Pot-Smoking Moms Have Misbehaving Kids: Study

“Cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with adverse childhood outcomes.”

Increases in special ed, juvenile delinquency, kids on meds: is this the price of legal pot?

Sep 23, 2020

Insider – As cannabis becomes more widely accepted in the US, recreational and medical use are becoming more common across the general population — even more so among pregnant women.

Self-reported cannabis use among pregnant women has more than doubled in the past 15 years, increasing from 3.4% to 7% between 2002 and 2017. Among the general population, cannabis use increased by about one-third (from 6.2% to 8.4% of people aged 12 and older) during that same period.

But a recent study suggests that this trend could be harmful to future generations, as cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with adverse childhood outcomes.

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The study, published today in JAMA Psychiatry, found that women who used cannabis during pregnancy were more likely to have children with social problems, impulsivity and attention problems, and psychotic-like experiences that can be predictive of disorders like schizophrenia.

“Much of the prior work that has looked at prenatal marijuana exposure has looked at things like infant motor behavior and sleep and birth weight,” study author Ryan Bogdan, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University St. Louis, told Insider. “There have been relatively few studies that have looked at later outcomes in childhood.”

The study data came from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study, a national survey of almost 12,000 children. Of that dataset, 655 children were exposed to cannabis prenatally — which could reflect an underestimate, since the data was self-reported.

From there, the authors of the cannabis use study grouped the data into a cohort of children who were exposed before their mothers knew they were pregnant, and those whose mothers continued to use cannabis after they learned they were pregnant.

They also ruled out variables such as family history of psychosis, socioeconomic status, and the use of tobacco or alcohol during pregnancy … Read more.

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