Consuming cannabis during pregnancy increases the risk of low baby weight and complications – WWN

Consuming cannabis during pregnancy increases the risk of low baby weight and complications – WWN

Of Laura Cuppini

Cannabis exposure linked to reduced function of the placenta, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby

Consuming cannabis during pregnancy is very risky. This is confirmed by an American study on over 9 thousand pregnant women, published in the magazine Jama
(Journal of the American Medical Association), according to which the use of cannabis is associated with adverse outcomes due to dysfunctions of the placenta: low birth weight (less than less than 2,500 g), preterm birth (before the 37th week), fetal death, hypertension in pregnancy (over 140/90 mmHg). The risk of adverse events was higher among women who continued to use cannabis beyond the first trimester.

The effects of cannabis

Compared to previous investigations on the same topic, this one is broader and measured cannabis exposure accurately. In the past, some studies had found no association between cannabis use and pregnancy complications. The large population of the new work, which included patients from eight medical centers in several US cities, allowed the researchers to separate the impact of cannabis use from that of other factorssuch as pre-existing health conditions, nicotine exposure, and socioeconomic status.

Low birth weight

Of the over 9 thousand participants, 610 had detectable levels of cannabis in their urine. To evaluate its effects on pregnancy, researchers examined the statistical probabilities of low birth weight, arterial hypertension, fetal death and preterm birth. The association between cannabis use and low birth weight was the strongest. All analyzed conditions are linked to reduced function of the placentathe organ that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby.


Previous studies in nonhuman primates have found that long-term exposure to cannabis can interfere with the blood supply to the placenta. The correlation observed by American scholars suggests that cannabis can damage the human placenta in a similar way. The risk increases as the level of exposure to cannabis increases. According to the authors of the study, products with are particularly worrying high quantity of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, one of the main active ingredients in cannabis): The health impacts of these concentrated devices remain largely unknown.

Against nausea and anxiety

Women who intend to consume cannabis during pregnancy should talk to their doctor – explain the researchers -. Pregnant women sometimes use cannabis to relieve nausea or anxiety, but it has been shown that there are other, much safer remedies.. There is an urgent need to delve deeper into the health impacts of cannabis so that patients can make informed decisions. As long as humans are interested in using these products we will have to evaluate them effects, both positive and negativeas accurately as possible and inform the population.

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December 30, 2023 (changed December 30, 2023 | 07:51)

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