A study review prepared by researchers at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology revealed no negative impact of marijuana on pregnant women and their children, but scientists still insist on further investigation of this issue.
The Obstetrics & Gynecology journal has recently published a review based on 31 studies investigating the effect of cannabis on pregnant women. The findings revealed that 124,000 of the surveyed women did not consume marijuana during their pregnancy, while 7,800 reported that they remained cannabis users.
Analyzing previous findings, scientists noticed that marijuana use during pregnancy was associated with early delivery, low birth weight, and dead birth. In addition, they found an emerging body of evidence showing that weed consumption might lead to problems with neurological development, resulting in low cognitive function, enhanced activity, or defections in dopaminergic receptors.
Thus, researchers initially assumed that marijuana use had a negative effect on childbirth, but the findings showed that cannabis consumption did not increase the risks for the unborn child. Meanwhile, when pregnant women used both weed and tobacco, they increased their risk of preterm delivery by 85%. Scientists concluded that the risks were caused by tobacco use and other confounding factors, but not by cannabis itself.
Though the studies do not reveal any connection between marijuana consumption and adverse impact on fetuses or newborns, researchers do not advocate for cannabis use by pregnant and nursing women.
In addition, the studies took into account only possible short-time effects of marijuana but paid no attention to the long-term risk of neurodevelopmental outcomes like ADHD or cognitive disorders.
Consequently, researchers call for carrying out further evidence-based investigations regarding the possible outcomes of cannabis use during pregnancy. Meanwhile, marijuana or any other foreign substance that can penetrate into the placenta or breast milk without providing benefits for the mother or the child should be avoided, scientists advise.
Previously conducted studies showed controversial results finding either a negative effect of weed use on pregnancy or no effect at all.