Cannabis is the second-most common psychoactive substance (after alcohol) used during pregnancy.
- Elements of cannabis can pass through the placenta and affect the fetus’s development. Frequent cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight and is part of a cluster of risk factors related to other adverse birth outcomes.
- There are also effects on behaviour in children and young adults, including attention deficits, emotional disturbances, increased hyperactivity and impulsivity, sleep disorders, and increased likelihood of substance use.
- Growing evidence from human and animal studies shows that paternal cannabis use can also negatively affect children’s neurodevelopment.
- Elements of cannabis can pass into breastmilk during lactation, which the infant absorbs and metabolizes.
- The effects of cannabidiol (CBD) use during pregnancy or breastfeeding are unknown. Both clinical and preclinical studies are urgently needed to evaluate the safety of CBD use during pregnancy.
- Information on the effects of cannabis use during pregnancy is essential to help healthcare providers advise patients about the effect of cannabis use and improve the health and well-being of patients and their children.