On October 17, marijuana sales are going to be legal and Canada will become the second largest national marijuana marketplace. As a breastfeeding Mom, I have researched intensively on how this will affect me and my little one. I have never used marijuana in my life, and honestly it is only in Canada that I’ve smelled it for the first time. I’ve been to many countries for vacation but it is only in Canada that I’ve smelled marijuana almost frequently when we first migrated here. When we visited Montreal and Vancouver for short vacations I am also able to smell it in the streets.
According to an article by American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs (2001), marijuana has adverse effects on infants during breastfeeding. According to another report by CNN, marijuana lasts for 6 days and a study by Pediatrics mentioned in that report quantified cannabinoids in human milk after maternal marijuana use, and the result shows that there is low level of detection but it is measurable enough that it lasts for 6 days. But study and data on the impact of marijuana use to infant’s neurodevelopment is still low or lacking as of this date.
So what are then the recommendations of these studies? A journal published by American Academy of Pediatrics just this September 2018 recommends that women should not use marijuana during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The journal emphasized that women should be properly informed about the lack of data and research about the topic of marijuana use and breastfeeding. They should also be counseled about the concerns regarding the potential adverse impacts of marijuana on infant development.
Although there are a lot of calls for further research, another blog Kellymom.com that I came across when I am doing my research mentions about studies that shows percentages of cannabis present in breast milk thus resulting to recommendations that discourages women who are pregnant and breastfeeding from using marijuana. The studies mentioned in this blog also shows the impact of marijuana usage to the neurodevelopment of an infant.
In a nutshell, it is always better to prevent than to cure and this has always been my health mantra. Hence, I would rather recommend to never use marijuana especially if your are pregnant, if you are breastfeeding, and if you have a little one in your house with you. I always believe in the effects of second-hand smoke from cigarettes so it could also probably do the same effects for marijuana. It’s better to be safe than be sorry.