Heavy cannabis use during pregnancy may harm babies
Marijuana products often don't provide adequate warnings about potential risks to pregnant women, according to a new study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The big picture: Preterm birth, low birth weight and mortality are all more likely in babies born to mothers who have been diagnosed with cannabis use disorders.
By the numbers: Roughly 7 out of every 1,000 babies born in California in 2012, the most recent year of data in the study, was born to a mother diagnosed with prenatal cannabis use disorder.
- Infants born to women with a cannabis use disorder were 35% more likely to die within a year of birth.
How it works: CUD is different from casual use. The diagnosis requires continued use "despite impairments in physical, psychological and social functioning."
Where it stands: Recreational marijuana is legal in 17 states, and medical marijuana is legal in over 30, often as a treatment for nausea, vomiting and pain — which pregnancy can cause.
- However, researchers are concerned that the adverse health effects for babies may outweigh the therapeutic effects for mothers.
- Only California, Michigan and Colorado require warning labels that mention risks for pregnant women on cannabis products, according to the study.