Marijuana use increases
NewKarela.com, August 2, 2006
Washington: Women who use marijuana at the time of
conception and during the early stages of their
pregnancy are putting their
children at risk, for a new
study has found that the use of
the drug prevents the embryos' safe passage from the
ovary to the
uterus, resulting in miscarriages.
Marijuana binds to 2 receptors – cannabinoid
receptors 1 and 2 (CB1, CB2) that are found in the
brain and other organs including sperm, eggs, and
Normally, these 2 receptors are activated by the
naturally occurring signalling molecule anandamide,
which is formed by the enzyme NAPE-PLD. This
formation is carefully balanced with its
degradation by the enzyme FAAH,
resulting in a finely tuned local "anandamide tone"
in embryos and the oviduct.
This balance is required for normal embryonic
development, transport along the oviduct,
implantation in the uterus, and full-term pregnancy.
In the study conducted on a mouse model, a team of
researchers led by Sudhansu Dey from
University found that suppression
of FAAH activity in the embryos and oviduct elevates
anandamide levels, which inhibits embryonic
development and prevents embryos from completing
their passage to the uterus, causing impaired
The researchers also showed that administration to
the mice of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major
psychoactive component of marijuana also binds to
CB1, swamps normal anandamide tone, causing
implantation of the embryo in the earliest stages of
pregnancy to fail.
The study appears in the August issue of the Journal
of Clinical Investigation.