Using marijuana in pregnancy may heighten baby's risk of autism

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 12, 2020

pregnant woman holding marijuana leaf(NBC News, August 10) According to a recent study, the children of women who used marijuana while they were pregnant have a 50% higher risk of developing autism.

In the study, published in Nature Medicine, researchers looked at data from over 500,000 mothers and their children in Canada. They followed the children for seven years on average. During that time, over 7,000 were diagnosed with autism.

The rate of autism diagnosis in children exposed to cannabis in utero was 2.2%. In comparison, for children whose mothers did not consume marijuana, the rate is 1.4%.

“Cannabis is not a benign drug and any use during pregnancy should be discouraged,” said the study’s lead author. “There are cannabinoid receptors present in the developing fetus and exposure to cannabis may impact the wiring of the developing brain.” Read more.


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