, which are molecules similar to DNA that constitute part of the genetic code.
This well-executed study has strong methodologies, a well-designed laboratory, and a follow-up program for children. One of the study’s authors, Dr. Darine El-Chaâr of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, said, “It is amazing that they were able to look at the placenta signals and tie those findings to childhood outcomes.”
According to the study’s results, anxiety and other mental health issues in young children may be linked to mother cannabis use during pregnancy. However, using placental gene expression alone cannot reveal the whole impact of maternal cannabis usage on immune function, the researchers conclude.
Mothers’ marijuana usage may have an effect on their children’s mental health, as well as their aggression and hyperactivity. Other factors to examine are the parents’ age, education, marital status, and the child’s gender.
The authors said that the study had a number of flaws, including the inability to verify the accuracy of the information supplied by the participants on the women’s use of cannabis. Cannabis use throughout pregnancy and after delivery could not be studied separately by the researchers.
For example, we were unable to get particular information on the participants’ prior cannabis use since this was a human study. An investigation involving thousands of individuals would be necessary to assess whether or not other variables (such as lifestyle, parental participation, and genetics) had an impact on outcome measures, according to research author Yasmin Hurd of Mount Sinai, in an email to HealthDay. Former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a statement in 2019 urging pregnant women not to consume marijuana.