…in utero cannabis exposure is linked to adverse outcomes among offspring, including small for gestational age, neonatal intensive care unit admissions, and preterm birth.
In addition, prenatal cannabis exposure has also been associated with childhood outcomes such as autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, as well as symptoms of psychopathology, including psychotic like experiences, internalizing, externalizing, attention problems, and thought and social problems. Maternal cannabis use disorder has also been linked to a greater risk of small for gestational age, preterm birth, low birthweight, and death within 1 year of birth.
Unlike tobacco or alcohol use in pregnancy, because of the current lack of definitive evidence of harm with use, public health efforts to caution against use of cannabis while pregnant are lagging. As the evidence of deleterious effects from prenatal cannabis use continues to accumulate, physicians and researchers in reproductive health have a responsibility to mitigate adverse health outcomes from perinatal cannabis use. Fulfilling this responsibility requires actionable evidence from high-quality research to guide health care clinician counseling, inform developmental screening strategies for exposed offspring, direct health policies, and garner public awareness.