With legalization and decriminalization of cannabis, cannabis-derived products have become increasingly available in the past few years, with new and different types of products showing up on the shelves all the time. These products raise certain questions and concerns for many consumers and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you might have even more questions about whether or not these products are safe for you to consume.

If you have been diagnosed with a qualified debilitating condition and are looking for a Florida medical marijuana doctor, DocMJ has over twenty-five locations throughout the state. Their offices are conveniently located in areas near Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC) so you have easy access to dispensaries near you. 

If you are unsure if you will be eligible for your medical marijuana recommendation, this survey will tell you if you might qualify. Still not sure? DocMJ offers a risk-free policy, so if you do not qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation per state guidelines, you will be issued a full refund. 

 

Can You Use Medical Cannabis While Breastfeeding

Data is too insufficient to say yes or no. While the physicians on staff at DocMJ will cancel a woman’s medical marijuana recommendation if she discovers she is pregnant, some women use marijuana to manage the side effects of pregnancy, to cope with anxiety and postpartum depression, or to sleep better. Many also hope they can safely do so while breastfeeding.

Chemicals from marijuana in any form (including edibles, oils, or other concentrates) can be passed from a mother to her infant through breast milk. These chemicals have the potential to affect a variety of neurodevelopmental processes in the infant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active component of marijuana, is stored in body fat and slowly released over time, meaning an infant could be exposed to an unknown amount and for an extended period of time. 

According to 2017 research carried out on a group of pregnant women in California, about 7 percent of the women surveyed used marijuana. Research suggests that marijuana can get into breast milk, which means that it may not be safe to use while breastfeeding. 

A study that included fifty women who reported using cannabis products in the past 14 days donated milk samples for analysis of THC and its metabolites. THC was detectable in 66% of the samples and below the limit of quantification in 32% of samples. Preliminary evidence found no differences in infant adverse reactions, postnatal growth, or neurodevelopmental outcomes were found between the groups with quantifiable and unquantifiable THC in breastmilk.[18]

However, little research is available, and much of the research that does exist is incomplete, poorly designed, or very outdated. In this article, learn about whether it is safe to use marijuana while breastfeeding, as well as about the possible risks for the baby.

 

Effects Marijuana Use has on Breastfed Infants

In one study, twenty-seven mothers reported smoking marijuana during breastfeeding. Twelve of them smoked once a month or less, nine of them smoked weekly, and the remaining six smoked daily. Six of their infants were compared at one year of age to the infants of mothers who did not smoke marijuana during pregnancy or breastfeeding. No differences were found in their growth, or on their mental and motor development.

Another study done on sixty-eight infants whose mothers reported smoking marijuana during breastfeeding who were compared to 68 matched control infants whose mothers did not smoke marijuana. While the duration of breastfeeding varied, the majority of infants were breastfeed for 3 months and received less than 16 fluid ounces of formula daily. 

The motor development of the infants exposed to marijuana was slightly reduced in a dose-dependent manner at 1 year of age, especially among those who reported smoking marijuana on more than 15 days during the first month of lactation. However, there was no effect found on mental development.

More potential risks of using marijuana while breastfeeding include:

  • Developmental problems: Some studies suggest that cannabis exposure could affect the development of a baby’s movement, strength, and coordination. Other research indicates it could also affect intellectual development.
  • Breastfeeding for less time: Some research showed that women who smoked marijuana did not breastfeed for as long as women who did not breastfeed.
  • Slow weight gain: Marijuana can make a baby sleepy. This can result in the baby eating less and developing more slowly. In low birth weight and premature babies, slow weight gain can present serious risks.

 

Important Things to Remember about using Cannabis-derived products?

If you are a qualified patient and are using cannabis, or any products containing THC or CBD, you should be aware of the following:

  • The FDA strongly advises that during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, you avoid using CBD, THC, or marijuana in any form.
  • The FDA has not approved these products, other than one prescription CBD drug product and two prescription drug products containing dronabinol, a synthetic version of THC (which are approved to treat certain side effects of HIV-AIDS or chemotherapy). All three of these prescription products have associated risks and side effects. Over the counter CBD products might contain other harmful toxins as they are not regulated. 
  • Always talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking any medicines, vitamins, or herbs while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Becoming A Qualified Medical Marijuana Patient in Florida

In order to legally be able to purchase medical marijuana products in Florida, a person must suffer from a qualifying debilitating condition. These include:

  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to the others listed.
  • A terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification.
  • Chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition.

 

A qualified patient must also be:

  • Be a permanent or seasonal Florida resident
  • Be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by a qualified physician
  • Be entered into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry
  • Obtain a Medical Marijuana Use Registry Identification Card

 

If you meet these requirements, book your risk-free exam with one of the many compassionate and qualified Florida Medical Marijuana Physicians at DocMJ.

https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/vaccinations-medications-drugs/marijuana.html

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-should-know-about-using-cannabis-including-cbd-when-pregnant-or-breastfeeding

https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/pdf/marijuana-pregnancy-508.pdf

https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/3/e796

https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bfm.2015.9992?journalCode=bfm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501587/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3929132/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2333069/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bdr2.1760

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bfm.2017.0020

https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/clac/2012/00000003/00000003/art00004

https://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Fulltext/2018/05000/Transfer_of_Inhaled_Cannabis_Into_Human_Breast.5.aspx

https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/clac/2012/00000003/00000003/art00004