Cannabis and Pregnancy: The ABCD Study

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Karen Berger, PharmD, Medical Writer

A new study was just published in JAMA Psychiatry looking at the effects of prenatal exposure to cannabis. The question the researchers wanted to answer was, “Is prenatal exposure to cannabis associated with child outcomes?”1 The study was called the ABCD (Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development) study.

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams recently issued a statement against marijuana in pregnancy. “No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is known to be safe.” Many pregnant women use cannabis (in 2017, seven percent of pregnant women used cannabis). Dispensaries sometimes recommend medical marijuana to pregnant women for morning sickness.

The JAMA study looked at 11,489 children ages 9 to 11 years old from 2016-2018. Of these, 655 (5.7 percent of children in the study) were exposed to cannabis prenatally. The results showed that prenatal exposure to cannabis was associated with “greater psychopathology during middle childhood, even after accounting for potentially confounding variables.”

Symptoms of psychopathology in children included psychotic-like experiences, and internalizing, externalizing, attention, thought, and social problems. The study also looked at other factors like cognition, sleep, birth weight, gestational birth age, BMI (body mass index), and brain structure. 

Exposure to marijuana during pregnancy was associated with a lower weight at birth. It was also associated with effects on the brain and greater effects on psychology issues. 

The study authors concluded that – consistent with the Surgeon General’s recommendation – pregnant women should not use cannabis. 

In addition to effects on pregnancy, THC can be found in breast milk for up to six days after use.1  This can affect brain development and cause hyperactivity, poor cognitive function, and other long-term effects. Marijuana smoke contains harmful components, as tobacco smoke does. Marijuana and tobacco should be avoided in pregnancy and breastfeeding

At MyCureAll, we support the use of medical cannabis for many conditions. However, based on scientific data such as the US Surgeon General recommendation and the JAMA study, we agree with the recommendation that marijuana and tobacco should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. 

The MyCureAll app provides a platform for targeted cannabis recommendations for cannabinoids that treat specific conditions and lower healthcare costs. As experts in the pharmaceutical and medical cannabis field, our mission is to properly, consistently, and effectively manage medical cannabis administration by aligning patients, doctors, dispensaries, and insurers to work hand-in-hand for safer and more effective healthcare.

We promise to provide our patients with the highest ethical level of care. We will never charge patients for our services, and we will fight the insurance companies for you! We are on your side.

 

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References

  1. Paul SE, Hatoum AS, Fine JD, et al. Associations Between Prenatal Cannabis Exposure and Childhood Outcomes: Results From the ABCD Study. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online September 23, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.2902
  2. U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory: Marijuana Use and the Developing Brain. HHS.gov Office of the Attorney General Website. Available at https://www.hhs.gov/surgeongeneral/reports-and-publications/addiction-and-substance-misuse/advisory-on-marijuana-use-and-developing-brain/index.html Accessed September 24, 2020.
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