Smoking pot while pregnant increases health risks, including depression and drug abuse, for offspring

Image credit: Cannabis Culture

Various large-scale longitudinal research projects in both North America and Europe, ranging from several hundred to thousands of subjects, on cannabis use during pregnancy point to a number of potential consequences, including hyperactivity, in children. The problems start early—exposed infants are more likely than unexposed babies to have low birth weights and to spend time in neonatal intensive care. And troubles can last into adulthood. Higher rates of depression and drug abuse are among the health issues most commonly linked with maternal cannabis use.

70 percent of women in the United States believe that there is “slight or no risk of harm” in using cannabis during pregnancy. And about 4 percent of pregnant women in the US report using the drug during gestation.

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[Q]uantifying marijuana intake is riddled with challenges—the potency of cannabis, as well as the ratio of various active cannabinoids that it contains, is extremely variable, for example—so researchers cannot yet say with confidence how doses of the drug influence these correlations.

[However,] as cannabis use becomes increasingly acceptable and widespread, maternal use is likely to follow suit. Research and public education must now be prioritized to inform future opinions on the safety, or lack thereof, of consuming cannabis during pregnancy, as well as during breastfeeding.

Read full, original post: Prenatal Exposure to Cannabis Affects the Developing Brain

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