High-Potency and Synthetic Marijuana Can Harm Developing Embryo’s Brain

High-potency marijuana, and the synthetic form of the drug, known as “K2” or “Spice,” can harm a developing embryo’s brain, a new study concludes. Many pregnant women are unaware of the risk, according to HealthDay.

The drugs can affect the brain as early as two weeks after conception, according to researchers at Texas A&M University. Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug among pregnant women, they note in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis.

Exposure to high-potency or synthetic marijuana early in pregnancy can lead to anencephaly, a condition in which infants are born without large parts of their brain or skull, the researchers found. Early prenatal marijuana use also leads to attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities and memory problems in toddlers and 10-year-olds, and aggression, anxiety and depression in adolescents.

“The emergence of bioengineered crops and novel, medicinal marijuana strains, means that marijuana is no longer what it used to be in the 1970s and early 1980s,” study co-author Delphine Psychoyos said in a journal news release. “Some new, high-potency strains, including some medicinal marijuana blends, contain up to 20 times more THC, the psychoactive constituent of marijuana, than did ‘traditional’ marijuana,’” she said. “Furthermore, with the emergence of dispensaries and Internet websites, high potency marijuana and Spice products are now readily available to the general population.”

5 Responses to High-Potency and Synthetic Marijuana Can Harm Developing Embryo’s Brain

  1. allan | August 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    K2/Spice is not synthetic cannabis. In fact K2/Spice has it’s origins in government efforts to treat the non-epidemic of cannabis addiction. Further… the notion of 20X more powerful pot is fanciful rather than factual. The discovery of the 2700 year old tomb of an anglo male in China w/ nearly two pounds of quality herb belies that. The fact that 40 years ago we were smoking quality Asian, Jamaican and latin strains knocks further dents. And, as I always do when confronted w/ claims of the “dangers” of cannabis I have to ask – “where are the bodies?” Prohibition rhetoric has relied on sensationalist claims since the beginning of cannabis’ banning. To quote the DEA’s own administrative law judge, Francis Young, “cannabis is one of the safest therapeutic substances know to man.”

    • babyboomtown | August 22, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Danger does not always equate to death. Where the “bodies” can be found is at home on their couch, unemployed and unmotivated.

      I was once like you where marijuana was a way of life. (Based on your picture I am assuming your age with this next line) Things a different today for young pot smokers than they used to be, it RARELY ends there. I understand marijuana is not the #1 “gateway drug”, cigarettes are – the use of marijuana itself does not lead to other things. What leads to other substances is the social factor of the young people who smoke it.

      Believe it or not, the world would continue to turn it marijuana was abolished off the face of it. I do believe there are VERY FEW medical conditions where marijuana use is more benificial than others – but never smoked, not even from a vapo as there are still large amounts of carcinogens.

      I was once like you where marijuana was a way of life and everything else was secondary. If I was ever challenged by someone on my beliefs I quickly shut them down as I ultimatley feared a life without pot – I would actually have to feel emotions and move forward with life. With that in mind, I dont expect you to conform to my point of view. As a matter of fact, I would expect you to try and trump my beliefs. I would hope that internally this would make you think about – for even a second – the potential dangers for OTHERS the next time you advocate for marijuana.


    • Kathy | August 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

      I am as open to factual information as the next person, however with all due respect, many of the problems we experience in this country and the world at large are due to the fact that unqualified people are making determinations about safety and best practice of many things including drugs and drug use. For example, an administrative law judge’s expertise lies in the “law” and not in the determination of the “safety” of drug use nor is he qualified to identify positive vs. negative health effects.

  2. maxwood | August 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Good point by allan, the artificial “strong pot” epidemic would in fact be speedily solved by unambiguously legalizing and encouraging use of a vaporizer or single-toke utensil— 25-mg servings instead of a 500-mg-per-lightup smoke-it-all “joint” which was promoted for years in movies etc. basically to help orient youngsters to the $igarette format and help get them hooked on tobacco

  3. michigan marijuana dispensaries | August 21, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Anything synthetic is not good.Natural is always the best..

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