What exactly are the risks and effects of marijuana use during pregnancy?
With 2-13% of women worldwide using it during pregnancy, cannabis is the most commonly consumed drug by pregnant women. However, while the effects of alcohol use during pregnancy are well-documented, the risks of smoking weed while with child are not as widely known.
There is a growing body of research proving the negative effects of pot use during pregnancy, such as:
- Risk of miscarriage
- Risk of premature birth
- Fetal growth restriction
- Learning disabilities
- Memory impairment
- Anencephaly (being born with part of the brain missing)
Studies have also shown evidence of short- and long-term behavioural issues in children who were exposed to cannabis in utero. Additionally, a link has been found between prenatal marijuana use and abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for complex cognition, decision making and working memory.
Cannabis, contrary to popular belief, is an addictive substance. With these risks involved, it is important for pregnant women to inform themselves of the risks involved and seek treatment for marijuana addiction as soon as possible.