Dear Cannabis & Motherhood Community,
My name is Dr. Michele Ross and I’m the creator of the Cannabis & Motherhood course. We hear a lot of sensational headlines in the news about cannabis being so dangerous for pregnant moms, but much of this is based on poorly designed studies funded by anti-cannabis groups or taken out of context.
You can use cannabis or CBD safely during any stage of motherhood, it is all balancing risks and benefits and choosing the right products at the right dosages.
Most doctors and scientists are not educated on the endocannabinoid system, which is the largest and most important neurotransmitter system regulating all of your other neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, GABA, glutamate, and many more. They don’t know that people can have an endocannabinoid deficiency, similar to our body can have a deficiency in Vitamin D or other nutrients.
These healthcare professionals definitely don’t understand why a woman would choose cannabis or CBD to treat their symptoms of pain, nausea, anxiety, or other health issues instead of using a traditional prescription drug. And they don’t know the current research showing how cannabis and CBD show little harm to mother or baby during pregnancy, especially compared to alcohol, cigarettes, and other prescription drugs.
So when a woman asks their doctor about using cannabis or CBD, especially if they are pregnant or breastfeeding, she is often told to stop immediately. Even worse, the patient might even referred to Child Protective Services or substance abuse programs, instead of having a real conversation about the potential risks and benefits of using cannabis or CBD.
As a neuroscientist, founder of the first 501c3 nonprofit research institute on cannabis and women’s health, and cannabis patient advocate, I realized I was uniquely positioned to shift the conversation from stigma to science. I decided to create an online certification program on Cannabis & Motherhood to increase the number of healthcare and cannabis industry professionals that understood the risks and benefits of using cannabis during all stages of motherhood.
Because cannabis legalization is occurring worldwide at a rapid pace, and CBD is almost legal around the globe, more women have used cannabis or CBD or are think about it. And these women are becoming pregnant. It’s time for us to compassionately treat women who use cannabis or CBD as people with their own health needs, rather than just a vessel for a baby.
As a graduate student working on my PhD in Neuroscience in a Department of Molecular Psychiatry, the very first paper assigned to me was on how cannabinoids (including THC and CBD) impact newborn brain cells. My later research looked out how illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin, legal drugs like Adderall and Prozac, and even treatments like radiation for cancer impact newborn cells in the brain. With my nonprofit institute, I educated and consulted 1000s of mothers who were using cannabis.
When people say there isn’t enough research on safety of cannabis and CBD, I say that certainly isn’t true, as there are tens of thousands of studies, including my work. While more research needs to be done, more research needs to be done with every prescription drug pregnant women take. This course will help us create more healthcare, research, and cannabis professionals that will take a non-judgmental approach to cannabis research and clinical support of mothers who choose to use cannabis.
Finally, if you’re a mother who is taking this course, I want to welcome you and thank you for making the choice to educate yourself when even your own doctor hasn’t made that commitment. I hope you share what you learn here with other mothers and invite other to take this course that rehumanizes mothers who use cannabis with science and compassion.
Dr. Michele Ross