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California Panel Votes to Declare Cannabis a Risk to Pregnant Women

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A panel in California has declared that cannabis smoke could be potentially harmful to women who are pregnant and the fetuses they carry.

According to The Associated Press, the decision was made by the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee, which is part of the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. It’s not clear yet what impact this decision will actually have on the cannabis industry or if any warnings need to be potentially included. The vote came after the nine-person panel of scientists discussed the research regarding the issue.

Ellen Komp, deputy director of the legal cannabis advocacy group California NORML, made her own appeal to the panel, explaining that the studies reviewed by the panel only examined women who smoked cannabis, not those who ingested using other methods like vaping or topical creams. Therefore, it wouldn’t be fair to act as though any form of cannabis could be harmful.

There were some other issues with the available data as well. Some studies don’t always include how often cannabis is ingested, or what delivery method. Most studies relied on self-reporting, and some didn’t include details about whether those polled also smoked tobacco. Still, the panel found that this amount of evidence was sufficient to make an overall claim about cannabis smoke and pregnancy.

The Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee is under the umbrella of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, better known as Proposition 65.

There have also been recent studies that show cannabis could impact the brain during pregnancy, and people are also interested in the impact it can have on babies after the fact. While there can be some detrimental effects, other studies show that there is no effect. As with all topics on cannabis and its effects on people, more research is needed.

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