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Study finds THC and CBD use by pregnant women could disrupt fetal development

Posted: 10:49 PM, Nov 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-07 10:25:39-05
Study finds THC and CBD by pregnant women could disrupt fetal development

A University of North Carolina study warns against the use of THC or CBD by women who are in the early stages of pregnancy.

The study, which was published this week, tested the use of both synthetic and natural cannabinoids on mice. The results found that one-time exposure to cannabinoids early in a pregnancy can cause growth issues in a developing embryo.

UNC said that this was the first time a study of this kind has been performed on mammals.

Researchers said that they found the effects of CBD and THC are potentially very similar to what is seen in fetal alcohol syndrome. The researchers added that cannabinoid use disrupted signaling between molecules and cells that control growth and development. Researchers believe the results on mouse fetuses would be similar to human fetuses.

“The development of the embryo in this time period is very similar across all vertebrates,” said Scott Parnell, a member of the UNC Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies. “In this study we also test a synthetic cannabinoid in zebrafish that yielded similar growth deformations as the natural CBs. Having the same results across animal models reinforces our findings.”

The researchers administered enough CBD that is considered a therapeutic range for humans. The THC concentration was of similar levels to smoking marijuana.

“It is concerning how little we know about the use of marijuana, its CBs, and products like CBD oil during pregnancy,” Parnell said. “We know that there is no safe period to drink alcohol during a pregnancy, and I think this research shows the same is likely true of marijuana use.”

To read more on the study, click here .