Pharmaceutical

Prenatal nausea: Is cannabis a safe treatment option?

medicinal marijuana 375x210 Prenatal nausea: Is cannabis a safe treatment option?Canna Tech in a recent article suggests that cannabis might be a safer alternative for treating prenatal nausea than prescription medications.

“Research suggests that not only is cannabis use during pregnancy safer than tobacco, alcohol, and other substances, but if used in moderation, it can possibly be a better option for treating prenatal symptoms than standard prescription medications…. Various anti nausea medications are prescribed to pregnant women suffering from severe morning sickness, some of the most common ones being zofran, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), ondansetron, and diclectin. Most of these medications have a rather colorful history of lawsuits and studies indicating a link between these treatments and birth defects,” Canna Tech reported. The article noted these drugs are often overprescribed and not well tested for safety during pregnancy.

Ondansetron, marketed as Zofran, is the subject of lawsuits filed by families who allege the drug contributed to various birth defects such as cleft palate and congenital heart defects. PPIs have been linked to a wide range of concerning side effects from food poisoning and Clostridium difficile infection to heart attack, stroke, dementia and recently a link to early death. There are nearly 200 suits filed in federal courts across the country by plaintiffs who have suffered kidney damage after taking PPIs. This year researchers also studied these drugs’ effects on infants and children and found that they increased fracture risk.

We previously reported that medical marijuana is already used as a treatment for nausea in cancer patients in an article about a medical trial dedicated to prenatal marijuana use taking place in Colorado last year. Canna Tech notes that one such study was already completed at Washington University in 2016 where the researchers, led by Dr. Shayna Conner of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, concluded that:

“Maternal marijuana use during pregnancy is not an independent risk factor for adverse neonatal outcomes after adjusting for confounding factors. Thus, the association between maternal marijuana use and adverse outcomes appears attributable to concomitant tobacco use and other confounding factors.”

Earlier research on the subject began in the 1980s and was published in 1994. This longitudinal review done in Jamaica by Dr. Melanie Dreher studied mothers and babies from birth to five years and found cannabis-exposed babies were not only free of birth defects but they scored higher on autonomic stability, quality of alertness, irritability, and self-regulation. Canna Tech notes that critics have a valid point that more research needs to be conducted as modern-day cannabis has much higher quantities of THC than the cannabis used in the Jamaican research.

Although it has yet to be determined if it is completely safe in pregnant women and more research needs to be done, Canna Tech says that it has been proven, without a doubt, that cannabis alone is safer than other illicit drugs. According to these studies it is also safer than legal substances such as cigarettes and alcohol, which have been shown to have harmful effect when used during pregnancy. In spite of their dangers there is no harsh legal penalty for smoking or drinking during pregnancy like there is with cannabis use, where in many states, you can lose your child if you test positive for cannabis.

Canna Tech asks, “are these harsh penalties for cannabis really necessary?”

Sources:
Canna Tech
Righting Injustice