Advocating for Evidence Based Marijuana Policy
Category Archives: Pregnancy Risks
Marijuana, the most common illicit substance used during pregnancy, can reduce birthweight by an average of 15 ounces over the course of a full term pregnancy. The 2009 study conducted in the Netherlands among 7,500 mothers was Researchers also found a statistically significant reduction in head circumference.
The abstract and entire article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatry can be found at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856709660731
MJ use during pregnancy linked to lower birth weights, increased need for postnatal intensive care and increased maternal anemia.
A meta-analysis of 24 related studies published April 5, 2016 indicates that babies born to mothers who use marijuana during pregnancy are 77% more likely to be born underweight; that twice as many will require postnatal intensive care; and that 36% of their mothers will develop anemia. This study suggests that the public health impacts and costs of marijuana use would be much higher than proponents of legalization for recreational purposes have asserted.
The study, conducted by the University of Arizona School of Epidemiology published in the on line journal BMJ is available at http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/4/e009986.
Illicit drug use and adverse birth outcomes: Is it drugs or context?
Research has shown that some babies born to women who used marijuana during their pregnancies display altered responses to visual stimuli, increased tremulousness, and a high-pitched cry, which could indicate problems with neurological development. In school, marijuana-exposed children are more likely to show gaps in problem solving skills, memory, and the ability to remain attentive. More research is needed, however, to disentangle the drug-specific factors from the environmental ones.
Schempf, A.H., and Strobino, D.M. Illicit drug use and adverse birth outcomes: Is it drugs or context? J Urban Health 85(6):858–873, 2008.