Smoking Cannabis While Breastfeeding Transfers THC To Breast Milk

Smoking cannabis transfers some THC into breast milk. A pilot study conducted at Texas Tech University found that moms who smoke cannabis transfer an estimated 2.5% of their inhaled dose of THC to their infants when they breastfeed. Researchers evaluated 8 self-described “occasional smokers” who were also actively breastfeeding their infants. The participants were first asked to discontinue their cannabis use for a minimum of 24 hours and obtain a baseline breast milk sample. They were then asked to smoke 0.1G of a standardized strain that had been pre-weighted and analyzed at 23.18% THC. Breast milk samples were then collected from the mothers — first at 20 minutes, then at the 1-,2-, and 4-hour marks after ingestion. After analyzing the samples, researchers found low levels of THC in the breast milk. But while only micrograms of THC were detected, researchers say the amount is still concerning. The authors of the study stated, “The long-term neurobehavioral effect of exposure to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the developing brain is unclear. Mothers should be cautious using cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding.” More research still needs to be done, but the CDC also advises mothers to discontinue weed use if they’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or trying to conceive.

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