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Can Smoking Weed Cause Autism

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What Do We Know About Its Impact On The Genetic Makeup Of Sperm

Will smoking marijuana affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant?

Cannabis might affect the genetic makeup of sperm, although there arent enough studies to verify this.

A Duke University study published in 2019 looked at experiments with rats and a study that included 24 people with penises.

It found that THC alters a process called DNA methylation. The researchers concluded that this could possibly cause autism.

In general, the research indicates that using cannabis often can decrease fertility.

As the 2019 review points out, further research is needed. But for now, people who are concerned about their fertility should consider cutting back on cannabis.

This doesnt mean that regular cannabis users arent fertile at all. But if youre concerned about your fertility, reducing your cannabis usage might be a good idea.

Can You Get Autism From Illegal Drugs

The highest correlation of ASD with drug use during pregnancy is cocaine. If cocaine is used during pregnancy, the likelihood for the baby to develop ASD increases from 1.9% to 11.4%.

  • While that is statistically a huge increase, almost 90% of mothers that used cocaine during pregnancy still did not have a child with ASD.

The most recent research shows no increase of risk of ASD with use or opioid use during pregnancy. .

Of course, illegal drugs used during pregnancy are harmful to the baby, even though they dont cause ASD. Many issues that arise from drug use during pregnancy have similar symptoms as ASD, such as speech delay or behavioral problems.

The consequences of drug use during pregnancy depend on:

  • Drug used
  • During what stage of the pregnancy the drug were used
  • General mental health of the mother
  • AndOther Ive heard of hundreds of stories where mothers used illegal drugs or abused prescriptions and the child developed without any issues

No amount of illegal drug or prescription abuse is safe for a developing baby. To change the course of your life and the life of your child, get help now. .

Effects Of Prenatal Marijuana Exposure On The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system has been called the gatekeeper of neural development as it plays widespread critical roles in uterine implantation, neurodevelopment, neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation, synapse formation, axon migration, synaptogenesis, and excitatory and inhibitory synapse modulation in brain and spinal cord . Since the endocannabinoid system is present and functions beginning in very early embryonic development, the exposure to THC in the womb could have effects on the endocannabinoid system from very early on . This may lead to lifelong impairments in cognition, visual-motor coordination, social behavior, attention deficits and anxiety and depression .

Keimpema et al., 2011 describes two cellular foci of action of prenatal marijuana exposure using animal models. The first focus is THC displacing 2-AG from CB1 receptors, specifically in the growth cones . This results in alternations in directional axonal growth. The second focus of cellular action is that THC can hijack CB1 receptors by circumventing MAGL barriers while the axons are being trafficked. The authors further suggest that these cellular processes cause the indiscriminate activation of CB1 receptors which would have not been activated otherwise during neurite outgrowth .


Table 3. Effects of fetal marijuana exposure on the endocannabinoid system.

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How To Get Rid Ofcotton

If experiencingunpleasant cotton-mouth, remaining hydrated will mitigate the issue to someextent. For more complete relief, using a demulcent designed for oral use should suffice. Manydifferent prescription medications can cause users to experience dry mouth, sothere are numerous products commercially available to combat the problem.

How Much Is Too Much

Can Smoking While Pregnant Make Babies Autistic?

When it comes to pot and psychosis, moderation does matter. But its impossible to tell how big a risk you might be taking if you begin to light up on a regular basis.

The best recommendation Dr. Birnbaum can provide for would-be or current pot users is that if they have an unusual hallucinations or other psychotic-like experiences while intoxicated, its an indicator that they may have a predisposition to some kind of psychotic illness. For them it would be better to be cautious and to avoid substances.

Clearly there is still a lot to learn and much research to be done. But the federal government has, for decades, made this difficult for scientists. According to the recently released report, thats at least partly because the federal drug enforcement agencys designation of the drug as a Schedule I substance defined as having no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse entails so many restrictions that it has been difficult for researchers to do rigorous research on marijuana.

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What Should I Do If I Cant Stop Using Drugs Or Alcohol During Or After Pregnancy

Youre reading this because you know that your life, your childs future and your relationship with your child is in danger right now.

You know you need to get help.

Now, its time to reach out.

JourneyPure treats hundreds of pregnant women and new moms ever year at our locations in Tennessee and Kentucky. But, even if its not here, get help. . doctors follow rigorous sourcing guidelines and cite only trustworthy sources of information, including peer-reviewed journals, count records, academic organizations, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports and their own expertise with decades in the fields and their own personal recovery.

Is There Anything You Can Do To Promote Sperm Health

If you use cannabis and would like to promote sperm health, there are a few things you can do.

First, try to use cannabis less often if possible. If youre using cannabis for medical reasons, find out whether CBD is a viable alternative for you. To date, CBD hasnt been associated with lower sperm count.

Second, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to promote your sperm health in general. This includes:

  • reducing stress
  • quitting or cutting back on cigarettes and alcohol
  • exercising more
  • getting adequate sleep

If youre concerned about your fertility, you can also talk to a doctor or other healthcare provider for more specific information.

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Substance Use And Substance Use Disorders

DSM-IV symptoms of substance dependence, along with comprehensive information related to substance use and misuse, were obtained using the SSAGA-OZ interview. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessment was used to obtain information for nicotine dependence. All measures were dichotomous and assessed across the lifetime.

Do Certain Medications Cause Autism


The only medications known to increase the risk of ASD are used for epilepsy or as a muscle relaxer in anesthesia. For example, the anti-seizure drug valproate increases the risk of autism from 1.9% to 4.4%.

Previous research suggested antidepressant and antipsychotic medications may increase risk, but the latest studies disprove this connection. Its the severity of underlying mental health issues, not the medications, that increases the risk of ASD.

Please try not to worry if you have a mental health issue. The overwhelming majority of mothers even with severe mental health diagnosis do not have babies with ASD.

What is important now is stopping any drug or alcohol use that may be associated and talking to your doctor about medication, which may be harmful to the fetus even though it doesnt increase the risk of ASD.

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Cannabis Use Repeated Use And Cannabis Abuse/dependence

Relative to those without any ADHD symptoms, there was limited evidence for an association between cannabis use and fewer symptoms of ADHD . These individuals also were more likely to report using cannabis 11 or more times, as were those with an AT score of even 1 . Cannabis dependence, on the other hand, was associated with higher AT and ADHD . However, when those exposed to repeated cannabis use were examined, higher ADHD, but not AT, scores were associated.

At What Point Should You Talk To A Doctor

If you and your partner are struggling to conceive, its a good idea to talk to a doctor.

Seek medical advice if 1 year of sex without a contraceptive hasnt resulted in pregnancy. If your partner is over 35, see a doctor after 6 months.

If you regularly use cannabis, it might be a good idea to see a doctor before you start trying to conceive. Your provider can advise you on lifestyle changes you can make to promote fertility.

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More And More Evidence Suggests Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Can Have Lasting Effects On Children

The findings follow the same team’s research linking marijuana use during pregnancy to an increased risk of other complications like preterm birth.

One study from 2018 in Colorado found that women who reported using cannabis while pregnant had a 50% chance of lower birth weights.

Other research has shown that marijuana use during pregnancy may affect a child’s brain development. It appears to be linked to lower IQs, attention problems, and more impulsiveness.

Such research led the US Food and Drug Administration to issue a statement in 2019 warning against using CBD and THC two of the main compounds found in cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding, Insider’s Julia Naftulin previously reported.

But still, cannabis use during pregnancy appears to be on the rise, perhaps as a way to cope with nausea. A in JAMA Pediatrics estimated that marijuana use during pregnancy in the US increased from 2.9% in 2002 to 5% in 2016.

The 2017 Chilean Study

Can Smoking Weed While Pregnant Cause Autism  Autism Talk ...

One report that sits somewhere between anecdotal report and careful study came out in Sept. 2017, at the World Congress of Neurology in Kyoto, Japan. Gisela Kuester, a neurologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of autism, presented a paper poster that reported positive results from a very small retrospective look at patients with ASD who were treated with cannabis extracts.

In a very small observational study, most patients given a CBD-THC tincture daily for three months improved at least one of the core symptoms of ASD.

Kuester is the Clinical Research Director at Fundación Daya, a Chilean nonprofit that promotes research into alternative medical treatments. Her poster reported that 21 patients with ASD were treated with a daily dose of sublingual whole plant cannabis extracts for at least three months, between June 2016 and March 2017. No specific dosing information was included in the poster.

Most cases improved at least one of the core symptoms of ASD, Kuester reported, including social communication, language, or repetitive behaviors. Additionally, sensory difficulties, food acceptance, feeding and sleep disorders, and/or seizures were improved in most cases.

The oral extracts were well tolerated by most patients. Two patients exhibited more agitation, and one had more irritability, but those effects, Kuester wrote, were solved by changing the cannabis strain given to the patient.

The written record of that 2017 Chilean study can be found here.

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What To Do When Youexperience Cannabis

If experiencing paranoiafollowing use of cannabis, be sure to leave a significant length of time beforenext attempting to use it, and lower the dose to remain within comfortablelimits. Ensuring that surroundings are comfortable and stress-free, and thatones emotional state is calm and at-ease, should also go a long way towardsmitigating feelings of paranoia.

Interestingly, in thestudy cited above, some users reported conscious judgement of their paranoia.For example, one subject who knew he was prone to such feelings was consciousof the fact that cannabis exacerbated his predisposition. Knowing suchpredispositions can also assist in navigating a paranoid cannabis experience.

Historically, ingredients containingthe terpenes limonene and alpha-pinene have been used in antidotes for acutecannabis intoxication. Citrus fruits were used in 10th century Persiaand pine nuts have been used since Roman times. A handful of pine nuts washed downwith a glass of lemonade might go a long way!

Is Maternal Smoking Linking To Autism The Answer To This Controversial Question May Surprise You

Megan Hull is a content specialist who edits, writes and ideates content to help people find recovery. As a Florida born-and-raised… read more

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No. Currently, there is no evidence to support a link between maternal smoking and autism.While maternal decision making during pregnancy can impact the future mental and physical health of their children, there does not seem to be a connection between maternal smoking and autism.

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Another Piece Of The Puzzle Of How Marijuana Use Affects Childhood Outcomes

byAmanda D’Ambrosio, Staff Writer, MedPage Today August 10, 2020

Children exposed to marijuana in utero had a moderately elevated risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, according to a Canada-based retrospective study.

Mothers who used cannabis while pregnant had a 50% higher likelihood of having a child with autism , reported Daniel Corsi, PhD, of Ottawa Hospital in Ontario, and colleagues.

Hints of increased risk of intellectual and learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were also seen, according to their paper in Nature Medicine. However, the analysis came with significant limitations and the researchers urged caution in interpreting these results.

Nevertheless, said Corsi in an email to MedPage Today ,”ur clinical recommendation based on these findings is for women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant to avoid the use of cannabis products.”

Torri Metz, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the University of Utah, commented that this study adds to previous concerns about prenatal marijuana exposure’s potential effects on offspring.

“It is another piece of the puzzle,” Metz, who was not involved in this research, told MedPage Today. “It makes us worry about cannabis exposure in utero and whether it is influencing fetal neurodevelopment.” Metz also underscored the importance of interpreting these findings with caution, as this large population-based study was limited in its classification of substance use.

What Do We Know About Its Impact On Sperm Motility

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Sperm motility is the ability of the sperm to swim. For fertilization to actually take place, sperm needs to be able to move to the egg, which is why motility is important.

The 2019 review mentioned above found that theres an extensive body of evidence that suggests cannabis harms sperm motility.

In other words, using cannabis seems to reduce sperm cells ability to move.

However, these findings need to be tested in humans before we know for sure.

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Cannabis Use May Pose Risks During Pregnancy

Increasingly studies suggest that cannabis use during pregnancy may pose health risks to pregnant women and developing fetuses.

A review article published in 2016 found that women who used cannabis at least once a week while pregnant were more likely to deliver prematurely and more likely to have babies with low birth weights.

However, the authors of that review article noted that women who use cannabis more frequently also tend to use more tobacco and other drugs, which might help account for their findings.

Some research has also linked cannabis use in pregnancy to long-term neurological effects in children.

For example, children of mothers who used cannabis while pregnant may be at increased risk of poor academic performance and behavioral challenges.

A study published in August 2020 reported that women who used cannabis during pregnancy were 1.5 times more likely to have a child with autism.

The study reviewed every birth in the Ontario region of Canada between 2007 and 2012 before Canada approved recreational cannabis use in 2017.

For its findings, it focused on 2,200 women who said they used only cannabis during pregnancy without mixing it with alcohol, tobacco, or opioids.

More research is needed to study the short- and long-term effects of cannabis use in pregnancy, including occasional and frequent cannabis use, according to experts.

How Does Cbd Oil Stop Seizures

Cannabinoids help treat seizures by binding to specific brain receptors known as CB1 and CB2. In turn, these brain receptors inhibit the release of certain neurotransmitters such as glutamate that often excite the central nervous system and trigger seizures. Some medical experts also think that cannabinoids may boost the effectiveness of traditional anti-seizure medications. CBD may also increase the concentration of some anti-seizure medications like clobazam in the body, making them more effective.

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The First Autism Studies

Researchers are only just now digging in to find out how cannabis can help those with autism.

In fact, two of the first such studies are being conducted by Orrin Devinsky, the same NYU neurologist who carried out the recent work on CBD and epilepsy.

The double-blind study of 100 patients will include subjects between five and 18 years old with moderate to severe autism. The study, done at the Montefiore Medical Center with Dr. Eric Hollander, will be examining the effects of CBDV, or cannabidivarin, which is similar to CBD, on the autistic patients. After the study is finished, the two doctors will conduct another trial involving CBD at New York University, Devinsky told Live Science.

Devinskys study is one of only two autism-and-cannabis projects listed on, a database maintained by the National Institutes of Health. There are hundreds of studies worldwide exploring cannabis and various health effects, but only Devinskys and one other specifically target autism and cannabisand according to, they have yet to begin.

That may soon change. At the recent AutismOne national conference, Ronald Aung-Din, M.D gave a presentation, The Neuromodulation: Treating Autism w Non-Systemic Direct Effects Cannabidiol espousing the benefits of CBD on autistic patients, using Direct Effects, a trademarked topical CBD therapy.

The gift, from the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation, is the largest private gift for cannabis research in the country.

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