THC Persists in Breast Milk 6 Weeks After Quitting CannabisPosted by On


Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis, remains detectable in breast milk even after weeks of abstinence, new data show. The estimated half-life of THC in breast milk is 17 days, according to the study results, with a projected time to elimination of more than 6 weeks. The clinical importance of the remaining THC is up for debate, according to some experts.

“To limit THC effects on fetal brain development and promote safe breastfeeding, it is critical to emphasize marijuana abstention both early in pregnancy and post partum,” write Erica M. Wymore, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of pediatrics and neonatology at the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues. The group published their results online March 8 in JAMA Pediatrics.

And while the study was a pharmacokinetic analysis rather than a safety investigation, Wymore told Medscape Medical News that the detectable levels of THC suggest any use is of concern and no safety thresholds have been established. “We wish we had more data on the potential effects on the neurocognitive development of children, but for now we must discourage any use in prepregnancy, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, as our national guidelines recommend,” she said.

Therefore, the findings support current guidelines discouraging any cannabis use in mothers-to-be and breast-feeding mothers issued by national organizations, including those from the American Academy of…

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Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of cannabis, remains detectable in breast milk even after weeks of abstinence, new data show. The estimated half-life of THC in breast milk is 17 days, according to the study results, with a projected time to elimination of more than 6 weeks. The clinical importance of the remaining THC is up for debate, according to some experts.

“To limit THC effects on fetal brain development and promote safe breastfeeding, it is critical to emphasize marijuana abstention both early in pregnancy and post partum,” write Erica M. Wymore, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of pediatrics and neonatology at the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues. The group published their results online March 8 in JAMA Pediatrics.

And while the study was a pharmacokinetic analysis rather than a safety investigation, Wymore told Medscape Medical News that the detectable levels of THC suggest any use is of concern and no safety thresholds have been established. “We wish we had more data on the potential effects on the neurocognitive development of children, but for now we must discourage any use in prepregnancy, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, as our national guidelines recommend,” she said.

Therefore, the findings support current guidelines discouraging any cannabis use in mothers-to-be and breast-feeding mothers issued by national organizations, including those from the American Academy of…



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