Ganja Babies do better – more suppressed marijuana research

See Also:

Pregnancy and Medical Marijuana: Can Pot Help Pregnant Women With Vomiting and Nausea?

Breathe, Push, Puff?  Pot Use and Pregnancy

Use of Marijuana During Pregnancy “…the weight of current scientific evidence suggests that marijuana does not directly harm the human fetus…”

The 30-day test showed that children of ganja-using mothers were superior to children of non-ganja mothers in two ways: the children had better organization and modulation of sleeping and waking, and they were less prone to stress-related anxiety.

The editors of Patients for Medical Cannabis were in attendance at the final hearing of the Iowa Pharmacy Board’s review of medical marijuana, where Dr. Melanie Dreher presented the results of her studies with “ganja babies” over the phone.  (You can read her testimony on the second page here.)  She has been studying the medical uses of ganja, as it’s called in Jamaica, for 30 years.

A quotation from Dreher’s testimony –  “You know, people ask me all the time whether I think  marijuana should be legalized, and I have been of the opinion for a long time that this is much ado about nothing.  It is, compared to tobacco and alcohol, this is such a benign substance.

“It does not seem to make a difference in either the productivity of the people in Jamaica… it seems to make no difference in terms of exposure during pregnancy …We looked at these children again at age five, both groups of children, and could find absolutely nothing that linked their development with their exposure during pregnancy.

“I …would strongly support the decriminalization of cannabis, and now that we understand about the endocannabinoid system that this is documented, it’s researched… now that we have knowledge of why cannabis is good medicine, something that Jamaicans have known for years, I think it’s time to seriously revisit this product, to understand and be able to dispense is as medicine legally and to decriminalize the other uses of marijuana.”

The presenter following her turned to the Pharmacy Board members and said, “Did you hear that? What she is saying is that marijuana is so safe, it doesn’t even hurt a fetus!”

No signs of birth defects

A landmark study conducted in the 1990s by medical anthropologist Dr. Dreher, (co-author of the book Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science, and Sociology), gave the medical world a different insight into the use of marijuana by pregnant women in Jamaica. Dreher found that marijuana was being used in a cultural and medical context, as a way to relieve morning sickness or nausea, prevent depression and fatigue, and improve appetites. Her team observed both the mothers who used marijuana and their infants; they reported that there were no signs of birth defects or of behavioral problems in the marijuana-exposed children either during the month after birth or even several years after.

This is not to say that women should have no compunctions about using marijuana regularly and in large amounts during pregnancy. Rather, as scientists like Dreher argue, the medical community should improve its research methodologies, be more thorough, conduct more cross-cultural studies, and refrain from being so quick to conclude without solid evidence that any amount of marijuana use–no matter how slight–during pregnancy will do lasting harm to both mother and child. – Source

Melanie Dreher, RN, PhD, FAAN explains her cannabis and pregnancy research study in Jamaica. Pregnant women and their children were studied for over ten plus years, both marijuana smokers and non-smokers were included in the study – one of the first scientific studies of the effects that cannabis may have on pregnancy and the child’s development thereafter.

Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica:

An Ethnographic Study

“Although no positive or negative neurobehavioral effects of prenatal exposure were found at 3 days of life using the Brazelton examination, there were significant differences between the exposed and non-exposed neonates at the end of the first month.

Comparing the two groups, the neonates of mothers who used marijuana showed better physiological stability at 1 month and required less examiner facilitation to reach an organized state and become available for social stimulation.

The results of the comparison of neonates of the heavy-marijuana-using mothers and those of the non-using mothers were even more striking…

  • The heavily exposed neonates were more socially responsive and were more autonomically stable at 30 days than their matched counterparts.
  • quality of their alertness was higher;
  • their motor and autonomic systems were more robust;
  • they were less irritable;
  • they were less likely to demonstrate any imbalance of tone;
  • they needed less examiner facilitation to become organized;
  • they had better self-regulation;
  • judged to be more rewarding for caregivers than the neonates of non-using mothers at 1 month of age


Dr. Dreher observes cultural contexts of marijuana use in peri-natal and neo-natal studies, including use of “Ganja Tea”. Appearing before the 2004 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference, hosted by Patients Out of Time.

The following comes from an excellent article about Dr. Dreher from Cannabis Culture:

When Dreher released solidly researched reports showing that children of ganja-using mothers were better adjusted than children born to non-using mothers, she encountered political and professional turbulence.

Dr. Melanie Dreher is one of a handful of scientists who have researched marijuana objectively and intelligently in the last three decades.

Dr Dreher is Dean of the University of Iowa’s College of Nursing, and also holds the post of Associate Director for the University’s Department of Nursing and Patient Services. She’s a perpetual overachiever who earned honors degrees in nursing, anthropology and philosophy before being awarded a PhD in anthropology from prestigious Columbia University in 1977.

Although Dreher is a multi-faceted researcher and teacher whose expertise ranges from culture to child development to public health, she began early on to specialize in medical anthropology. After distinguishing herself as a field researcher in graduate school, Dreher was hand-picked by her professors to conduct a major study of marijuana use in Jamaica. Her doctoral dissertation was published as a book titled “Working Men and Ganja,” which stands as one of the premier cross-cultural studies of chronic marijuana use.

Along with being a widely-published researcher, writer, and college administrator, Dreher is a professor or lecturer at several institutions, including the University of the West Indies. She recently served as president of the 120,000 member Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honour Society, has been an expert witness in a religious freedom case involving ganja use by the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, and is one of the most well-respected academicians in the world.

This article explains why you hadn’t heard this news before:

Dreher’s Jamaican Pregnancy Study –

More Suppression of Marijuana Research

an excerpt:

Dreher decried “the politics of trying to get published.” She now sees it as “a miracle” that Pediatrics published her work on neonatal outcomes, however belatedly, in 1994. (Her paper on five-year outcomes came out in the West Indian Medical Journal before Pediatrics ran the neonatal outcomes.) She suspects that a review of “all the fugitive literature that’s out there that didn’t get published” would convey “a very different picture of prenatal cannabis exposure.”

Honest research is also impeded, Dreher said, by “the politics of building a research career. Most research is done by academics and academia is a very conservative environment where tenure often is more important than truth.” (Dreher is now Dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa.)

The end result of biased science, Dreher observed, is a misinformed public. Recently, she “googled to see what was out there for the general public regarding pregnancy and marijuana.” Typical of the disinformation was an article entitled “Exposure to marijuana in womb may harm brain’ that began “Over the past decade several studies have linked behavior problems and lower IQ scores in children to prenatal use of marijuana…” A reference to Dreher said she had “written extensively on the benefits of smoking marijuana while smoking pregnant!”

See also:

Ganja mothers, ganja babies

Dreher Recounts Jamaican Study On Cannabis Use in Pregnancy

Breathe, Push, Puff? Pot Use and Pregnancy

If the public were informed about the truth regarding Cannabis, this recent suicide may have been prevented.

Reefer Madness is still ruining lives.



15 thoughts on “Ganja Babies do better – more suppressed marijuana research

  1. I quit smoking cannabis while pregnant and breastfeeding. I also quit coffee, hairdye and tobacco. It wasn’t that I believed, necessarily that cannabis would cause problems with my child, it was a distinct lack of conclusive evidence available.
    From what little I could find, the government sponsored findings said it was a crap shoot. They could neither prove it harmful or harmless. In the end it came down to my own feeling that it would be better to not take ANY chances.
    If someone pregnant decides to consume cannabis (and there is more than enough legitimate medical reasons alone), they should be at the very least aware that smoking anything robs your body of oxygen. Lack of oxygen in your blood can have an effect on your fetus, and so a different method of delivery would be best recommended. Something like vaporizing and/or eating cannabis.
    It’s like anything else, It’s incredibly surprising that so many spend so much time focusing on this type of substance use during pregnancy when there are extremely harmful pharmaceuticals being marketed to people (pregnant women included) daily. Things that have been proven to be harmful, but that are written off as being “less harmful than the alternative”.
    Women suffering sever motion sickness are made to either suffer or take drugs that are potentially dangerous.
    Cannabis could serve as a powerful anti-nauseant and sleeping aid.
    What the hell is going on here?


      • I’ve read some testimonials from mommies who couldn’t keep anything down and were becoming very unhealthy during their pregnancy until they smoked some cannabis.

        Like this one, from here:
        “Within two weeks of my daughter’s conception, I became desperately nauseated and vomited throughout the day and night. … I vomited bile of every shade, and soon began retching up blood. … I felt so helpless and distraught that I went to the abortion clinic twice, but both times I left without going through the with procedure. … Finally I decide to try medical cannabis. … Just one to two little puffs at night, and if I needed in the morning, resulted in an entire day of wellness. I went from not eating, not drinking, not functioning, and continually vomiting and bleeding from two orifices to being completely cured. … Not only did the cannabis save my [life] during the duration of my hyperemesis, it saved the life of the child within my womb.”


    • Oh, so true about the pharmaceuticals. One thing to note, the women in Jamaica drink cannabis tea – they don’t really smoke it, according to Dr. Dreher. They do it for health reasons. It’s thought of (correctly) as a healing Herb, not a ‘drug’.


    • Kindly google: “Cannabis Reduces Infant Mortality” You’ll find this:

      “Cannabis” infants have a mortality rate almost half of what the “No drugs” infants have!

      A total of 2,964 infants were drug-tested at birth to see if they were positive for drugs – cocaine, opiates and cannabis were studied and compared to drug free infants.
      During the first two years of their lives, 44 babies from the original group died.

      The death rates were :

      “No drugs at birth” deaths … 15.7 deaths per 1000 live births

      “Cocaine positive” deaths … 17.7 deaths per 1000 live births

      “Opiate positive” deaths … 18.4 deaths per 1000 live births

      “Cannabis positive” deaths … 8.9 deaths per 1000 live births

      The “cannabis positive” infants rate of death is almost half of the “No drugs” infants death rate.

      “When it comes to failure to thrive, cannabis may lend a significant improvement to the outcome.”


  2. There is a silver streak of truth here because my now pregnant fiance’ has had horrible ” morning sickness and although she has a prescription for an anti nausea drug from a doctor only her relaxed use of ganja helps her in all areas regarding sickness, no more horrible dehydration and vomiting, aches and pains are lessened, and just more pleasant to be around, so, what’s wrong with western medicine to finally admit that theca is a help to mankind and does not hurt


  3. oh sorry I sent that off too early, but her mother smoked and my fiance has always been a straight A student in AP classes and her daughter from a prior marriage surpassed all millstones of development, bypassing other children her age..


  4. Pingback: Marijuana baby | Mrbbab2000

  5. With my first pregnancy, I was determined to do things “the right way.” I ended up in the hospital at 11 weeks due to extreme dehydration from all the morning-noon-and-night sickness. Like someone stated above, I was vomiting bile because I could not keep anything down. They said it was just “morning sickness. Eat some crackers before getting out of bed in the morning.” Yeah, right! In desperation one day, I took 2 hits of weed, and within 5 minutes, felt better, wanted to eat dinner, and even kept it down. I could smile and even relax as I hadn’t been able to in weeks. These 2-3 hits PER DAY let me live a normal life and carry a happy, healthy baby to term easily. My next pregnancy, the sickness came back. I was seeing doctors this time (not midwives) and they prescribed anti-nausea meds usually prescribed to cancer patients. Problem was, I had a 2 year old at home, and one pill would knock me out cold for about 4 hours. With no family nearby, I again turned to a couple hits of weed a day to get though it. Same with my 3rd pregnancy. I now have 3 happy, healthy, intelligent children, ages 10,8, and 6. Each of my babies were of normal weight, alert, and beautiful. Not a single medical issue with any of them in all the years. Now my father is going through esophageal cancer and I am looking for ways to help him with medical marijuana, though he is reluctant to go against “modern” medicine.


  6. I smoked weed with all three kids, now 19,21,23, My son graduated high school at 15, a high I.Q, computer genius, my daughters are smart , no learning disabilities, all wonderful no problem babies!!


  7. We need to keep in mind that these results are culture-specific. Even if weed were legal in the US, I’m not sure it will ever be considered proper for parents to give it to children (except by Rx). Given the cultural attitudes, it could become a dirty family secret, which is usually traumatic.

    Also, I think it is obvious that marijuana produces paranoia when it is used in the midst of a hostile anti-weed culture.


    • Just curious. Where cigarette results based on culture-specific.. A scientific and biologicaly dsined drug to be addicting to consumer and is legal . most importantly,lt is linked to more health issues on the planet..


  8. Hello, im 4 months pregnant and my morning sickness is mostly at night so I take 2 or 3 hits of weed every night and I sleep good im not up all night plus I eat more everything I eat is very heathly to but I feel bad about it but after reading these comments about how good your children turned out makes me feel slot better!!(:.thank you


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