May 15, 2009

Marijuana passed through breast milk

Marijuana-smoking mothers who breastfeed pass the drug to their babies through the milk, U.S. health experts said.

There is a higher concentration of marijuana in breast milk than in the mother's bloodstream so these babies are getting a fair amount of marijuana, said Sarah Kabalka, a registered nurse who specializes in addiction.

Marijuana, which is nearly three times stronger than it was two decades ago, also can result in gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, and lower sperm motility, Dr. David Sack, an addiction psychiatrist at Promises Treatment Centers told the New York Daily News in a story published Friday.

Regular users of marijuana, those who smoke it several times a week, also have a higher rate of depression, and marijuana can lead to addiction if the user is genetically predisposed to becoming an addict, Kabalka said.

When you start smoking pot, there is no way to know when the switch is flipped and you become an addict, she said. Since the pot is stronger, that means you become more high and stay high longer.