CAMH Study Finds Potential Risks to Baby from Cannabis Exposure During Pregnancy What are the main findings?

Response: The meta-analysis revealed that intrauterine cannabis exposure increases the risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and requirement of neonatal-intensive care unit (NICU) admission. However, it is important to acknowledge a limitation of our study – the inability to control for other substance use and other confounding variables that influence birth outcomes. This means that the observed associations could be influenced by factors beyond cannabis alone, and we cannot definitively state that cannabis directly increases the risk of these adverse outcomes. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our findings suggest an association between prenatal cannabis use and select adverse birth outcomes. These findings provide valuable insights into potential risks associated with prenatal cannabis exposure, allowing healthcare professionals to offer informed guidance to pregnant individuals while respecting their autonomy. This understanding is essential for developing evidence-based interventions and strategies that empower expectant mothers to make choices aligned with their well-being, fostering a non-stigmatizing healthcare environment. Additionally, it contributes to public health awareness, enabling pregnant individuals to make informed decisions about their health and the well-being of their infants. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: I believe that the next steps for research should prioritize longer-term follow-up studies to comprehensively assess the developmental outcomes of children prenatally exposed to cannabis while rigorously controlling for confounding variables such as polysubstance use.

Exploring animal models to discern how THC and CBD differentially impact fetal development can yield invaluable insights. Furthermore, delving into the effects of varying doses and timing of cannabis use during pregnancy, coupled with the development and evaluation of targeted intervention strategies for pregnant individuals using cannabis, are pivotal steps in advancing our understanding and informing evidence-based practices for the well-being of both mothers and children.

I have no disclosures.


Sorkhou, M, Singla, DR, Castle, DJ, George, TP. Birth, cognitive and behavioral effects of intrauterine cannabis exposure in infants and children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Addiction. 2023.

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Last Updated on November 17, 2023 by