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Marijuana, Spice Use Can Affect Embryo's Brain

By September 4, 2012

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Smoking today's high-potency marijuana, or using syntehtic forms of weed, can be dangerous in the very early weeks of pregnancy, causing damage to the developing embryo's brain. If you are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant, you might want to avoid smoking pot, researchers suggest.

Smoking pot can affect the fetal brain as early as two weeks after conception, the study found.


Early studies that showed no adverse effects of smoking marijuana for pregnant women were conducted with smokers of "traditional" marijuana, according to researchers at Texas A&M University. But today's strains of bioengineered weed can contain up to 20 times the THC.

Furthermore, the fake weed products known as K2 or Spice, contain highly potent TCH analogues, or synthetic cannabinoids, which are 500-600 times more potent than THC.

These extremely potent drugs, used during early pregnancy, can led to a condtion called anencephaly, when babies are born without large parts of their brain or skull, the Texas A&M researchers found.

Brain Damage to Fetus

Additionally, exposure to high-potency marijuana or synthethic marijuana during pregnancy can lead to:

  • Attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder
  • Learning disabilities
  • Memory problems in toddlers and 10-year-olds
  • Agression, anxiety and depression in teens

These adverse effects can take place very early in the pregancy, the reseachers said.

Unaware of the Dangers

"These psychoactive chemicals have the ability to interfere with the first stages in the formation of the brain of the fetus; this event occurs two weeks after conception, earlier than before signs of pregnancy appear," said co-author Dr. Delphine Psychoyos in a news release. "By the time a woman realises she is pregnant and stops taking these substances it may already be too late for her unborn child."

Young smokers are not aware of the dangers, Dr. Psycholyos said.

Not Your Father's THC

"This is because many websites on mothering and pregnancy, and those run by pro-marijuana advocacy groups, base their discussions on data collected prior to 1997, when no detrimental affects on pregnancy had been reported; It is important to note here that prior to 1997, pregnant women were mostly exposed to low potency, 'traditional' marijuana, which was the common form of marijuana in the market in the 1970's and early 1980's."

The researchers suggest that teenagers and young women need to be more aware of the dangers and health risks of high potency marijuana and fake weed.

Source: Psychoyos, D, et al. "Marijuana, Spice 'herbal high', and early neural development: implications for rescheduling and legalization." Drug Testing and Analysis 13 August 2012.

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Photo: PhotoXpress.com


Comments
September 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm
(1) Sean says:

Very bad article with few facts. There is no evidence that cannabis (marijuana) causes any harm to anyone and there has never been any recorded overdose in the history of its use. Synthetic anything is completely different and cannot be compared to the natural version. Report is irresponsible scare tactic propaganda.

September 5, 2012 at 7:22 am
(2) Brad says:

OK, how can the potency of yesterday’s cannabis be compared to today’s? Let’s compare something realistic; analytical methods. The analytical methods of today are leaps and bounds above where they were 10-20-30-40 years ago. Let’s dive farther into the reaches of reality; if these different generations of cannabis’s potency were compared side by side in real time, there’s this little menace called degradation, substances deteriorate over time. So making these asinine statements about “not your father’s marijuana” are more comical than a South Park marathon and make the ones who state this look like drooling imbeciles………A moron-a-thon perhaps?

September 5, 2012 at 10:45 am
(3) Waders says:

Are you kidding me? Saying you can’t compare the potency of today’s marijuana to that of the 1980s and 1990s is like saying you can’t compare the horsepower output of automobile engines of the 1910s with the engines of today.

The THC content of pre-1997 marijuana is a matter of record. The THC content of today’s marijuana is measurable. You just compare the two.

Everytime you stoners post, you prove to the world that smoking weed does have an affect on your cognitive abilities.

November 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm
(4) trip says:

I am a smoker and I knew u could compare thc levels but it not 20 times stronger ,because the most potent strand only has a 25% thc level ,and weed can hurt a fetus ,but not a developed person, and comparing fake to real, they should be beat, because thc is a natural chemical , fake is man made, and to make a more potent strand they just add a higher amount of chemicals ,that is already in the dirt and human body, so this forum is f***ed

November 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm
(5) trip says:

I am a smoker and i knew thc levels were comparable,but there not 20 times stronger ,because the highest thc level is 25% , and they havnt changed since the 80 because my grandpa has smoked ,so called new scientific strands ,also u can’t compare fake and real,because thc is a natural chemical ,fake is not,and to make a higher thc level they just add more chemicals that are already found in pot ,the ground,and in the human body ,for example potassium, but fake can kill the fetus weed can only effect it and give it a problem that over half the population already has ,so do your research ,befor u speak please

January 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm
(6) Sarah says:

So because someone’s grandpa has smoked they are experts on the difference between marijuana now and that of before? That’s very credible research right there. And if smoking marijuana can cause what many of the population has why risk it? I guess lets just continue being a world dependent on presription drugs to just live life day to day. Mothers who are pregnant should ask their ob not research online if smoking weed while pregnant is harmful. Many feel ashamed and scared to ask them, which if smoking weed while pregnant wasn’t such a big deal like many claim it out to be, then why be ashamed about it? If its an issue of legality you’re ob is there to take care of you and your baby not throw a person in jail. I just don’t understand how every person that has commented this page is a male, someone who can’t even get pregnant and probably is in no time ready to father a child anyway. I do agree spice cannot be compared it is synthetic and I’ve seen the difference between the high one gets on real and then synthetic, and it is a difference.

January 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm
(7) thomas says:

just went to my daughter’s nuerologist appointment this morning, my daughter is 13 and reads on a 2nd grade level. Her mother and I were seperated during her conception, she was dating a person that was a heavy marajuana user and she was to using also. Now say what you want to justify marajuana usage ,as a teenager I used it to .but this morning I was advised that my daughter’s brain matter is smaller than that of a normal person her age .He then asked were there any problems during pregnacy ?Like drugs ,alchohol ,he basically said this is a result of a devolopmental growth which is something that happens during pregnacy the brain is developing early in a fetus and what goes in your body goes into the fetus ,its not worth the risk of seeing ur baby not be able to lead a normal life ,my daughter goes to a special school ,has special class assignments goes to speech and occupational therapy it is a very tough road that has to be traveled I continue to do it because my little girl means the world to me but i have been traveling tough roads all my life and just push through any and every challenge but what you have to ask is if you think you can

January 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm
(8) brandon says:

dont believe this nonsense! i no several ppl who have smoked and their kids are great? i dont think its good but its not that bad.. i wanna see proof of this…….

January 26, 2013 at 12:08 am
(9) janet says:

I’ve been told that some studies done in UBC came up with very different information than what I have seen written about in some articles. I have been told that marijuana can aid in weight loss. Therefore it probably is a terrible thing to use in your pregnancy. If it can aid in weight loss then a fetus SHOULD NOT have it.
It has apparently been used for severe nausea however and been very effective. I myself believe that cannabis is rarely used for medical reasons by people who don’t overuse it. Too much of anything is bad for you (Including marijuana). Mostly what people see is a bunch of stoners in their minds.I’m not against the use of cannabis for medicine,but I am against the abuse of marijuana.. I personally believe cigarettes and alcohol are much more dangerous.

February 27, 2014 at 11:37 am
(10) chris says:

i know the effects of weed it might cause brain damage to a fetus but never to any one or anything after birth your so called brain damage to someone who has smoked for many years is false because i kno people that have smoked for mor than 30 years and are perfectly fine the effects of weed to your brain are temporary

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