PREGNANCY. AUTISM. CANNABIS.

In 2020 there were many articles going around about a study that found 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! The article/study main message: 
“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 with 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 methyl folate (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 an 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 an 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 do not meet safety testing guidelines, the recommendations to avoid fish with high mercury or the number 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!

✔️Check out EndoDNA to test how YOUR DNA works with cannabis! 20% off use code: highsocietymama - If you have 23&me results you can enter them for a FREE immune function genetics report that relates to your endocannabinoid system.

This was a lengthy article and I am sure there is so much more to share that is not covered here. However, I really want to emphasize the use of CBD to treat symptoms as the first attempt at treatment using cannabis. Then, if needed bring in THC at the minimum dose needed to obtain the necessary effects to treat your symptoms.  There are so many questions still surrounding the use of cannabis use during pregnancy that it is always safer to start in low doses. 

Hopefully, we will have more viable research in the coming years.
Please check out the following blog post about recommended products for use during pregnancy and beyond!

 

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