Levels of THC are found in breast milk of mothers that use marijuana.
The new study is raising concerns about the safety of an unborn child after a report was released by the University of California San Diego.
UCSC School of Medicine Researchers set out a quantify the lingering levels of THC detectable in breast milk for up to 6 days after the mother had used the drug.
THC is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.
The study that was conducted by the university did not probe into the health or neurological impacts THC could have on a nursing infant.
50 women that smoke marijuana were selected to provide 54 samples daily, weekly, or sporidcally of their breast milk.
Researchers found out that 63 percent of the breast milk samples that they had collected from the women who had used marijuana in the past 6 days had THC levels lingering in them.
Christina Chambers, the principal investigator of the study, said:
“We found that the amount of THC that the infant could potentially ingest from breast milk was relatively low, but we still don’t know enough about the drug to say whether or not there is a concern for the infant at any dose, or if there is a safe dosing level. The ingredients in marijuana products that are available today are thought to be much more potent than products available 20 or 30 years ago.”
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity, asthma, and sudden infant death syndrome. Not only that, but it also helps improve immune health and performance intelligence tests.
Pediatricians are worrying that they will discourage mothers from breastfeeding if they warn mothers about the recent study and how it could affect their baby.
Chambers said that the research is a stepping stone for information about the drug and its psychoactive component, and how it could affect nursing mothers and their babies.
These are critical areas where we need answers as we continue to promote breast milk as the premium in nutrition for infants.
The team is planning to do further work so they could study the effect of THC exposure in children.
“That’s a testable hypothesis and something that we want to move forward with trying to answer because it’s a critical question.”
Authors of the study are currently suggesting that nursing mothers should follow recommendations from medical experts.