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California Considers Declaring THC Health Risk For Pregnant Women

THC’s effect on pregnancy is still unknown, prompting California to consider adding a risk warning on their THC products.

California legalized the use of marijuana over three years ago, yet the government is still testing the drug’s limits and adapting to people’s responses to it. Now, a state panel is considering whether THC should be declared a risk for pregnant women and if it should include warnings on their product labels.

The data on marijuana and pregnancy is complex, with some people praising its medicinal powers — providing relief from ailments such as nausea, body aches and anxiety, to name just a few — and others worrying over the plant’s potential negative side effects.

Studies conducted on marijuana and pregnancy date back to the 70s, with some claiming that the substance could have an effect on the fetus, influencing important factors such as birth weight and length of gestation.

RELATED: More Women Are Using Marijuana Before Pregnancy—Is That Good Or Bad?

It’s important to highlight that these negative side effects are consistent with the side effects that appear when pregnant women smoke any substance, meaning that the problem most likely lies within the way in which marijuana is ingested over the compounds in the drug itself.

The fact is, smoking anything is bad for the fetus and that there’s not enough research out there to see whether marijuana has an effect or not.

Pregnant Women
Photos: Brodie Vissers via Burst; Esteban Lopez via Unsplash

While there are a few organizations that support marijuana use in pregnant mothers, some officials, including some that are a part of the cannabis industry, claim that there’s not enough data for pregnant women to be taking these kinds of risks. In the long run, there’s no way of knowing the extent of THC’s effects on pregnancies, and having products in circulation with no warning labels could expose cannabis companies to potential lawsuits.

RELATED: The Impact Cannabis Use During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding Has On Newborns

The Associated Press reports that the California Cannabis Industry Association believes that marijuana’s standing as an illegal drug on a federal level has put a damper on studies looking into its risks and medicinal properties. “Good policy and consumer protections are based on facts and data,” explains spokesman Josh Drayton.

If THC were to be deemed a risk for pregnant women, products sold in California, even those advertised as CBD, would have to introduce clear warnings on their packaging.


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