To Your Health Newsletter
By Editorial Staff
With a growing number of states legalizing marijuana for medical and/or recreational use, chances are high (no pun intended) that a certain percentage of new mothers are using marijuana for one or both purposes. Here's the big problem with doing so: Traces of the primary psychoactive component of marijuana (THC – tetrahydrocannabinol) can travel to and remain in the mother's breast milk for up to six days, according to new research.
Published in Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the study found that 63 percent of mothers who smoked marijuana, ate an edible or otherwise consumed the drug had low levels of THC in their breast milk nearly a week later, and concentrations of the psychoactive element were higher based on how recently the mother had introduced marijuana into her system via one of the aforementioned methods.
The health benefits of breast milk are profound, according to a substantial body of research, and breastfeeding increases the health of both mother and child. Why do something that could create a health risk instead? Talk to your doctor to learn more.