THC in Breast Milk Even After Hours of Being High!


Breastfeeding moms who use cannabis have measurable quantities of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in their milk. It is present even after being off the drug for more than 12 hours, according to new research. While it is uncertain whether the cannabinoid accumulates at levels sufficient to influence newborn development. The authors warn that it may be impossible to estimate how long it will be safe to breastfeed after being high.

THC, the major psychoactive ingredient contained in the cannabis plant, has been linked to a variety of poor effects in newborns when exposed prenatally. However, nothing is known about how the molecule alters the content of human breast milk.

The researchers collected milk from 20 nursing moms. All of them smoked cannabis at least once per week and had babies under the age of six months. Samples were collected at five distinct time intervals after cannabis usage, with a baseline sample obtained after at least 12 hours without being stoned.

The authors said,

After abstaining from cannabis for at least 12 hours, milk [THC] concentrations were still measurable for all participants.

These results indicate that infants consume measurable amounts of [THC] from breastfeeding, even after 12 hours of abstaining from cannabis,

To give an explanation about the possibilities, the author Courtney Meehan said,

Human milk has compounds called lipids, and cannabinoids are lipophilic, meaning they dissolve in those lipids. This may mean that cannabinoids like THC tend to accumulate in milk – and potentially in infants who drink it.

However, further analysis did not reveal any clear time point for THC levels increasing with the use of cannabis. Moreover, in for mothers who ingested cannabis, the concentration of cannabinoid increased between 30 minutes and 2.5 hours.

Those who used it multiple times during this period saw an increase in THC in breast milk.

The authors said,

These results indicate that there is no clear window of time for mothers to breastfeed after cannabis use without some degree of THC exposure for the infant,

Lead author Elizabeth Holdsworth added,

There was such a range. If you’re trying to avoid breastfeeding when the concentration of THC peaks, you’re not going to know when THC is at its peak in the milk,

However, regardless, the researchers emphasised that the THC concentration remained low at all time points. Furthermore, babies drink 5 ounces of milk per kilogram of body weight daily. Therefore, based on the calculations of the authors, the cannabinoid intake will be below minimum levels in association with adverse effects.

In conclusion, the authors say

Breastfeeding parents need to be aware that if they use cannabis, their infants are likely consuming cannabinoids via the milk they produce, and we do not know whether this has any effect on the developing infant.


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