A review published Thursday in a medical journal has found no evidence to support the claim that cannabis use during pregnancy results in adverse outcomes for the baby, though the researchers encourage further study on the issue.
The review — which were compiled by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and appeared in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal — analyzed data from 31 studies that surveyed pregnant women. Of those women surveyed, 124,000 were identified as having not used cannabis during their pregnancies, while 7,800 admitted to having used the substance.
Of those women surveyed, 124,000 were identified as having not used cannabis during their pregnancies, while 7,800 admitted to having used the substance.
The review initially found a correlation between cannabis use and adverse outcomes of childbirth. However, after accounting for whether the women who used cannabis also used tobacco during their pregnancies, the authors of the study concluded that cannabis use presented no increased risk to the unborn child. (However, the researchers registered an 85 percent increase in likelihood of preterm birth when the expectant mother had smoked both cannabis and tobacco.)
Researchers were careful to stipulate that while the results did not find a positive correlation between cannabis use and negative outcomes following childbirth, the study was not an endorsement of cannabis use during pregnancy.
“Any foreign substance that doesn’t directly benefit maternal or fetal health should be avoided,” said Shayna Conner, who serves as an assistant professor at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine and who co-authored the review.
Previous studies on the effects of cannabis on pregnancy have yielded mixed results, with some finding cannabis having a negative effect and others finding the substance to have no effects at all.
John Winston is a New York City-based journalist writing for the Marijuana Free Press, and a media advisor for nyvapeshop.com.