Cannabis Use in Pregnancy
Cannabis is now legal in many states in the U.S. But being legal doesn't
mean it’s safe. Cannabis use in pregnancy can harm your baby.
The chemicals in cannabis can be passed to your baby. They pass through
the placenta. They also pass through breastmilk.
Be open with your healthcare provider about your use of cannabis and
other drugs. They want to help you and your baby be healthy. If prenatal visits, your
provider will ask you questions about cannabis, alcohol, and medicines you take. If you
need help to stop using a substance, they can help you start treatment. They can refer you
to a specialist. Your provider can help you prepare for the safest birth and care of your
Why do pregnant people use cannabis?
Some people may use cannabis to try to ease nausea and vomiting. If
you have morning sickness or nausea, talk with your healthcare provider. They can tell
you some safer ways to treat it. They may advise medicine and lifestyle changes.
Some people may use cannabis for anxiety or depression. These
feelings are common in pregnancy. But they can be treated in safer ways. They can be
treated with counseling. They can be treated with prescription medicine as needed.
Some people have a substance use disorder. This means it’s very hard
to stop using a substance. They need healthcare support and treatment to help them
Treatment for cannabis use in pregnancy
Medical experts advise to not use cannabis if you are pregnant or
breastfeeding. If you use cannabis and are pregnant, your provider will tell you to cut
back or stop. You may be able to do this on your own. Or ask for your provider’s help.
You may want to join a program for stopping cannabis use. This may include:
Possible complications of cannabis use in pregnancy
Studies don’t all agree on the effects cannabis has on pregnancy.
More study is needed. But based on what is known so far, cannabis use can cause:
Low birth weight
Higher risk for baby entering NICU (neonatal intensive care
Lower APGAR scores, a scoring system used to assess the health
If you use cannabis in any form and are pregnant or planning to be,
talk with your healthcare provider. Together you can make a plan for a safe and healthy
pregnancy and baby.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Heather M Trevino BSN RNC
Online Medical Reviewer:
Irina Burd MD PhD
Date Last Reviewed:
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