Researchers are recruiting 70 pregnant women who use cannabis to investigate the effects of the drug on the brains of infants.
The & # 39; Moms + Marijuana & # 39; project at the University of Washington School of Medicine is the newest in a series of studies that race to provide some concrete information as the use of cannabis increases in every group, including expectant mothers .
They offer $ 300 to women from 21 to 34 years old, who are less than 13 weeks pregnant, to be followed during their pregnancy.
Register, they agree that their newborn MRI brain scans will undergo six months of age to be compared to the brains of babies whose mothers did not use cannabis, alcohol or cigarettes.
The news of the investigation led to a few inflammatory responses, in which the firm anti-marijuana journalist Alex Berenson compared the investigation to Tuskegee, when African-American men with syphilis were misled by scientists who gave them a placebo knowing that it would harm them .
But most people in the medical world agree that while there may be risks, it is important to conduct a study to find out what those risks are because many cannabis pensions promote their products to treat morning sickness.
The & # 39; Moms + Marijuana & # 39; project at the University of Washington School of Medicine is the newest in a series of studies that race to provide some concrete information as the use of cannabis increases everywhere
Berenson's Tuskegee comparison – who wrote a book about his opinion that cannabis creates murderers – fails in a few ways.
In the first place, the team looks for women who are already cannabis users, instead of asking them to use it.
And studies suggest that that won't be difficult.
Most women in the US, where cannabis is becoming increasingly legal, believe that marijuana does little to no harm to a pregnancy. And most dispensaria in Colorado, one of the first places to legalize recreational marijuana in the US, sells the medicine for morning sickness.
There is very little research on the subject to provide guidance to expectant mothers.
There is some proof that the drug can be harmful, but it is not heavy enough to draw a strong conclusion.
There are a handful of other studies currently investigating the subject – one in Colorado, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the influence of marijuana on breast milk, another in Colorado, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in fetal brains, and one in UNC that also looks at fetuses.
But they are still in the initial phase.
For that reason, for now, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) discourages the use of the medicine during pregnancy, to be careful.
The medical community is still doubting the thalidomide scandal when a drug that was tested for and administered to pregnant women appeared to cause birth defects.
The UW researchers say that that is precisely the reason why they carry out this research.
& # 39; This study focuses on a very specific population of women who use marijuana to control their symptoms while they are pregnant & # 39 ;, said lead author Natalia Kleinhans, professor of radiology, in a press release.
& # 39; There is little research to support the medical and public health advice they get to stay away from the pot to control nausea.
& # 39; Most medications prescribed for morning sickness have not been rigorously tested in pregnant women and appear to have side effects that are not minimal.
& # 39; Remember that thalidomide, a particularly extreme case, was given to women to reduce nausea during pregnancy.
& # 39; Pregnant women have minimal drug safety information that they can rely on when they decide if they want to take a pharmaceutical, but it's marijuana with a negative connotation. & # 39;
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