Cannabis use during pregnancy: What are the risks?
The endocannabinoid system comes online within weeks of conception and is critically important in:
– implantation of the embryo into the uterine wall
– development of the placenta
– formation of brain circuits
Both THC and CBD can cross the placenta, enter fetal circulation, and exert effects on the fetal brain.
This sets up numerous risks for development and can explain why cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with higher risks of: low birth weight and need for neonatal intensive care.
Long-term studies of children who were exposed to cannabis in the womb reveal increased risk for cognitive impairment, mood disorders, and behavioral difficulties.