It’s 3 a.m. and I lean over my wife staggered in front of the porcelain toilet idol, pull her hair back from the retching, and hand her the vape pen. She takes it like it was Jesus himself who signed her weed script, inhales, and her convulsing storm calms.
“I just hope to God this isn’t hurting our baby,” she says.
It wasn’t. We had hit the bookstores on medical cannabis and pregnancy as soon as that stork first shit on the house, and what we learned mellowed the uptight Nancy Reagan of our consciences. We discovered that actually quite a bit of what’s in cannabis is good for a fetus.
One of the most shocking things I learned is that a baby that tests positive for THC has nearly twice the chance of surviving as a fetus that never inhaled.
A study published in the July 1, 1997 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics examined 2,964 infants for fatal outcomes during their first two years of life.
Forty-four percent of the children tested positive for drugs targeted by the DEA, including 30.5 percent for cocaine, 20.2 percent for opiates, and 11.4 percent for cannabis. Strikingly, cannabis not only had the lowest infant mortality rate, but at 8.9 deaths per 1,000 births, it ranked considerably lower than babies who did not test positive for any drugs. Babies who pissed clean actually had 15.7 deaths per 1,000 births. Cannabis babies had nearly half the mortality rate.
Incidentally, crack babies had 17.7 deaths per 1,000 births, and those on the junk had 18.4 deaths per 1,000 births. Even the hard stuff caused only a slightly higher incident of death.
Though babies of mothers who medically used cannabis during their pregnancy face nearly half the mortality rate of those of mothers who did not, that still does not prevent the state in higher oppressed areas of the country from stepping in and removing THC-positive children from the parents who love them.
Police in Lansing, Mich., took Steve and Maria Green’s 7 month old daughter after hair tests revealed the presence of 0.3 picograms of marijuana in her hair (one picogram per milliliter is one trillionth of a gram).
Police in Alabama arrested and charged Jennifer Lynn Sopanos with chemical endangerment of a child after her baby tested positive for THC.
Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years. Just as the receptors in our brains absorb THC like sunlight in a leaf, cannabis perfectly treats many of the problematic symptoms of pregnancy. Nausea, aches and pains, headaches, that feeling like you’ve just been run over by a train, respond to its effects like a baby to a boob. Cannabis is natural. And despite cultural assumptions, it turns out it just might actually be good for you.
Read more about cannabis and pregnancy in Issue 11 of Cannabis Now Magazine, on stands June 2014