An epidemiological, developmental and clinical overview of cannabis use during pregnancy

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Preventive medicine


The objective of the current narrative literature review is to provide an epidemiological, developmental and clinical overview on cannabis use during pregnancy. Cannabis use in pregnancy poses major health concerns for pregnant mothers and their developing children. Although studies on the short- and long-term consequences of prenatal cannabis exposure are increasing, findings have been inconsistent or difficult to interpret due to methodological issues. Thus, consolidating these findings into clinical recommendations based on the mixed studies in the literature remains a challenge. Synthesizing the available observational studies is also difficult, because some of the published studies have substantial methodological weaknesses. Improving observational studies will be an important step toward understanding the extent to which prenatal exposure to cannabis influences neurodevelopment in the offspring. Therefore, further research on prenatal cannabis exposure and the long-term consequences to offspring health in representative samples are needed to guide and improve clinical care for pregnant women and their children. Future research should also investigate the role of policies on prenatal cannabis use.

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