This site claims:

Mothers that cannot quit smoking marijuana ( who have a marijuana dependency ) can continue to breastfeed as long as they do not expose their babies to the secondhand smoke.

I would like to know if it is dangerous for a person to smoke marijuana while breast feeding? I have been told by many sources that is okay. I have watched documentaries that say it is okay.

  • 5
    Welcome to Skeptics! We want to focus our attention on doubtful claims that are widely held or are made by notable people. Please provide some references to places where this claim is being made.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 16, 2015 at 3:36
  • 4
    This question is off-topic because it is about asking for medical advice.
    – nico
    Feb 16, 2015 at 9:44
  • 1
    @Oddthinking this reputable article disagrees: drugs.com/breastfeeding/cannabis.html -- tl;dr: there are known benefits to breastfeeding. Avoidance has a cost.
    – Sklivvz
    Feb 16, 2015 at 13:40
  • 1
    im not sure if im missunder standing both of you, but it seems like @Oddthinking is saying its safer to not smoke while breast feeding, and Sklivvz article also says not to smoke while breast feeding.
    – Himarm
    Feb 16, 2015 at 14:43
  • 8
    Seems to me it would be very difficult to hold a joint and a nipple in your mouth at the same time.
    – Luke
    Feb 17, 2015 at 14:05

2 Answers 2


From Cannabis use while Breastfeeding, an article on drugs.com:

Although published data are limited, it appears that active components of marijuana are excreted into breastmilk in small quantities. Data are from random breastmilk screening rather than controlled studies because of ethical considerations in administering marijuana to nursing mothers. Concern has been expressed regarding marijuana's possible effects on neurotransmitters, nervous system development and endocannabinoid-related functions.1[2] One long-term study found that daily or near daily use might retard the breastfed infant's motor development, but not growth or intellectual development.[3] This and another study[4] found that occasional maternal marijuana use during breastfeeding did not have any discernable effects on breastfed infants, but the studies were inadequate to rule out all long-term harm. Although marijuana can affect serum prolactin variably, it appears not to adversely affect the duration of lactation. Other factors to consider are the possibility of positive urine tests in breastfed infants, which might have legal implications, and the possibility of other harmful contaminants in street drugs.

Marijuana use should be minimized or avoided by nursing mothers because it may impair their judgment and child care abilities. Some evidence indicates that paternal marijuana use increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome in breastfed infants. Marijuana should not be smoked by anyone in the vicinity of infants because the infants may be exposed by inhaling the smoke. Because breastfeeding can mitigate some of the effects of smoking and little evidence of serious infant harm has been seen, it appears preferable to encourage mothers who use marijuana to continue breastfeeding while minimizing infant exposure to marijuana smoke and reducing marijuana use.[5]

So: It you want a final answer, it is maybe.


  1. Schuel H, Burkman LJ, Lippes J et al. N-acylethanolamines in human reproductive fluids. Chem Phys Lipids. 2002;121:211-27. PMID: 12505702

  2. Fernandez-Ruiz J, Gomez M, Hernandez M et al. Cannabinoids and gene expression during brain development. Neurotox Res. 2004;6:389-401. PMID: 15545023

  3. Astley SJ, Little RE. Maternal marijuana use during lactation and infant development at one year. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1990;12:161-8. PMID: 2333069

  4. Tennes K, Avitable N, Blackard C et al. Marijuana: prenatal and postnatal exposure in the human. NIDA Res Monogr. 1985;59:48-60. PMID: 3929132

  5. Hill M, Reed K. Pregnancy, breast-feeding, and marijuana: A review article. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2013;68:710-8. PMID: 25101905


References that may interest you (that helped answer my questions):

  • 1
    Welcome to skeptics. This site is quite different from all the other stack exchange sites, and your answer as it currently stands does not meet the standards of this site. The citations don't appear to have a great deal of independent research to them (suggest going to where they get their data from). Also, you may want to quote the relevant information from their page to actually support your answer. May 22, 2015 at 2:48

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