Study: Maternal Marijuana Use Not Independently Associated With Adverse Effects In Newborns

According to a literature review published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, moderate marijuana does not present an independent risk factor leading to adverse outcomes in newborns. Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis researchers analyzed the results of over two dozen relevant case-controlled studies from 1982 to 2015. After adjusting for external factors, they found moderate marijuana use alone didn't contribute to low birth weight, preterm delivery, SGA (small for gestational age), or placental abruption. Authors concluded, "the increased risk for adverse neonatal outcomes reported in women using marijuana in pregnancy is likely the result of coexisting use of tobacco and other cofounding factors and not attributable to marijuana use itself. Although these data do not imply that marijuana use during pregnancy should be encouraged of condoned, the lack of a significant association with adverse neonatal outcomes suggests that attention should be focused on aiding pregnant women with cessation of substances known to have adverse effects on the pregnancy such as tobacco."

Other studies, like that of the US Centers for Disease Control-sponsored population study in 2010 that found cannabis was not associated with low birth weight of preterm birth. These results present welcomed news for pregnant patients who benefit from medical marijuana. That being said, while cannabis can not be blamed for adverse neonatal outcomes, research in this area is still relatively small. Caution is still recommended when opting to continue use of this medication while pregnant. 

This information has been provided by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.