Marijuana is the most common illicit drug that moms use during pregnancy, but its effects on the baby are still widely unknown and debated.

Can you smoke weed while pregnant?

With the increasing acceptance of marijuana as a recreational and medicinal drug, many moms-to-be want to know whether or not they can continue using pot during pregnancy. Currently, there is not enough evidence or research to indicate whether or not mothers need to abstain from marijuana, but there is plenty of information with which to educate yourself and make a decision.


What happens if you smoke weed while pregnant?

Some of the links between using marijuana during pregnancy and birth complications include:

  • Stillbirth
  • Small length
  • Low birth weight
  • Small head circumference
  • Premature birth
  • Potential difficulty developing memory, attention, impulse control and focus (research for these outcomes is not yet proven)


What happens when you smoke weed while pregnant?

The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a 2015 study that showed when a pregnant (or nursing) mom uses marijuana, that marijuana shows up in the placenta and breast milk. Meaning, marijuana can easily reach the baby. It is the effects of exposure to marijuana on the baby’s development that are unknown.

Another important factor to consider is the purity of the marijuana you are smoking. Street drugs are known to be cut and laced with other drugs. Some of these mixed-in drugs are known to have hugely detrimental impacts on the baby.


Does marijuana affect breast milk?

When a mom uses marijuana, THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, gets stored in her fat cells. As her body produces milk for the baby, some THC has been shown to get secreted into the breastmilk.


Can I smoke weed and breastfeed?

While studies are too new and too sparse to extract definite correlations, breastfeeding moms should definitely not do it.


Does marijuana pass through breast milk?

Moms using marijuana also wonder whether the THC that gets secreted into breast milk actually passes through the breast milk to get absorbed by the infant. So far, research shows cases of infants with significant absorption and metabolism of THC.


Does THC pass through breast milk affect the baby?

Not enough studies are available to show definite causes and effects between THC in breastmilk and baby’s development, but there are a number of findings that show how a baby is affected when mom uses marijuana while breastfeeding:


does marijuana affect breast milk


While sleep is necessary for development and mom’s rest, sleepiness while awake can slow baby’s weight gain and development.


More babies of mothers who use marijuana have a high risk of SIDS.

Slow THC metabolism

Babies breastfeeding on moms who use marijuana show marijuana in their urine screens for two to three weeks.

Delayed motor skills

Babies exposed to THC during the infant-hood show slower development of motor skills in the first year, but there is not conclusive follow-up research and later development.


Although research remains heavily inconclusive, it is recommended for the baby that carrying mothers avoid the use of marijuana to support the full and healthy development of the fetus.

If you are pregnant and worried about your ability to abstain from marijuana, there are many ways to overcome cravings and habitual use throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. United Recovery Project is available and ready to help you get the help you need to recover from marijuana addiction and to provide you with the tools to stay marijuana-free during pregnancy.