Can Marijuana smoking mothers pass THC onto their children while breastfeeding?
According to the Marijuana Use by Breastfeeding Mothers study by the UC San Diego School of Medicine, THC can in fact transfer over to the child is the mother is breastfeeding. The study conducted between 2014 and 2017, fifty breastfeeding mothers who used Marijuana on a regular basis provided samples of their breast milk to the study.
The object behind the UCSD study was to quantify the transfer of cannabis THC from mother to child via breastmilk. Many chemicals and toxins have been known to transfer from mother to child during breastfeeding. Marijuana THC has not been one of those chemicals studied previously. The method used for the study is as follows.
Between 2014 and 2017, 50 breastfeeding women who reported marijuana use provided 54 breast milk samples to a research repository, Mommy’s Milk. Concentrations of Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC), 11-hydroxy-Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, and cannabinol were measured by using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry electro-spray ionization.
UCSD's Results yielded
THC was detectable in 34 (63%) of the 54 samples up to ∼6 days after last reported use; the median concentration of ∆9-THC was 9.47 ng/mL (range: 1.01–323.00). Five samples had detectable levels of 11-hydroxy-Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (range: 1.33–12.80 ng/mL) or cannabidiol (range: 1.32–8.56 ng/mL). The sample with the highest concentration of cannabidiol (8.56 ng/mL) did not have measurable ∆9-THC. Cannabinol was not detected in any samples. The number of hours since last use was a significant predictor of log ∆9-THC concentrations (−0.03; 95% confidence interval [CI] −0.04 to −0.01; P = .005). Adjusted for time since last use, the number of daily uses and time from sample collection to analysis were also significant predictors of log ∆9-THC concentrations (0.51; 95% CI 0.03 to 0.99; P = .039; 0.08; 95% CI 0.00 to 0.15; P = .038, respectively).
The results show us that a substantial amount of THC remained in the in the mother's breastmilk for up to six days after they last used marijuana.
The conclusion shows that out of fifty women (mothers) studied, enough marijuana remained in 63% of these systems to have a substantial effect on their child. Six days after using marijuana, the risks dropped substantially.