Pregnant and Marijuana
Pregnant and Marijuana

Can Pregnant Women Use Marijuana To Treat Morning Sickness?

Can You Use Marijuana While Pregnant?

Posted by:
DanaSmith on Thursday Jul 14, 2016

Can Pregnant Women Use Marijuana To Treat Morning Sickness?

Can Pregnant Women use Cannabis for Morning Sickness? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


Medical marijuana use among pregnant women continues to be a burning issue, but it has helped countless women deal with morning sickness.


Marijuana legalization continues to break stigmas and change society’s perceptions on cannabis. Each day, more people are accepting the scientific evidence presented in front of them when it comes to consuming marijuana, and are finally accepting that pot isn’t just fun but it is actually real AND effective medicine.


Morning sickness is very common in pregnant women. But sometimes it can get so bad that it’s no longer about feeling nauseated in the mornings because it can already harm the health of a mother and her unborn child. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that 3% of expectant mothers are diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of nausea that causes a woman to lose as much as 5% of her prepregnancy weight and can lead to other health problems including dehydration, sometimes leading to hospital confinement. If a woman goes through severe nausea, this will prevent her from keeping down any fluids and food which prevents both her and her baby from receiving vital nutrients and can lead to health problems and low birth weight. Mothers with hyperemesis gravidarum are also at risk for developing liver and thyroid problems.

A well-known documented case is that of Trinity Dogood, who was diagnosed with Hyperemesis gravidarum and was vomiting as much as 30 times a day despite using a variety of natural remedies. She was prescribed Zofran, a category B medication which means that it lacked research on its safety for fetuses. Dogood refused to take it because she was afraid of its side effects. At 8 weeks, her boyfriend was able to produce some marijuana but her sickness was so bad she couldn’t even take a hit. He blew smoke in her face and in 30 minutes she stopped heaving and was able to eat properly. However Dogood encountered serious challenges finding an OB who was accepting of her alternative treatment, and one even threatened to report her to Child Protective Services when she gave birth. To avoid this, she quit using marijuana 36 weeks into her pregnancy and relied on Zofran for the rest of her pregnancy. “I spent the last month of pregnancy begging for someone to kill me,” Dogood said.


The threat of legal sanctions for women who admit to using marijuana is all too real, and this is a major factor that prevents women from being upfront with their usage. This prevents honest research and investigation on this “taboo” topic. Last year, the American Medical Association lobbied for warnings against the potential risks for marijuana usage to be posted on both recreational and medical cannabis products. According to an LA ob-gyne, Dr. Diana Ramos, similar warnings are already posted on tobacco and alcohol products, “So why not do the same thing with marijuana since it is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy.”


Another woman by the name of Erin Hildebrandt refers to marijuana as the one remedy that helped her. She said, “…as the nausea and vomiting increased, I began to lose weight. I was diagnosed as having hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe and constant form of morning sickness. I started researching the condition, desperately searching for a solution. I tried wristbands, herbs, yoga, pharmaceuticals, meditation—everything I could think of. Ultimately, after losing 20 pounds in middle pregnancy, and being hospitalized repeatedly for dehydration and migraines, I developed preeclampsia and was told an emergency cesarean was necessary…” Hildebrandt also added, “In my second pregnancy…Ten weeks after my first dose [of marijuana[, I had gained 17 pounds over my pre-pregnant weight. I gave beautiful and joyous birth to a 9 pound, 2 ounce baby boy in the bed in which he’d been conceived. I know that using marijuana saved us both from many of the terrible dangers associated with malnutrition in pregnancy.”



Research and Lack Thereof…..


Medical marijuana is being used to treat a number of acute and chronic illnesses however there remains to be a big buzz about pregnant women using herb especially when it comes to treating morning sickness. The fact that marijuana is still illegal at the federal level poses a serious obstacle for medical cannabis research so there is still a lot of lacking information. Much of the data that we access to today all state that marijuana use during pregnancy can pose serious harm for both mother and child, since it increases the risk for stillbirth and even fetal death. Cannabis and its effects are passed down to the unborn baby during pregnancy through the placenta, just like anything else that a mother takes will also be consumed by the unborn child.


However, in the 1980’s, a study conducted by Melanie Dreher, Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa, as well as her colleagues to assess the impact of nursing women on their children. The research took them to rural Jamaica where they studied 30 pot-smoking expectant mothers and compared them to 30 mothers from the same socio-economic background who did not smoke pot. The researchers used different standard scales to benchmark the results of the study. They found that the newborn children showed no differences 3 days after birth; yet, at 30 days old, the babies of mothers who smoked pot were performing better than those whose mothers abstained when comparing the infant's’ reflexes and automatic stability.


The researchers also used various criteria to measure the children’s developments at age 4, such as perceptability, verbal ability, and memory among others. The child’s caregiver was asked to fill out a questionnaire in order to determine the results, and they found that the children of those who were not exposed had absolutely no difference to those who were exposed. The team studied the children as well at age 5 and added other criteria, and still found no significant differences.  The researchers did find some differences in the children though, which until today remains unexplained: children of chronic smokers (mothers smoked ganja on a daily basis) made eye contact quickly and socialized better than their unexposed counterparts. Dreher’s study is easily the most famous when it comes to analyzing the effects of cannabis use on infants, but unfortunately it is one of very few.


Another New Zealand study showed that children of mothers who smoked marijuana during pregnancy performed better in terms of cognitive abilities and brain development. The study, led by Arijit Chakraborty of the Auckland University, even showed that the greater quantities of cannabis smoked by an expecting mother, the better their children performed. However, Chakraborty still doesn’t advise pregnant women to self-medicate on marijuana. Some children still do suffer from stunted brain development if their mothers were found to have used marijuana during pregnancy.


A Canadian study of 84 marijuana-using pregnant women who turned to the herb to address morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum found that 92% of the respondents rated cannabis as “effective” or “extremely effective” as a treatment. They even suggested that cannabis use for treating nausea deserved proper investigation.



Marijuana Is Safer Than Painkillers


More mothers are turning to cannabis to treat morning sickness because it’s a safer alternative to harmful and addictive opiate painkillers. When we hear stories such as what happened to Hollie Sanford, that makes the case for legalizing marijuana just much more stronger.  


Studies have shown that taking medications while pregnant can have serious side effects on the child, particularly during the second and third trimester. A Danish study surveying over 64,000 children showed that those whose mothers took over the counter painkillers were at a higher risk of developing behavioral and cognitive problems. Infants are also more susceptible to developing neural tube birth defects if their mothers take prescription medications and opioids during the first 2 months of pregnancy.



Historical Use


Jamaica isn’t the only country that has had a long tradition of mothers using cannabis while expecting: Women in 19th century Egypt were known to turn to cannabis to help them with pain relief during childbirth.


A study documents the historical use of cannabis in obstetrics and gynecology. In South Africa, herbalists also use cannabis to ease the pain of childbirth. The study also revealed that modern Africans continue to employ cannabis use until present day for the same reason.

Today, since cannabis remains to be the most widely used “illicit drug” amongst pregnant women, we believe that this topic deserves to be discussed in the open, and acted upon. Women should be given the option to use medical marijuana as needed, as an alternative form of medicine just like other sick people at least in states that already have legalized pot in one way or another. These kinds of adult conversations about pregnant women using marijuana deserves the same attention as other conditions, which can hopefully pave the way for more research. With adequate information, the future can be bright for pregnant women. It’s already been a while since growers have been breeding strains to address certain illnesses, it definitely isn’t too far off to imagine strains being developed to help reduce morning sickness while minimizing any possible side effects on both infant and mother.


Have you used marijuana while pregnant? What was your experience like? Share with us in the comments below.



cannabis while pregnant is okay










What did you think?

ganja leaf left  Keep reading... click here  ganja leaft right

Please log-in or register to post a comment.

Leave a Comment: