Marijuana use during pregnancy can be harmful to a baby’s health and cause many serious problems, including stillbirth, preterm birth, and growth and development issues.
PNAS November 23, 2021 118 (47) e2106115118; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2106115118
Cannabis use is becoming more prevalent, including during developmentally sensitive periods such as pregnancy. Here we find that maternal cannabis use is associated with increased cortisol, anxiety, aggression, and hyperactivity in young children. This corresponded with widespread reductions in immune-related gene expression in the placenta which correlated with anxiety and hyperactivity. Future studies are needed to examine the effects of cannabis on immune function during pregnancy as a potential regulatory mechanism shaping neurobehavioral development.
Importance In light of increasing cannabis use among pregnant women, the US Surgeon General recently issued an advisory against the use of marijuana during pregnancy.
Objective To evaluate whether cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with adverse outcomes among offspring.
Design, Setting, and Participants In this cross-sectional study, data were obtained from the baseline session of the ongoing longitudinal Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study, which recruited 11 875 children aged 9 to 11 years, as well as a parent or caregiver, from 22 sites across the United States between June 1, 2016, and October 15, 2018.
Exposure Prenatal cannabis exposure prior to and after maternal knowledge of pregnancy.
Main Outcomes and Measures Symptoms of psychopathology in children (ie, psychotic-like experiences [PLEs] and internalizing, externalizing, attention, thought, and social problems), cognition, sleep, birth weight, gestational age at birth, body mass index, and brain structure (ie, total intracranial volume, white matter volume, and gray matter volume). Covariates included familial (eg, income and familial psychopathology), pregnancy (eg, prenatal exposure to alcohol and tobacco), and child (eg, substance use) variables.
Results Among 11 489 children (5997 boys [52.2%]; mean [SD] age, 9.9 [0.6] years) with nonmissing prenatal cannabis exposure data, 655 (5.7%) were exposed to cannabis prenatally. Relative to no exposure, cannabis exposure only before (413 [3.6%]) and after (242 [2.1%]) maternal knowledge of pregnancy were associated with greater offspring psychopathology characteristics (ie, PLEs and internalizing, externalizing, attention, thought and, social problems), sleep problems, and body mass index, as well as lower cognition and gray matter volume (all |β| > 0.02; all false discovery rate [FDR]–corrected P < .03). Only exposure after knowledge of pregnancy was associated with lower birth weight as well as total intracranial volume and white matter volumes relative to no exposure and exposure only before knowledge (all |β| > 0.02; all FDR-corrected P < .04). When including potentially confounding covariates, exposure after maternal knowledge of pregnancy remained associated with greater PLEs and externalizing, attention, thought, and social problems (all β > 0.02; FDR-corrected P < .02). Exposure only prior to maternal knowledge of pregnancy did not differ from no exposure on any outcomes when considering potentially confounding variables (all |β| < 0.02; FDR-corrected P > .70).
Conclusions and Relevance This study suggests that prenatal cannabis exposure and its correlated factors are associated with greater risk for psychopathology during middle childhood. Cannabis use during pregnancy should be discouraged.
To characterize recommendations given to pregnant women by Colorado marijuana dispensaries regarding use of cannabis products for nausea during the first trimester
This was a statewide cross-sectional study in which advice about cannabis product use was requested using a mystery caller approach.
Nearly 70% of randomly selected Colorado marijuana dispensaries recommended cannabis products to treat nausea in the first trimester. Few dispensaries encouraged discussion with a health care provider without prompting. Policy and education efforts should target dispensaries as legalization expands.
FDA strongly advises against the use of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
Every Brain Matters is a unifying alliance of organizations and individuals that educate about the dangers of marijuana and the drug culture expansion. We call for a cultural movement by encouraging widespread use of Every Brain Matters merchandise t
If you are considering using cannabis, or any products containing THC or CBD, you should be aware of the following:
Do not put yourself or your baby at risk by using cannabis products while pregnant or breastfeeding. Check out these links to learn more about cannabis, marijuana, CBD, and THC, and about taking medicines while you are pregnant.
September 23, 2020
Question Is prenatal exposure to cannabis associated with child outcomes?
Findings This cross-sectional analysis of 11 489 children (655 exposed to cannabis prenatally) found that prenatal cannabis exposure after maternal knowledge of pregnancy was associated with greater psychopathology during middle childhood, even after accounting for potentially confounding variables.
Meaning Prenatal cannabis exposure may increase risk for psychopathology; consistent with recent recommendations by the Surgeon General of the United States, these data suggest that cannabis use during pregnancy should be discouraged by clinicians and dispensaries.
April 11, 2018
FLORENCE, Italy — Both mothers and fathers who use cannabis during pregnancy are more likely to have children who experience psychotic symptoms, new research suggests.
An analysis of more than 3500 families showed that maternal cannabis use was linked to a 38% increased risk for psychotic symptoms in offspring at 10 years of age; cannabis use among fathers was associated with a 44% increased risk.
November 5, 2019
New research shows marijuana THC stays in breast milk for six weeks
March 8, 2021Source: Children’s Hospital
ColoradoSummary: Researchers have found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana, stays in breast milk for up to six weeks, further supporting the recommendations to abstain from marijuana use during pregnancy and while a mother is breastfeeding.