PubMed: Up in Smoke: The Impacts of Marijuana During Pregnancy
Neonatal Netw. 2023 Jul 1;42(4):222-232. doi: 10.1891/NN-2022-0040.
Numerous drugs ingested during pregnancy can impact the developing fetus. Although some effects are apparent at birth as overt teratogenicity or profound neonatal withdrawal, others become apparent only after a careful long-term follow-up into childhood. Shifting legal and cultural attitudes toward marijuana have led to increased use during pregnancy. This shift should prompt health care providers to carefully consider the drug’s mechanism of action, its interaction with the placenta, and the potential consequences of fetal exposure. The primary psychoactive compound in marijuana is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which agonizes endogenous cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are present in the fetal brain early in gestation and appear to have an important role in the developing central nervous system. THC crosses the placenta in sufficient quantities to raise concerns about exogenous exposure during fetal development. Robust follow-up studies suggest that marijuana use during pregnancy contributes to suboptimal fetal growth. At school age, heavy prenatal marijuana exposure predicts challenges in executive function (specifically, memory and reasoning) and externalizing behavior (e.g., hyperactivity and inattention). Memory and behavioral problems persist into early adulthood. These challenges coincide with a higher risk of heavy marijuana use in offspring. In concert with a suboptimal environment, young adults may experience a higher risk of global cognitive impairment and/or delinquency. Importantly, these adverse outcomes appear to be mitigated by postnatal factors including home environment. Ongoing studies in the modern era will be vital to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms by which THC impacts the fetus and confirm or refute knowledge regarding long-term impact. This knowledge will inform both health care providers and parents in collaborative decision-making to optimize the outcome of children.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37491043/?utm_source=Chrome&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pubmed-2&utm_content=1NqsX9BbHlDygQ8TcgAlJilHgPpiuKQtyIr–a3-xbLzPoB9xM&fc=20220928170152&ff=20230728135633&v=2.17.9.post6+86293ac July 25, 2023 10:00 am