Warning: Cannabis Use During Pregnancy Linked to Increased Risk of Adverse Birth Outcomes

by Amir Hussein
5 comments
Prenatal Cannabis Exposure

Caution: The Use of Marijuana During Pregnancy Linked to Higher Incidence of Negative Birth Outcomes

A recent investigation has uncovered a notable connection between prenatal exposure to cannabis and an increased likelihood of preterm birth, low birth weight, and the necessity for neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission in newborns. However, it is important to note that this exposure does not heighten the risk of birth defects or infant mortality within the first year of life.

An examination recently published in the journal Addiction divulged that infants exposed to cannabis while in the womb are more prone to premature birth, have lower birth weights, and require care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) compared to those not exposed to cannabis during prenatal development. The study also highlighted that these infants with prenatal cannabis exposure do not face a greater risk of birth defects or death during their initial year of life, including sudden unexpected infant death.

Ms. Maryam Sorkhou, the primary author, commented, “The global upsurge in cannabis use among women of childbearing age also extends to pregnant women. We are aware that THC, the principal psychoactive component in cannabis, can traverse the placenta from the mother to the fetus and bind to receptors in the fetal brain. Our study contributes to this understanding by demonstrating that prenatal exposure to cannabis heightens the risk of several adverse birth outcomes.”

Methodology of the Comprehensive Analysis

This comprehensive analysis, which amalgamated the findings of 57 previous studies involving a total of 12,901,376 infant participants, of whom 102,835 were exposed to cannabis, shed light on the following key findings:

  • Twenty of the studies scrutinized the correlation between intrauterine cannabis exposure and the likelihood of preterm delivery. These collective results indicated that mothers who used cannabis during pregnancy were more than 1.5 times as likely to experience preterm delivery compared to mothers who refrained from cannabis use during pregnancy.

  • Eighteen of the studies examined the risk of low birth weight. In these studies, the combined outcomes demonstrated that mothers who consumed cannabis during pregnancy were over twice as likely to have a baby with low birth weight compared to mothers who abstained from cannabis use during pregnancy.

  • Ten of the studies assessed the risk of NICU admission. The collective findings from these studies indicated that newborns exposed to intrauterine cannabis were more than twice as likely to necessitate NICU admission compared to non-exposed newborns.

The studies incorporated in this comprehensive analysis were published between 1984 and 2023 in various countries.

Reference: “Birth, cognitive and behavioral effects of intrauterine cannabis exposure in infants and children: A systematic review and meta-analysis” authored by Maryam Sorkhou, Daisy R. Singla, David J. Castle, and Tony P. George, published on 15th November 2023 in the journal Addiction.
DOI: 10.1111/add.16370

It is worth noting that this study received funding from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Prenatal Cannabis Exposure

What are the key findings of the study regarding prenatal cannabis exposure?

The study found that prenatal cannabis exposure is associated with a higher risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and the need for neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission in infants. However, it did not find an elevated risk of birth defects or infant mortality within the first year of life for cannabis-exposed infants.

What is the significance of the study’s findings?

The findings underscore the importance of understanding the potential risks of cannabis use during pregnancy. Pregnant women should be aware that using cannabis while pregnant may increase the likelihood of adverse birth outcomes, including premature birth and low birth weight.

What was the methodology of the study?

The study conducted a meta-analysis, which involved synthesizing the results of 57 previous studies with a total of 12,901,376 infant participants, of whom 102,835 were exposed to cannabis during pregnancy. Various aspects, such as preterm delivery, low birth weight, and NICU admission, were examined across these studies.

Were there any specific timeframes considered for the studies included in the meta-analysis?

Yes, the studies included in the meta-analysis were published between 1984 and 2023. This broad range of publication years ensures that the findings encompass a variety of research conducted over several decades and across different countries.

Who funded this study?

The study received funding from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This funding helped support the research efforts and data analysis involved in the study.

More about Prenatal Cannabis Exposure

  • Addiction Journal Article – The original research article titled “Birth, cognitive and behavioral effects of intrauterine cannabis exposure in infants and children: A systematic review and meta-analysis” published in the journal Addiction on November 15, 2023.

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5 comments

SeriousReader23 November 20, 2023 - 1:48 pm

im amaze at how many studies they put together for this. its def important info for moms to know about.

Reply
JohnDoe123 November 20, 2023 - 6:28 pm

wow, this is som scary stuff, prenital cannabis exposur sounds reely bad for baby’s, glad they did the study!

Reply
CryptoExpert47 November 20, 2023 - 7:06 pm

i had no ideea cannabis could impact pregnancy lik this. this study seems 2 b a big eye-opener.

Reply
CarEnthusiast November 20, 2023 - 8:08 pm

i didnt kno cannabis cud affect birth outcomes like this. good 2 kno 4 expectant parents.

Reply
FinancialWizard November 20, 2023 - 10:27 pm

interesting read, wonder how this info will affect pregnancy guidelines and regulations. we’ll hav 2 watch 4 changes.

Reply

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