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Clinical Perspectives: New Study Finds Rise in Prenatal and Early Pregnancy Cannabis Use

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Clinical Perspectives: New Study Finds Rise in Prenatal and Early Pregnancy Cannabis Use

Welcome to Clinical Perspectives, a new column from Mommy Matters. We cull the newest, most important pregnancy and postpartum news and break it down into a few takeaway points you need to know. Also, we have our own medical expert, Dr. Shirazian, who reviews each article and adds the clinical perspective. If you are interested in learning more on your own, our MD-trusted sources include the American College of Obstetricians and GynecologistsAmerican Academy of Pediatrics, and Very Well Health.


July 19, 2019 - A newly published study in JAMA Network Open found that the frequency of cannabis use in early pregnancy and the year before pregnancy has increased among women in Northern California.

Key Takeaways:

  • The study was done at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, screening nearly 400,000 pregnancies. Women were asked to self-report cannabis use at their first prenatal visit.
  • Between 2009 and 2017, cannabis use in the year before pregnancy increased from 6.8% to 12.5%, and use during pregnancy increased from 1.95% to 3.38%. Nationwide, a different study found that cannabis use among pregnant women rose from 3% to 7% between 2002 and 2016-7. 
  • Despite greater social acceptance of cannabis use, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly discourages its use before and during pregnancy due to potential negative health outcomes for mothers and babies.
  • Current research suggests that prenatal cannabis use causes lower infant birth weight and affects fetal brain development. Future studies are needed to explore if relationships exist between increased frequency and/or method of cannabis use and the severity of maternal and infant health outcomes.
  • This study also provides an opportunity for health professionals to improve the quality and amount of counseling currently provided to patients about cannabis use in pregnancy, as many women feel that they were not given enough information on the topic by their healthcare providers.


You can read the original article here, and the originally published study here


Disclaimer: This is general medical information and not specific medical advice.  It does not and should not replace diagnosis or treatment by your healthcare provider. If you are seeking personal recommendations, advice, and/or treatment, please consult your physician. If you have an emergency, you should contact 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.