Statistics reported from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggest that “2 to 5 percent of women use marijuana during their pregnancy. This number goes up for certain groups of women. For example, young, urban, and socioeconomically disadvantaged women report higher rates of use that reach up to 28 percent.”
According to the book What to Expect, after marijuana was legalized, some midwives recommended marijuana use to pregnant women for alleviate morning sickness and decreasing anxiety. However the single largest concern for the pregnant mother is the possibility of the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC passing through the placenta. Marijuana’s active ingredient THC, the psychological component of the plant can enter a fetus’s bloodstream calling into question safety.
A study published in the Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology from 2014 states that more than 20,000 birth records in the United States from 1997 to 2005 revealed babies born with anencephaly increased in numbers. And it was mentioned by the What to Expect website that the numbers, “were almost doubled (although still extremely rare) among babies born to mothers who reported smoking marijuana.”
Despite claims that cannabis has an effect on fetuses, another study published in American Journal of Public Health involving over 12,000 birth records in the United States in 1980 found no significant evidence that marijuana affects the unborn child. In addition to the report, it was also mentioned that health care professionals still agree to the fact that marijuana does not have an immediate effect on the fetus during pregnancy. They also came into conclusion that marijuana does not cause physical birth defects.
Due to the ongoing contradictions with peer reviewed studies, additional research still needs to be done regarding smoking pot while pregnant.