A study out of University of California, San Diego found amounts of THC and other cannabinoids in the breast milk of mothers who are currently using cannabis.
50 nursing mothers who are currently smoking the reefer provided samples to the study. THC was found in 34 out of 54 samples. Cannabidiol (CBD) and “another form of THC” were discovered in five samples, as reported by The Associated Press.
It is not yet known if the small amounts of THC found in the breast milk could have any risks for the infants who drink it, but the study authors said that “it is reasonable to speculate” that the THC “could influence normal brain development.”
The study’s co-author Christina Chambers is currently conducting another study to look the effects of breast milk containing THC might be on children.
Two studies from the 1980s tried to answer that question, but came up with conflicting results. While one study found small development delays in the infants, the other found no difference between the development of breastfeeding children whose mothers used or didn’t use marijuana.
The findings of these studies are complicated in at least two other ways. Many of the mothers who used cannabis while breastfeeding also used drugs while pregnant, which could account for the development delays. Also, your average cannabis flower is a lot more potent now than it was in the 1980s, containing as much as five times more THC.
A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers who do smoke pot should still breastfeed their children, but the report’s co-author and Stanford University pediatrics professor Dr. Seth Ammerman says they “would encourage them to cut down and quit” their cannabis use.
Photo via Flickr user UNICEF Ukraine