New mothers who like to smoke marijuana might wind up exposing their babies to THC through their own breast milk, a new study says.

THC, the intoxicating compound in cannabis, dissolves in the fats contained in human milk, researchers found. Mother’s milk produced by weed users always had detectable amounts of THC, even when the mothers had abstained for 12 hours, results show.

“Breastfeeding parents need to be aware that if they use cannabis, their infants are likely consuming cannabinoids via the milk they produce, and we do not know whether this has any effect on the developing infant,” lead researcher Courtney Meehan, a biological anthropologist at Washington State University, said in a news release.

Guidelines for new mothers say to wait at least two hours after drinking alcohol before breastfeeding. There are no similar guidelines for cannabis…there’s no consistent time when a weed user can expect the THC concentrations in their breast milk to peak and then decline.

For participants who used cannabis just once during the study, THC in breast milk peaked between 30 minutes and 2.5 hours after use before declining.

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