Wednesday, March 29, 2023

New Research Finds That People Who Use Cannabis Early in Pregnancy are at Increased Risk of Poor Pregnancy Outcomes

The following is a press release issued by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine:

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As more states legalize marijuana for recreational use, researchers are looking into the potential health effects of cannabis use during pregnancy.

In a new study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™ — and published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology — researchers will unveil findings that suggest that using cannabis in the first six to 14 weeks of pregnancy is associated with poor pregnancy outcomes that are closely related to the function of the placenta.

The placenta plays an important role during pregnancy, including providing an infant with oxygen and nutrients, removing harmful waste and carbon dioxide, and producing hormones that help a baby grow. Medicine, drugs, alcohol and nicotine can transfer from a pregnant person’s bloodstream to their baby through the placenta.

Researchers analyzed urine samples collected during the Nulliparous Mothers-to-Be (nuMoM2b) study, a large, diverse multicenter cohort of pregnant people. Of the 10,038 nuMoM2b participants, researchers included data from 9,257 pregnant people in their first trimester of pregnancy.

After doing a drug screen for marijuana, researchers discovered that 540 (5.8 percent) tested positive for marijuana, meaning those individuals most likely used cannabis in the first six to 14 weeks of their pregnancy. The study found that using cannabis early in pregnancy is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes related to the placenta, such as poor fetal growth, stillbirth, and an increased risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy.

“We wanted to look specifically at cannabis use early in pregnancy because that’s when the placenta is forming, and a lot of information we currently have indicates that cannabis use does affect the placenta,” says the study’s lead author Torri D. Metz, MD, MS, a maternal-fetal medicine subspecialist and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Utah Health in Salt Lake City.

“With recreational marijuana use becoming legal in more states, we need better data because patients are interested in understanding the risk of cannabis use in pregnancy so they can make an informed decision.”

The next step, say researchers, is to look at ongoing cannabis use during pregnancy and whether “the window of exposure” matters.

To view the presentation of this abstract or other Pregnancy Meeting™ abstracts and events, visit the SMFM website or contact Karen Addis at or 301-787-2394.



  1. I’m glad someone said it out loud. Weed sucks, it is addictive.
    But also Tylenol is now paying out lawsuits for causing autism.

  2. Smoking is smoking. Support your family member in quitting. Are there any cannabis quitting support groups out there that aren’t AA? My partner sees my attempts to quit as a joke and mocks my failures. I have been smoking since I was a child (under the tutelage of my parents) and find it extremely hard to quit. I really want to and I have found no one in my situation with whom I can relate. It’s embarrassing.

  3. My husband is really unsupportive in my desire to quit. Even my therapists, all of them, admit to me that they use cannabis. Just like alcohol or your phone, it can take over your life. Have you ever tried to tell someone you’re trying to quit smoking marijuana only to have them treat you like Bob Sagget’s character in Half Baked? No, I’ve never sucked dick for weed, but I couldn’t quit while pregnant. So is there like a weedaholics annonymous group? It’s really its own beast.

  4. Pregnant women are at risk for difficult pregnancies with addiction to either drugs, alcohol, bad foods, etc.
    Beside AA meetings there is Lucky Deuce that may be able to help stop addiction.

  5. Since the authoritarian fascists in Sacramento are working on passing bills to force choices on its subjects under the umbrella of “best for your health” it won’t be long until they propose a bill that humans who menstrate must either be on birth control or be infertile in order to smoke marijuana, just in case they get pregnant…tobacco today, alcohol and weed tomorrow, and fattening food too. Isn’t it great when a government mAkEs AlL oF yOuR decisions FoR yOu?

  6. Roswell Park Study Shows. BUFFALO, N.Y. — Vaping cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in marijuana, leads to more severe lung damage than vaping nicotine, according to a study out of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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