PREGNANCY. AUTISM. CANNABIS.
There are articles
going around today about a link between cannabis use during pregnancy and increased risk of autism. I want to dig into this because there is NO MENTION of 🧬 genetics in there! I am discussing this further with endoDNA
to find out any further conclusions their data shows on genetics and the endocannabinoid system.
“Women who used marijuana during pregnancy were 1.5 times as likely to have a child with autism, the largest study of its kind has found.” While finding a link between marijuana use and autism, the study could NOT prove cause and effect. There could be something (I think it is genetics) that drives certain women to use cannabis during pregnancy that also increases their risk of having children develop autism.
Let’s better understand autism & genetics:
98% of children affected by autism have a mutation of the MTHFR gene, which hinders the body's ability to transform folate into methylfolate (and they can NOT process folic acid). The MTHFR gene mutation affects how a person processes amino acids, which form the basis of proteins, which are essential elements of human life, including neurotransmitters and hormones.
In the 2013 study published in Translational Psychiatry
, researchers explored the combination of childhood trauma, the MTHFR gene mutation, and cannabis use on depression. They found a statistically significant relationship between the MTHFR gene mutation (specifically TT variant) and recurrent major depressive disorder. There was not a connection between cannabis use as a CAUSE for depression.
The connection I see here is that many people with a MTHFR mutation suffer from depression, and they may find cannabis helpful for their treatment. To repeat, 98% of children that are affected by autism have a mutation of MTHFR gene, therefore the parents would have to also have it.
Children with autism are poor methylators. Defects in the methylation process effect speech, language and auditory processing, focus, concentration, social interaction, and reading comprehension. Methylation also repairs DNA, controls homocysteine levels, keeps inflammation in check and recycles key antioxidants.
If you have a MTHFR mutation, homocysteine is poorly converted to glutathione. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in the body. One of its key functions is to reduce oxidative stress and remove toxins. So, those with MTHFR mutations should be cautious of the toxins they allow into their body because they have a harder time eliminating them. Think about the heavy metals in cannabis that does not meet safety testing guidelines, the recommendations to avoid fish with high mercury while pregnant or the amount of toxins in vaccines, and how the body does at eliminating those.
Another study has confirmed the anti-oxidant effects of CBD
as well as THC. Both were shown to reduce toxicity in the neurons and oxidative damage in the neuron cultures. Numerous studies have confirmed CBD is also powerful for anti-inflammation which can be a great defense for those with MTHFR as well!
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I will not say that it is safe to use cannabis during pregnancy. I personally, prefer to expose the prenatal body to as few potential environmental factors as possible. Any potential risk must be a choice that is weighed by the mother.
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