exposure of mothers to cannabinoid – compound found in marijuana -. Whether smoked or eaten candy bars, can affect the development of babies in the womb, researchers say
cannabinoids are chemicals such as THC, the psychoactive compound of marijuana, acting on cannabinoid receptors in neurons, the suppression of the normal release of neurotransmitters.
“we know from human studies limited the use of marijuana in early pregnancy is associated with risks, including miscarriage, birth defects, developmental delays and learning disabilities, but research in animals suggests that the potential for many more development issues are linked to the drug, “said G. Ian Gallicano, an associate professor at Georgetown University in the US .
cannabinoids affect many aspects of human development because THC and other chemicals alter the molecular pathways that should not be interrupted during the development of a fetus, according to the researchers.
THC is also known as a promising agent for the treatment of cancer because it negatively affects tumor growth and can cause the death of cancer cells
However, the development of embryo has similarities with tumor formation – .. it turns against growth paths that are necessary for development
“the fact that THC seems to stop the growth of cancer suggests how harmful the chemical could be for a fetus, “said Gallicano.
for the study, researchers reviewed the scientific literature on cannabinoids and embryonic development published between 1975 and 2015.
The findings in studies of human cells showed that THC has a life average of eight days in fatty deposits and can be detected in the blood for up to 30 days.
THC also easily cross the human placenta, which can reduce the rate of clearance of drugs, while prolonged exposure of the fetus, and increasing the risk of damage.
In addition, THC and other cannabinoids have been found to interfere with the use of folic acid (vitamin B9), which has long been known to be essential for normal development and growth of human placenta and embryo .
folic acid deficiencies are also associated with low birthweight human birth, increased risk of abortion and spontaneous neural tube defects such as spina bifida, researchers observed.
The study was published in the journal BioMed Central (BMC) Pharmacology and Toxicology.