Today's Spice marijuana is more harmful to pregnancy reports new study

Robin Wulffson MD's picture
marijuana, THC, Spice marijuana, Herbal High, ADHD, anencephaly
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Today's strains of marijuana, such as those labeled as “Spice” or “Herbal High,” are much more potent than the strains popular in the 1970s and 1980s. According to a new study, these products can cause anencephaly (absent brain), neurobehavioural deficiencies such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, and memory impairment in the developing fetus of a mother who smokes marijuana. Researchers affiliated with Texas A&M Health Science Center (Houston, Texas), the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research (Orangeburg, New York), and New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY) published their findings online in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis.

The study authors note that a recent study estimated that the worldwide use of marijuana by pregnant women is as high as 20%; however, many of these women are unaware of the potential harm they are doing to their developing fetus by exposing them to high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the major psychoactive component of karijuana. They add that marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug by pregnant women in the world.

Recent studies have reported that the developing central nervous system (CNS) is susceptible to the effects of THC and other cannabimimetics, including the psychoactive ingredients of the branded product ‘Spice’ branded products. They note that these exocannabinoids interfere with the function of an endocannabinoid (eCB) system, present in the developing CNS from five weeks of gestation; the eCB is essential for proliferation, migration, and differentiation of neurons in the CNS. Until recently, it was not known whether the eCB system was also present in the developing CNS during the initial stages of embryonic development (two weeks of gestation), and if so, whether this system is also susceptible to the action of exocannabinoids. The authors note that the synthetic cannabinoids that are found in Spice products are 500 to 600 times more potent than the THC found in “traditional” marijuana.

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In view of the foregoing, the researchers reviewed current data, in which the presence of an eCB system during the initial stage of development of the CNS was demonstrated. In addition, they focused on recent advances on the effect of canabimimetics on early gestation. They discussed the relevance of these findings and potential adverse developmental consequences of in utero exposure to ‘high potency’ marijuana, Spice branded products and/or cannabinoid research chemicals during this period. In addition, they addressed the potential consequence of these findings in terms of the hazards of synthetic cannabinoid use during pregnancy, and the ongoing debate over legalization of marijuana.

“The THC contained in high-potency marijuana and the potent THC analogues contained in Spice products...are potentially harmful to embryonic development as early as two weeks after conception. By the time a woman realizes she is pregnant and stops taking these substances, it may already be too late for her unborn child,” noted lead author Delphine Psychoyos, PhD, who was affiliated with the Center for Environmental and Genetic Medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center in Houston at the time the study.

Take home message:
This study notes that marijuana use during pregnancy, even at the very early stages, can do irreversible harm to the developing fetus. Thus, the substance should be avoided by any women who may become pregnant.

Reference: Drug Testing and Analysis

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Comments

Warning: This story may contain elements pertaining to RMS (Reefer Madness Syndrome). Bottom line: Smoking marijuana or doings drugs (legal or illegal) or alcohol when pregnant is probably detrimental to your unborn child's health.
Spice isn't a strain of Marijuana nor is it even made by the cannabis plant. Spice is a chemical stew an analog of the Cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. It's made out of raw chemicals it is not even the same chemical as found in the Marijuana it's a totally man made substance that was created by our government because it's illegal for our scientists in the USA to use real cannabis to do experiments with. SO PLEASE STOP CALLING SPICE MARIJUANA. That's like if you called Splenda, natural cane sugar. It's dishonest and hurts Millions of people who use the cannabis plant for medicine.
The authors refer to the substance as Spice marijuana and explain that it is a synthetic form. it is a term that many users are probably familiar with. "Traditional" marijuana has been linked to birth defects and some studies report that it is more carcinogenic than tobacco.
The point is they are poorly describing what spice is. Its synthetic cannabinoids with very poorly understood safety profiles and potentially other drugs that are equally as poorly understood. As for your point about cannabis being carcinogenic and causing birth defects If you head on over to NORML.org, you can get some fairly unbiased, and wholly more scientific facts about cannabis.(google norml marijuana myhtology) Furthermore in science linked to is not . Tobacco causes cancer, science has confirmed this not because of the correlation but because we understand how it causes lung cancer and other lung disease, cannabis is linked to some cancer in a statistical way, that proves very little because you can't control for all the hidden variables that might also occur in the cannabis using demographic. When we link something in a scientific study it is basically stating it is worth looking into when we get an association like that, figure out what the actual cause is of those observed correlations. Cannabinoids also inhibit tumor growth, are great anti-inflammatory drugs, they are powerful antioxidants as well. The cannabis plant is not carcinogenic, the smoke contains carcinogens sure, but it is also shown to be less damaging than tobacco smoke. It doesn't harm users lung capacity, though they are more at risk for lung infections and bronchitis, they are not at greater risk for lung cancer. There are also plenty of ways to avoid the harm to the lungs caused by cannabis. Vaprozing rather than burning it, tinctures, edible preparations, even sublingual dosing is possible (as shown by Sativex, a pharmaceutical cannabis preparation approved in most developed countries but not the United States).
Ingesting it is safer; however, the psychoactive effect is delayed. Marijuana is commonly smoked in a form that delivers carcinogens. Also, it is held in the lungs longer. The other problem is that when one buys a substance on the street it can contain additives that are harmful. I survived the 60s without becoming involved in the substance and also never smoked tobacco. I enjoy a happy life without "happy smokes."
Harmful additives are a result of its illegal status, much like the popularity of spice is a product of cannabis being illegal. Vaporizers would be a good bit more popular with legal cannabis, and the portable vaporizer market would grow. The carcinogens from smoking aren't really a big problem, it is possible their effects are mitigated by the cannabinoids. Now we do have a possible method of action to ask the research question if cannabis causes lung cancer (the same carcinogens being present in tobacco smoke), but we can't demonstrate significant correlation to lung cancers (though there is a link to HPV based cancers of the throat, that is not likely from the cannabis use, but other factors). Something that is interesting to note though, is that tobacco smokers who use cannabis, have demonstrably lower rates of lung cancer.
Harmful additives are a result of its illegal status, much like the popularity of spice is a product of cannabis being illegal. Vaporizers would be a good bit more popular with legal cannabis, and the portable vaporizer market would grow. The carcinogens from smoking aren't really a big problem, it is possible their effects are mitigated by the cannabinoids. Now we do have a possible method of action to ask the research question if cannabis causes lung cancer (the same carcinogens being present in tobacco smoke), but we can't demonstrate significant correlation to lung cancers (though there is a link to HPV based cancers of the throat, that is not likely from the cannabis plant or its cannabinoids, but other factors like transmission between users for example). Something that is interesting to note though, is that tobacco smokers who use cannabis, have demonstrably lower rates of lung cancer.
The researchers referred to it as Spice marijuana and went on to explain its chemical composition. Although it may be a misnomer, that is what it is termed by many. The point of the article is that the substance can cause severe fetal harm.
"(THC), which is the major psychoactive component of karijuana." watch out for that karijuana, everyone! it'll spice and bake your fetuses
"...Today's strains of marijuana, such as those labeled as “Spice” or “Herbal High,” are much more potent than the strains popular in the 1970s and 1980s..." Are you serious with this? Did you research at all before posting this blatant lie?? Spice and Mr.Nice Guy and all these "synthetic" forms of a poor attempt to duplicate THC are NOT Marijuana strains, these were created by a government sanctioned program that was created to TRY and mimic THC but resulted in a much more potent duplicate that caused severe psychotic reactions among other symptoms and was abandoned, this cocktail became public somehow and these "spice" products started to emerge. I realize this is later clarified but it's so childish to start the article like that just to get peoples attention. It's obvious pregnant woman should not consume anything like Marijuana or alcohol or coffee or fatty foods but you don't have to use misdirection to get your point across, not if your a good writer anyway.
I am very suspicious of this mis- information
Fact: The chemical drug spice is not in any form marijuana. It is a nasty chemical all produced by humans, unlike marijuana wich has sprung naturally from mother earth.
Eating broccoli can cause all these same health problems. This information is wildly distorted to scare cannabis users.
I am concerned,my wife has abandoned good ok God made marijuana,in place of mr.nice guy or whatever dudes getting in in @ he mail and is the topic of our every argument on a daily basis now because she will be having our 3rd child within the month.she has had psychotic reactions to me in her defense beat me up bit me and so on.I told her "if you want to get high go get some good weed"preferably hydro or medical grade pot.but she's hooked on this garbage and I'm having nothing but problems with her because all she does is smoke all day long and half the early morning.pot didn't hurt our first 2 kids and I am a man of faith I believe God put it here for us and it's harmless.but she has used every excuse as to I'm not paying for it ,to go buy me some weed then,to I'm being the selfish one...she don't do nothing but smoke it, quit her job I'm the only one working,and always shifts the subjects to my faults which are few because I'm doing everything at home and at work.also taking care of our autistic 4 year old son who is severe with his condition,I'm exhausted with this bullshit...