My wife and I didn't know we're pregnant and in a weekend fun with friends we smoked a bit of weed - we don't usually smoke weed or cigarettes.

This is not something we're regulary doing as I said, but how bad to the fetus can it be ?

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    First off, congratulations on the baby! This isn't an answer, I looked online and tried to find good information from a reputable source, but none of them seem to mention anything about timelines. Honestly, though, I'm very sure that it'll be okay. There have been many, many babies over the years who've grown up healthily after much more severe of circumstances during pregnancy. Marijuana once during the first week is almost definitely fine. I think you're just experiencing the first of what will be many concerns that will turn out totally fine. Jul 14, 2014 at 9:13
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    congratulations! I would not worry too much but a) ask your OB/BYN and b) not smoke again. As of now, you can't change the past, only the present. Also, many people don't know they are pregnant the first few weeks and do/eat/drink lots of things, and their babies are fine.
    – Ida
    Jul 21, 2014 at 18:18
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    Does it matter? You can't change what's happened. All you can do is your best moving forward. That's all any good parent does every day.
    – Marc
    Aug 19, 2014 at 1:03
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    in the course of human history, how many babies do you think have been in the womb before the mother knew she was pregnant, and the mother consumed cigarrettes, alcohol, drugs, sushi, etc,. etc? Its so common, you can't even imagine.
    – rbp
    Oct 27, 2014 at 15:20

3 Answers 3


During the first two weeks of pregnancy there is very little exchange of substances between the mother and the embryo. And the pregnancy, by definition, actually starts at the moment the woman supposed to have her period. So one may say that the first three weeks are actually quite safe in regards to drinking or other substances use or abuse. After that, however, starts the most dangerous period for drinking, smoking, etc., with differentiation and organogenesis possibly being severely negatively influenced by harmful substances. Therefore – drinking or smoking shortly after conceiving a child is less harmful to the baby than doing it after two or three weeks. So you and your baby should be fine. Don't worry.

However, this does not mean that one should use these two weeks to drink and take drugs because one won't be able to do so for the next 9 months. The risk is always there!

I have checked the pregnancy literature I have at home. There are hints that what I wrote is true, but it is not stated explicitely. Perhaps because there is no conclusive research... Or because authors feared it would make some women use drugs and drink alcohol in that time, which is still somewhat bad idea.

Still, I have found some references:

[1]: (about alcohol) In the first two weeks following fertilization, excessive alcohol consumption does not generally have a negative effect on the zygote and emerging blastocyst (pre-embryo)

[2]: (critical growth period) In most successful pregnancies, the embryo implants 8 to 10 days after ovulation. [...] (after that) Rapid growth occurs and the embryo's main external features begin to take form. [...] During this critical period (most of the first trimester), the developing embryo is also susceptible to toxic exposures

1: http://embryo.asu.edu/pages/developmental-timeline-alcohol-induced-birth-defects

2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_development#Embryonic_period

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    I think for something this important you should probably cite the references you have... Jul 15, 2014 at 11:38
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    My PhD in medicine wife is the source of this information; I'll try to find references to literature or articles about this, though. You are right, this is far too important to leave like that.
    – Dariusz
    Jul 15, 2014 at 12:00
  • I dont think smoking once will harm the baby a lot. I checked in internet and agree that smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy is not good for the baby. But once in 9months is very less to have any negative impact.
    – Tiffany
    Oct 22, 2014 at 11:46
  • Why do you thing the impact of drinking is related to smoking weed? Oct 25, 2014 at 20:01
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    Substances either do or do not transfer from mother's body to child's body. In the early weeks there is little to none transfer.
    – Dariusz
    Oct 25, 2014 at 20:19

As a general rule it is probably best to avoid cannabis smoking in pregnancy, but the primary evidence for this is based on the smoking aspect - many of the same compounds that make smoking tobacco in pregnancy potentially unhealthy are also present in weed. We have very little evidence either way as to whether THC itself has any effect on pregnancy - it's a drug that can remain in the body for some weeks post ingestion, but none of the documented biological effects are such as would be likely to have an adverse impact on pregnancy. The raw birth defects data doesn't show any correlation.

In regard to your situation specifically, one-time use in very early pregnancy is extremely unlikely to have any adverse effects whatsoever. It happened and you can't change it, so if you intend to continue the pregnancy then rather than dwell on it I would advise you to concentrate on positive healthy behaviours going forward.

(Source for drug and birth defects info: my job as a data analyst for exactly that.)

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    This is a good first post, but you could make it even better by citing some sources for your claims. Anyone can claim to be an authority, but even people who are familiar with a subject can err, so it's best to show your work. Aug 15, 2014 at 17:30
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    If you're an expert in the field, then it should be trivial for you to quote actual evidence, rather than simply stating you are an expert. Doing so would make this a better answer.
    – Joe
    Aug 18, 2014 at 4:42

I'd say don't worry about weed:

Five-year follow-up of rural Jamaican children whose mothers used marijuana during pregnancy.

This research provides data on the development of 59 Jamaican children, from birth to age 5 years, whose mothers used marijuana during pregnancy. [..] The results show no significant differences in developmental testing outcomes between children of marijuana-using and non-using mothers except at 30 days of age when the babies of users had more favourable scores on two clusters of the Brazelton Scales: autonomic stability and reflexes.

The cigarette smoke is probably the worst thing that happened. But again you are probably in the safe time when your child's system is little affected by the mother's. I can't provide a reference for that time, but soon there are coming opportunities when you can ask your gynaecologist.


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