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Study: Maternal Cannabis Use Not Associated With Adverse Neurodevelopment

Thursday, 01 June 2017

Maternal Cannabis Use

Baltimore, MD: Cannabis exposure in utero is not associated with any significant, long-lasting adverse outcomes in offspring, according to a scientific review published online ahead of print in the journal Preventive Medicine.

A pair of researchers from the University of Maryland, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and the Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry reviewed four prospective cohort studies evaluating the long-term health outcomes of in utero cannabis exposure.

They concluded, "The evidence base for maternal-infant health outcomes of cannabis use in pregnancy is more robust than for many other substances. ... Although there is a theoretical potential for cannabis to interfere with neurodevelopment, human data drawn from four prospective cohorts have not identified any long-term or long lasting meaningful differences between children exposed in utero to cannabis and those not."

A 2016 literature review published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology similarly reported that the moderate use of cannabis during pregnancy is not an independent risk factor for adverse neonatal outcomes such as low birth weight.

A 2017 study reported that maternal marijuana use was not independently associated with adverse effects on their children's educational attainment. By contrast, maternal alcohol use was associated with detrimental educational outcomes in the cohort.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Cannabis and pregnancy: Maternal child health implications during a period of drug policy liberalization," appears in Preventive Medicine. Additional information is available online from NORML.