How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System During Pregnancy?

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System During Pregnancy?

As an expectant mother, it's important to prioritize the health and well-being of both you and your baby. This means making informed choices about what substances you expose yourself to, including marijuana. So how long does weed stay in your system while pregnant? What potential risks does it pose for your baby? This article will help provide answers about marijuana use during pregnancy, its effects on both mother and baby, and provide guidance on when to stop smoking weed while pregnant.

Understanding Marijuana and Pregnancy

Marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, is a commonly used recreational drug that comes from the cannabis plant. It contains various chemical compounds, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for its psychoactive effects. When marijuana is smoked, vaporized, or ingested, THC enters the bloodstream and can cross the placenta, potentially affecting the developing fetus.

Potential Risks of Marijuana Use During Pregnancy

Numerous studies have shown that using marijuana during pregnancy can have detrimental effects on both the mother and the baby. Some of the potential risks associated with marijuana use during pregnancy include:

Premature Birth

Marijuana use has been linked to an increased risk of premature birth, which is defined as giving birth before 37 weeks of gestation. Premature babies may face various health challenges and require specialized medical care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Low Birth Weight

Babies born to mothers who use marijuana during pregnancy are more likely to have a lower birth weight. This can lead to complications and health issues for the baby both at birth and later in life.

Impaired Brain Development

THC and other chemicals present in marijuana can interfere with the normal development of the baby's brain. This can potentially result in long-term cognitive and behavioral problems, including difficulties with memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.


Using marijuana during pregnancy has been associated with an increased risk of stillbirth, which refers to the loss of a baby before birth after 20 weeks of gestation. The loss of a baby is a devastating experience for any expectant parent.


Anencephaly is a severe birth defect in which a baby is born with an underdeveloped brain and skull. Studies suggest that exposure to marijuana during the first month of pregnancy can increase the risk of anencephaly in the baby.

Other Potential Effects

While more research is needed, some studies have also indicated possible links between marijuana use during pregnancy and other adverse outcomes, such as anemia, problems with sleep, and behavioral issues in children.

How Long Does Weed Stay in Your System While Pregnant?

The duration that marijuana remains detectable in your system during pregnancy can vary depending on several factors, including the frequency and amount of marijuana used, the type of drug test administered, and individual differences in metabolism. It's important to note that drug tests primarily detect the presence of THC and its metabolites, rather than the immediate impairment caused by marijuana use.

Drug Testing Methods

Different drug testing methods have varying windows of detection for how long weed stays in a system while pregnant. Here are the approximate detection times for different types of drug tests:

Urine Tests

Urine testing is the most common method used to detect marijuana use. THC metabolites can be detected in urine within a few hours after use and can remain detectable for up to several weeks, depending on the frequency and intensity of marijuana use.

  • Single use: Approximately 3 days
  • Moderate use (4 times per week): Approximately 5-7 days
  • Chronic use (daily): Approximately 10-15 days
  • Chronic heavy use (multiple times per day): More than 30 days

Blood Tests

Blood tests can detect recent marijuana use within a few hours, but THC and its metabolites are typically cleared from the bloodstream relatively quickly. However, heavy and chronic marijuana use may prolong the detection window.

Saliva Tests

THC can be detected in saliva shortly after marijuana use, usually within a few hours. However, the window of detection is relatively short, and saliva tests may not be as reliable as other methods for detecting marijuana use during pregnancy.

Hair Tests

Hair follicle tests have the longest detection window for marijuana use. THC and its metabolites can be detected in hair samples for up to 90 days or even longer after use. However, it's worth noting that hair tests may not be commonly used for routine drug testing during pregnancy.

How Long Will Weed Stay in Your System When Pregnant? When to Stop

Given the potential risks associated with marijuana use during pregnancy, it is strongly recommended to stop smoking weed as soon as you become aware of your pregnancy. However, quitting any substance can be challenging, and seeking support is crucial for success.

Marijuana Detox Programs

If you're struggling to quit marijuana use during pregnancy, enrolling in a marijuana detox program can provide the necessary guidance and support. These programs offer a structured approach to help individuals safely eliminate marijuana from their system and address any underlying issues that may contribute to substance use.

Relay serves as an example of how virtual support networks like this can complement traditional treatment methods, providing continuous encouragement and resources to individuals seeking sobriety in various stages of life. Click here to join today!

Medication-Assisted Programs

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs can be a valuable resource for pregnant individuals seeking to quit marijuana use. These programs utilize medications, such as buprenorphine or naltrexone, alongside counseling and support services to aid in the recovery process.

Marijuana Rehabilitation Programs

Inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs specifically tailored to individuals struggling with marijuana addiction can offer comprehensive treatment plans and a supportive environment. These programs typically include counseling, therapy sessions, and educational resources to address the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) and Outpatient Programs (OP)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) and outpatient programs (OP) can be suitable options for individuals who do not require 24-hour supervision but still need regular support and treatment. These programs offer flexibility while providing the necessary tools to overcome marijuana addiction during pregnancy.

Seeking Professional Help

It's essential to consult with your healthcare provider if you need help quitting marijuana or any other substance during pregnancy. They can provide personalized guidance, recommend appropriate treatment options, and connect you with additional resources to support your journey to recovery.

Concerns and Frequently Asked Questions

Can Smoking Weed While Pregnant Cause Birth Defects?

Research suggests that smoking weed while pregnant may increase the risk of certain birth defects, such as anencephaly. It's best to avoid marijuana use during pregnancy to minimize these potential risks.

Can Smoking Weed While Pregnant Cause a Miscarriage?

While more research is needed, some studies have indicated a possible association between marijuana use during pregnancy and an increased risk of miscarriage. To protect the health of your baby, it is advisable to refrain from smoking weed while pregnant.

Can Smoking Weed While Pregnant Cause Seizures?

There is limited scientific evidence on the direct link between marijuana use during pregnancy and seizures in babies. However, it is crucial to prioritize the overall well-being of your baby by avoiding marijuana use during pregnancy.


How long will weed stay in your system when pregnant? It is clear that using marijuana during pregnancy, regardless of how long it lasts, poses potential risks to fetal development and overall pregnancy outcomes. Therefore, it is highly recommended to stop smoking weed as soon as you become aware of your pregnancy. If you need support and guidance in quitting marijuana use, reach out to healthcare professionals and explore the available treatment options. Your commitment to a healthy and drug-free pregnancy will greatly benefit both you and your baby.

Remember, every pregnancy is unique, and it's essential to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and support throughout your journey. Together, we can ensure a healthy and thriving start for you and your baby.


Medline Plus- Anencephaly - Genetics

Fetal health Foundation- Anencephaly

St. Louis Children’s Hospital- Anencephaly: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis

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