Can You Smoke Weed While Breastfeeding?

Smoking weed is a recreational vice of many people around the world. Some have to administrate marijuana under a medical recommendation.

Using marijuana could also help some women go through the months of pregnancy more comfortable. It helps them sleep and reduce anxiety. But can you use marijuana when you are breastfeeding?

Can You Smoke Weed While Breastfeeding?

The short answer is no, you shouldn’t smoke marijuana if you are breastfeeding. According to several studies conducted in 2017, cannabis can pass to the breastmilk.


Smoking Weed

If you smoke marijuana, you should know that your body stores it in the fat cells a lot more than it stores any other drug. This is why this substance will remain in your system for up to three weeks after you ingested it. But the fat cells in your body are also responsible for the breastmilk production.

This is how THC (the active substance in marijuana) will get in your breastmilk and to your baby. By taking the risk of smoking weed when breastfeeding, you expose your child to several side effects:

  • Delays in development: This is one of the most critical side effects of smoking marijuana when nursing. Your baby might have a slow motor skills development as well as delays in coordination. Some studies suggest marijuana consumption in nursing mothers could cause an intellectual delay in breastfed babies. Your baby might also experience reduced strength and weakened overall tonus.
  • It can affect the sleeping patterns of a baby: Marijuana can make your little one sleep more and, therefore, skip meals. This could lead to malnutrition and a weak digestive system. They will also gain less weight due to the lack of food. This side effect is that much more severe for premature babies who need to gain weight faster than other newborns to catch up with their development goals.
  • There might be long term side effects: There are no studies that followed children who were exposed to breastmilk that contains active substances in marijuana for years. However, pediatricians suggest there might be long term side effects on the child’s brain development and their ability to learn new information.
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Can You Smoke Weed While Breastfeeding? 1

Keep in mind that these side effects are caused not only by the THC in marijuana but also by the CBD substance. CBD is commonly used as an herbal remedy, but that doesn’t make it safe for the baby.

This why doctors recommend not using any type of marijuana while breastfeeding. This includes smoked marijuana, hemp, or hookah marijuana.

If you have a medical need for marijuana treatment, talk to your doctor about it when you start breastfeeding. However, chances are that you will have to stay away from this drug for the time you are nursing.

Even if the studies on this subject might be confusing, it is always preferable to be safe than sorry, so don’t expose your baby to any substances that can’t benefit their development and overall health.

Can You Smoke Weed While Breastfeeding? 1

Key References

  • “Trends in Self-reported and Biochemically Tested Marijuana Use Among Pregnant Females in California From 2009-2016 | Neonatology | JAMA | JAMA Network”. Accessed March 16, 2020. Link.


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