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Cannabis Exposure During Pregnancy Is Linked to Mental Health Problems in Early Adolescence

Cannabis Exposure During Pregnancy Is Linked to Mental Health Problems in Early Adolescence

The increase of legalization of marijuana does not decrease the concern for the effects of maternal and fetal exposure during pregnancy and potential negative outcomes on the child. The legalization of marijuana, does however, suggest the potential for growing use, even during pregnancy. New research found that cannabis exposure during pregnancy is linked to mental health problems in early adolescence.

Cannabis and Pregnancy

A recent publication from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study suggests that cannabis use in pregnancy may lead to mental health issues in early adolescence. We know that smoking cigarettes has a multitude of adverse effects on fertility and obstetrical outcomes. The impact of marijuana has been less clear, however. A recent analysis of 10,000 children ages 11 to 12 found a higher incidence of AD/HD, aggression, conduct disorder, and rule-breaking behavior following in utero exposure to cannabis.

Further research is required, but these findings suggest that women who are trying to conceive should limit their exposure to marijuana.

Marijuana Use While Breastfeeding

The ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommends cessation of the use of smoking (tobacco and marijuana). Additionally, this ban should be continued in women who choose to breastfeed. These same active substances found to cross the brain and the placenta, are found in breastmilk.

We Can Help

At Fertility Centers of New England, we encourage all of our patients to lead a healthy lifestyle in order to have the best chance possible of conceiving and maintaining a successful pregnancy.  If you have questions about your or your partner’s fertility, please contact us today!



Baranger, DA et al. Prenatal Cannabis Exposure From Childhood to Early Adolescence Longitudinal Findings From the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. JAMA Pediatr. Published online September 12, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2022.3191

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