All things considered, health experts agree that we definitely need more research on marijuana’s health effects.
“Given the climate of legalization of marijuana, I do foresee a likely increase in research addressing not only the effects on fertility — but also pregnancy outcome from fetuses exposed in utero to the effects of cannabis on their structural, neurological, and intellectual functioning,” Gaither said.
Experts hope to also understand what happens when you stop using marijuana along with the drug’s potential benefits.
“Research is needed to see if perhaps there can be any as yet unrecognized benefits for select couples. Perhaps it can improve sleep and lower stress in small amounts and improved fertility for some,” Gersh said.
The biggest challenge researchers currently face is that it can be difficult to quantify the amount or concentration of THC people are exposed to, according to Ilnitsky.
Self-reported data can be largely inaccurate, especially with large population-based studies.
In the meantime, if you’re planning to conceive, Ilnitsky recommends cleaning up your lifestyle — eat healthier, exercise regularly, and restrain from drinking and smoking.
When it comes to marijuana use, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
“My advice would be to just avoid it if possible,” Ilnitsky said in the podcast.
Lastly, if you use marijuana for therapeutic purposes, it’s crucial to weigh the risks and benefits. Talk to your healthcare provider and try to determine whether or not the risks are worth taking before and during your pregnancy.