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Study Finds No Link Between In-Utero Cannabis Exposure And Elevated Risk Of ADHD In Children

By Frank Schuler

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Few topics, if any, in the cannabis world are as sensitive as cannabis use during pregnancy, for obvious reasons. An expecting mother that consumes cannabis may be the most stigmatized type of cannabis consumer on earth.

If an expecting mother is suspected of consuming cannabis in any form in any manner, they run the risk of being put into a system that will likely have no mercy, and that is unfortunate for many reasons.

To be clear, I am not advocating for cannabis consumption during pregnancy. I am pointing out the obvious public health issues that arise from expecting mothers living in fear, and as a result, presumably being less-than-candid with their doctor(s) due to the fear of possible prosecution and/or eventually being separated from their child.

The fact of the matter is that some expecting moms consume cannabis for various reasons, often for medical reasons via smokeless consumption methods, and they should feel free to talk to their doctors about it in order to receive the best medical advice possible for themselves and their baby.

As with all things cannabis, science should lead the way and political hype and fearmongering should be avoided. Fortunately, cannabis use during pregnancy is being researched more often as cannabis reform spreads, with a recent example of that coming out of Canada. Below is more information about it via a NORML news release:

Quebec, Canada: Prenatal cannabis exposure is not associated with an increased risk of attention deficit disorders among children, according to data published in the journal BMJ Open.

Canadian investigators evaluated the relationship between in-utero marijuana exposure and attention deficit with or without hyperactivity disorder in a cohort of 2,408 children.

Researchers reported “no significant association” between either occasional or regular prenatal cannabis exposure and ADHD after adjusting for potential confounders.

“In our study, we did not find any association between in-utero occasional or regular exposure to cannabis and the risk of ADHD in children, as well as overall exposure to cannabis and the risk of ADHD in children,” authors concluded. “Further research focusing on the timing of exposure during pregnancy (e.g., first, second, third trimester), as well as using different methods for quantifying prenatal cannabis exposure (e.g., biological samples), is needed to better understand the impact of cannabis use during pregnancy and developmental outcomes in children.”

Full text of the study, “Is in-utero exposure to cannabis associated with the risk of attention deficit with or without hyperactivity disorder? A cohort study within the Quebec Pregnancy Cohort,” appears in BMJ Open. Additional information is available from NORML’s fact sheet, “Maternal Marijuana Use and Childhood Outcomes.”

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