Smoking Weed While Breastfeeding: Yes or No?
Getting through pregnancy is an incredible accomplishment, going nine months without smoking weed or drinking alcohol can be a tough thing to do for many! A lot of women say they will be popping a bottle of champagne the second they deliver their baby, most stoners will mention smoking a joint in the same content. All jokes aside, every woman deserves some buds and bubbly for going through childbirth but there are some things to be aware of when experiencing this life-changing event and what a new mother should and should not be consuming. When it comes to smoking while breastfeeding, there can be a lot of controversy surrounding whether or not it is a safe combination. Here is all you need to know when it comes to learning about THC in breast milk and all things weed and breastfeeding. Once you are in the clear, though, grab yourself some nice cannabis rolling supplies and have some fun mama!
Can you smoke weed while breastfeeding?
Technically, you should not smoke weed while breastfeeding, as the THC in breast milk will go straight to the child’s bloodstream. This heavy-ended question has no straight answer as every mother’s situation is different and should be treated that way. This article is in no way putting down mothers who use cannabis but in fact, an informational piece that can provide some context as to whether or not smoking weed while breastfeeding is something you personally should or should not do. It is vital that every mother understands the implications of weed and breastfeeding, just like any mother should understand the effects of alcohol and breastfeeding or consuming medicine and breastfeeding.
With alcohol, many use the “pump and dump” method, a term coined by mothers where they literally pump their breast milk and dump it in the sink. A lot of mothers have been advised to do this and while it does make sense to a certain point, it actually does not eliminate the amount of alcohol in a mother’s bloodstream. Time is the only factor that can reduce the alcohol content in a mother’s bloodstream, and of course, they can do other things to speed up the sobering process like eating a big meal, hydrating with lots of water, and getting some rest.
With weed and breastfeeding, it is an entirely different story. Especially in the female body, there are typically more fat cells present, which is the most ideal environment for THC to cling to. Breast milk actually has a ton of fat because this is what babies drink to gain more nutrients and grow at an exponential rate. This means that the presence of THC in breast milk will be very high considering it will build up with how much fat content there is.
How long does weed stay in your breast milk after smoking?
In reality, THC in breast milk can stay for as long as six days, making it completely unsafe for a newborn to consume. Furthermore, weed and breastfeeding do not really go together in any aspect since smoking weed while breastfeeding has been linked to a lack of milk production or slowing down breast milk production. This amount of time can vary depending on a mother’s body and how much THC is in her system, but overall it is generally deemed unsafe to smoke weed while breastfeeding as there can be unsafe amounts of THC in breast milk considering it has concentrated fat specifically for the baby to consume.
How long should you wait to breastfeed after smoking?
If a mother does participate in smoking weed while breastfeeding, it is very important to wait for at least three to four hours prior to breastfeeding. In fact, with nicotine and cigarette smoking, the tobacco's high effects will peak after 30 minutes of smoking and can be more harmful to a baby versus smoking directly after breastfeeding. Logically, if a mother must smoke she should do it immediately after breastfeeding so that she has enough time in between feedings for the THC in breast milk to go down. Again, THC is a different story as compared to alcohol and tobacco, but with marijuana, it is harder to run tests and figure out the exact dosage and recovery times. It is best to avoid regularly using cannabis if breastfeeding because it is unsure how much of a dose is needed to deeply affect a baby, but it does not take much.
Can smoking while breastfeeding hurt the baby?
We should all know by now that babies are literally some of the most fragile beings, and it is important to give them support as they develop and learn about life. Just the way a mother would support their baby’s head or make sure their skin is moisturized if a mother knows that something could even potentially harm their child they will most likely decide against it. Using your best judgment as a mother is the best call here - no one can tell you how to parent your own child, but there are tips and tricks to avoid putting yourself and your child in a harmful situation.
What could be the neurological and biological consequences of smoking weed while breastfeeding?
While studies are not concrete surrounding smoking weed, we all know that there are many downsides to consuming THC, especially as a newborn. Not only can THC slow down the lactation process, but it can also slow down a newborn baby’s development as well. The younger the individual is, the more their brain still needs to develop, and consuming THC while the brain is still in development is where individuals start to see slower cognitive responses. A baby must undergo rapid development and growth, which is why breastfeeding is so healthy for a newborn as it has all the nutrients and proteins it needs to thrive. THC actually binds to protein receptors which are the exact contributors to brain development as well, so research directs a correlation to each other - even if the effects are subtle.
Babies undergo various types of development, from physical development to mental development to motor development. Each stage of life is a measurement or milestone that an individual makes that helps to measure whether a baby is behind or ahead of his or her development path. Slower motor skills, stunted physical development, and other mental blocks might occur whether it is immediate or later on in life, so it is safe to say that staying away from smoking weed while breastfeeding is the safest option.
On the contrary, there are some studies saying there might not be any effect on smoking weed while breastfeeding or even during pregnancy. There are not sufficient amounts of data to support whether or not cannabis use should be prohibited during pregnancy or after giving birth. There are so many ways the human body can absorb THC and our body’s receptors react differently as well, so there is no telling how it can affect a baby if exposed to THC in breast milk.
Can you smoke pot around your baby if you’re not breastfeeding?
Many mothers might have graduated from breastfeeding and want to know if they are in the clear for a good time with some ganja. A lot of mothers will want to drink alcohol or smoke weed after breastfeeding as they might not feel comfortable consuming weed and breastfeeding. Secondhand smoke is definitely a thing, though, so being aware of all possible effects it could have on a child is important to know before exposing a child to any kind of smoke. Again, a child is still in major development stages in their early life so it is of the utmost importance that this is prioritized over smoking weed while breastfeeding or after breastfeeding. A golden rule when it comes to smoking that should be recognized everywhere by all smokers is to never expose a child to smoking. They do not have any choice in being exposed to smoke and should not be nearby when someone is smoking, as secondhand smoke effects are an actual thing. Just like you would protect a child from contaminants in water or using non-toxic products on their skin, executing safety practice measures will ensure that any child is safe while the adults do their thing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with smoking as a mother, just make sure the child or children around you are safe and not exposed when they have no business being in the position to inhale smoke.
What should you remember about using cannabis or cannabis-derived products?
There are a few things to remember before deciding to consume cannabis or cannabis-derived products, especially when smoking weed while breastfeeding or exposing your child to cannabis in general. Weed and breastfeeding are tricky subjects to talk about because there are points made on both sides of the spectrum and all for good reason. Here are a few things to remember when using cannabis or cannabis-derived products:
What about other cannabis products? Can you use them?
It is advised for mothers that are smoking weed and breastfeeding to avoid breastfeeding for at least a few hours, and that does not guarantee that the psychoactive high will wear off or detox out of your system. It does not necessarily matter what cannabis products are used with weed and breastfeeding, because any type of consumption will have the same effect on a baby regardless of what method is used. Edibles and concentrates typically have more marijuana in them as well, making these methods much more potent than smoking a joint. It is advised to only take small amounts of THC if you decide to consume weed and breastfeed, so edibles or concentrates have higher levels of THC in them and are not the most subtle option a breastfeeding mother could choose.
Conclusion: smoking weed while breastfeeding - yes or no?
Again, no one can or should tell you how to parent - especially how to be a mother to your own child. As an expert, though, and one that loves babies and young children: it is best to not expose your baby or any child at all to marijuana. Smoking weed while breastfeeding is a long-winded subject that can be debated for days, and while you essentially know what is best for your child we highly recommend not exposing babies or children to any type of cannabis. During the development stages in a baby’s early years, THC in breast milk might change the course of their growth which can be detrimental further down the road.
We hope you got something valuable out of this article and want to acknowledge all of the rockstar stoner moms out there that are doing a fabulous job raising their families - we have no doubt that ganja had something to do with keeping your sanity so brava to you supermom! Our EF420 story is one to check out if you’re nosey and interested in our roots and early years. We have an excellent customer service team that is ready to answer any and all questions about how we run things around here. But first, check out EF420 FAQs so you know the rundown of how we get things done and when you’ll get your beloved packages from us.