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Marijuana and Morning Sickness

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Guest blogger Jessica Katz: I am one of those unfortunate people who get sick -- very sick -- when pregnant. It's not morning sickness, it's 24-hours-a-day sickness. From the first moment I saw the plus sign until I was in the delivery room, I spent my whole first pregnancy puking.

I broke down time after time. I had never felt this ill in my life. I was on Zofran (a prescription anti-nausea drug), drank ginger tea and wore wristbands for seasickness. None of those things worked. In fact, I didn't even gain a pound until I was six months along. After three months of puking had passed, my doctor told me, "The good news is that by nine months, it will all be over." But I felt like dying. 

So when people asked me when I would have another baby, it seemed like an impossibility. I was terrified that I would be sick again. When I told my OB, "I hear that every pregnancy is different; perhaps I won't get sick this time," he laughed out loud. I knew the odds were that I would be sick again. And sure enough, I am. 

Even though I am taking Zofran again, I am deathly ill. Now, I know that while you're pregnant you are supposed to limit caffeine, stop eating sushi and nitrates and not even touch Excedrin. So you can imagine my surprise when my doctor suggested marijuana as a treatment for morning sickness. I was floored. I am pretty sure that you are not supposed to do drugs in general, let alone when you are carrying a child. Don't they take your kids away from you if you do drugs while you are pregnant? 

I went home and Googled this remedy. Could it be real? I found page after page of moms saying they'd used medical marijuana to treat their severe morning sickness, and that it had worked. However, experts say that smoking marijuana during pregnancy may affect your baby's growth and the development of his nervous system. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to marijuana during pregnancy sometimes have problems focusing their attention and solving problems. Children of heavy pot users may also have problems with short-term memory, concentration and judgment. 

My father used medical marijuana during his chemotherapy, and it worked like a charm. Meanwhile, I am only a few months along -- and getting sicker by the day. I am desperate for a cure. Even so, I have decided not to try marijuana as a treatment for my nausea. I am fairly openminded, but not when it comes to pot and pregnancy.

Moms, what do you think?

next: A Chat with Michelle "Bombshell" McGee
61 comments so far | Post a comment now
mjmatt November 17, 2010, 6:48 PM

marry me Kate?

Theresa Knox November 17, 2010, 6:52 PM

Jessica, I also had a very hard time with ‘morning’ sickness. I suffered through it with my first baby, but during my second pregnancy, I was working full-time. The third time I stopped on the way to work to vomit on the side of the road, I spoke to my OB/GYN. She said “Obviously I can’t legally tell you it won’t hurt your baby to smoke pot. But it won’t hurt your baby to smoke pot, and it’s better to smoke the pot than be sick all the time.” All these years later, (13 to be exact) I am finding that many women use Cannabis for morning sickness, and that many doctors recommend it. And I have a healthy, normal, active, above-average intelligent 13-year-old girl. Coincidentally or not, my son (first pregnancy, no cannabis) struggles in school and has since he started school. Regardless, the evidence speaks for itself in my case. Here are a few references for you:

Granny Storm Crow’s List at:

Dr. Melanie Dreher (google her name, she did studies on this subject in Jamaica, where Cannabis use during pregnancy is common).

One more thing: some studies are showing that Cannabis contributes to crucial fetal weight gain in the 3rd trimester, Cannabis decreases risk of pre-term labor, and the components of Cannabis are naturally found in every human body. Google endocannabinoids. Good luck, and here’s to no puking!!

KS November 17, 2010, 6:57 PM

I tend to err towards the opinion that if your putting drugs into your system your baby is going to be affected. Whether you have a prescription or not doesn’t matter much.

I was too one of the sick all day every day of my pregnancies and was forced to use anti nausea medication to keep anything down including liquid. While I appreciated the medications one can’t help but wonder if marijuana is the evil it’s painted out to be or if it would be the better choice.

We do have to take into account that all drugs affect the development of the fetus one way or the other it’s just that marijuana has been dismissed without any research as to whether it would be a better alternative or not.

Mommy and daddy November 17, 2010, 7:50 PM

Shut up weed is delicious i smoke with my children 24/7!!!!!

karmadillo November 17, 2010, 10:04 PM

I used a hit of marijuana once a day for my nine month long “morning” sickness. I found it helped when nothing else did. This was in 1977. Just one case, but my daughter is fine.
BTW, Zofran is a drug, is it not? What are the effects of that versus a small amount of an herb that is known to be very safe?

JG November 18, 2010, 4:18 AM

As a regular smoker who didn’t smoke at all throughout 5 pregnancies, I am now 8.5 months pregnant with number 6. I have been soooo sick throughout this entire pregnancy that I had lost 60 pounds in the first 4 months. Finally my OB put me on Phenagren, which is AWFUL, then my family doc gave my Zofran, which wasn’t as bad (i did hear it is THC based, don’t know for sure), finally I gave up and started smoking a little in the early am. Finally I was able to get out of bed (which I couldn’t even do before) and function, oh yeah, I could EAT again! While my weight loss had been severe, my unborn daughter is doing well, and I have had many sonograms and checks and all is good, her heart rate is strong, her size is good (which I was afraid it wouldn’t be because of the level of sickness I have experienced), and now we are just waiting on her arrival. I still get sick, so I still toke a little here and there. It has worked so well that I wish I had started smoking a little earlier when I couldn’t do anything but puke. Even water came back up immediately. I don’t live in a medical MJ state, but after having to have a tooth pulled at 8 months (highly traumatic, btw) and having been put on narcotic pain pills which the OB said were completely ok, which I personally have trouble with, I figure, if Hydrocodone is ok, why wouldn’t MJ be? I don’t believe all the propaganda that is put out in this country about the evils of MJ, it has helped me too much!

Michelle November 18, 2010, 5:55 AM

I am a nursing student with one semester to go until I graduate. I just looked up Zofran in the Davis Drug Guide. It says, “OB/Ped SAFETY NOT ESTABLISHED.” I think I would take my chances with the MMJ. The more I learn in Nursing school about RX meds, the more I am convinced MMJ is the answer for most peoples illnesses.

Michelle November 18, 2010, 6:21 AM

I also suffered from nausea during my 2nd pregnancy, and rheumatoid arthritis. I was fortunate enough to live in a place where medical marijuana is legal. I only smoked when I really needed to, and also vaporized and ate cannabis treats. My son was 11lbs 10oz at birth, is sharp as a tack, strong as a bull, and seems to be developing more rapidly than the norm. Your doctor isn’t some silly pothead - cannabis is a medicine. It’s only been illegal in the US since 1937, and it’s mostly for racial, political, and economic reasons. Don’t let that reefer madness scare you into finding relief.
Check out this study: and follow up and do your own research. Cannabis is non toxic and it will relieve your nausea.

L. Werth November 18, 2010, 7:55 AM

So you think feeling sick and not eating is good for the baby?!
Stress for Mom is stress for child during pregnancy, so you better do what you can to feel better.

sara November 18, 2010, 8:52 AM

I am not an expert but I did do research on my own and while my doctor pushes rx meds vs. mj, I do not feel comfortable taking rx meds. It happens WAY too often where Docs have prescriped something and then later down the road it is linked to some awful side-effect. I am not interested! While my morning sickness has not been awful I have used mj some throughout the pregnancy, for stress as well. My doc would rather me use zoloft or prozac daily, since I am not severly depressed I choose not to take a daily Rx to help with occasionaly stress. I have talked to many women who used throughout pregnancy and found most results are what others are posting here, highly intelligent, calm, wonderful children. It is a risk but so is everything else, I chose natural over Rx. It does help & not eating is no good for the baby and especially not for you. Good luck!!! My only concern has been the horror stories of CPS taking away babies when mothers use mj throughout pregnancy…any advice for that?

greenmomof2 November 18, 2010, 1:22 PM

With my 1st pregnancy I smoked mj, had a few drinks, and smoked my cigs. granted not the healthiest but my boy came out 8lb2oz healthy as a horse. my 2nd was totally healthy and she was 6lb4oz. Both my kids are extremely intelligent too. So I say for you to do ur research and do as ur doctor suggests, he knows what he is doing. One thing to ask him though… is he going to have the hospital drug test you when the baby is born. Lots of hospitals do it now and you need to be aware if they do and the laws in ur state.

Jenny November 18, 2010, 4:09 PM

I read recently that cannabis actually reduces infant deaths by almost half. Infant deaths were higher in women who took no drugs at all during pregnancy or birth (around 15%) but in women who used(not to be confused with abused) cannabis were around 8%. I’m not going to say that it’s good for you but it’s not as bad as is made out. Do some research and you’ll be surprised.

joey November 18, 2010, 4:54 PM

cannabis has been used as a medicine for over 3000 yrs!……, dont believe me? read it urself!

Lori November 18, 2010, 6:12 PM

Just buy a small amount of MJ and google browie recipes. You need less for an effect then if you were to smoke it.

Amie_VA November 19, 2010, 4:53 AM

There’s plenty of witness above regarding marijuana during pregnancy, so I’ll just share what I found about Zofran during pregnancy: “The safety of ondansetron for use in human pregnancy has not been established. Evaluation of experimental animal studies does not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to the development of the embryo, or foetus, the course of gestation and peri- and post-natal development. However, as animal studies are not always predictive of human response the use of ondansetron in pregnancy is not recommended.”
That’s quite enough for me. Hope you get to feeling better. I do ;)

pattyannr November 19, 2010, 6:34 AM

Doctors are not always right. Case in point would be prescribing thalidomide to pregnant moms in the 60s.

I’m just saying, think twice as ultimately you have to live with the decisions you make.

Thankfully, I was not sick during my pregnancy, but my daughter is sick throughout so I know secondhand what you are going through. The end result will be worth it.

julie November 19, 2010, 7:22 AM

I used during both of my pregnancies for the same reason. My doctor had offered me pharmacutical drugs that would have affected my liver as well as the development of the babies liver. My 17 month old is amazing, with no adverse affects whatsoever! She has over 150 word vocabulary, sings, dances and is way ahead of other children her age. Her memory is unbelievable! It is great that your doctor recommended herb because my midwives illegally drug tested my urine and threatened to tell my pediatrition of the results because they “were concerned as to the home environment” that my baby was going home to! Needless to say, I changed doctors and am considering a lawsuit. (My husband is a former federal prosecutor, which the midwives didn’t know)

rachel November 19, 2010, 9:23 AM

Zofran - chemically man-made drug.
Cannabis - made from the earth.

Which is more natural in your opinion?

hey stupid November 19, 2010, 11:50 AM

smoke dank lots of dank and you’ll feel better

Alan November 19, 2010, 3:48 PM

This is from the DEA concerning the safety of marijuana..

“In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death.Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest
therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.”

-DEA Judge Francis Young.Finding of fact.

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