Although science has confirmed that alcohol consumed by a nursing mother can be found in her breast milk, new research suggests cannabis can have a similar effect as well. In a study published by Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers found evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) appears in breast milk hours after marijuana is consumed.
The study consisted of only eight women, who considered themselves as occasional users of cannabis and were currently breastfeeding an infant. After 24 hours without marijuana, each participant was instructed to inhale a dose of 0.1 grams of pot containing over 23 percent THC.
Once the dose was consumed, the mothers then collected samples of their breast milk at four different stages: 20 minutes after consumption, then one hour, two hours, and four hours. In all four stages, low levels of THC concentrations were found in the breast milk.
Since traces of THC appear in breast milk hours after consuming marijuana, this means that the chemical can likely be passed to the infant. According to the study, the mean dose of THC that an infant received was 2.5 percent of their mother’s dose, which is only micrograms of the compound.
“The long-term neurobehavioral effect of exposure to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the developing brain is unclear,” the authors of the study wrote. “Mothers should be cautious about using cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding.”
The consequences of exposing a developing infant brain to THC have yet to be discovered. However, it is best to avoid cannabis, alcohol, and any other drug during pregnancy and lactation.
Contact New Jersey Alternative Medicine for more information about cannabis today.