Cannabis in Pregnancy (and in general)

Some interesting research has come up recently regarding cannabis and pregnancy.  Although cannabis is  considered a ‘soft drug’, as opposed to things like heroin or cocaine, it does have problems of its own. Weight gain, poor memory, and breathing issues are among the main concerns.

With the legalization of cannabis in Canada, it is now regulated.  That means that Health Canada reviews the products to make sure they do not have other drugs in it, and are produced in a safe way.  Street dealers can, and do, put all kinds of drugs into cannabis.  I have even read about formaldehyde being use.  This is a poison.  Unfortunately, it can give a high similar to cannabis, so dealers sometimes put it in if the cannabis is not sufficiently strong for their customers.  In my clinic, I have seen that street dealers have laced cannabis with fentanyl, among other drugs.  I have also found that cannabis frequently has traces of cocaine or benzos in it.  This may be intentional lacing from the dealers, but it can also be from cutting the various drugs on the same table, or using the same uncleaned scales for all the drugs they sell.  In any case, a lot of the street cannabis is not safe.  Please use the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) if you want to smoke cannabis.

Cannabis has also been shown to cause an increased risk of developing schizophrenia in youth who are predisposed to developing it.  Unfortunately it is hard to predict who is predisposed.  That means that a youth who uses cannabis may develop schizophrenia only if they use it, and not otherwise.  This is quite serious.  It is often not reversible.

Recent research is showing that cannabis has further issues if taken during pregnancy.  There is evidence arising that cannabis taken in pregnancy can have irreversible negative effects on the fetal brain.

Of course, all of the concerns that I mentioned above apply to pregnancy as well.  That means formaldehyde or fentanyl in your cannabis may be getting to your fetus, which can have further effects on your child.

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