Cannabis and Maternal Health



How does using cannabis affect my baby's health?

Just like with tobacco and alcohol, using cannabis while you're pregnant or breastfeeding can affect your baby. Ingredients in cannabis, such as THC, cross the placenta and into the baby's bloodstream during pregnancy. THC has also been found in breastmilk. Using cannabis during pregnancy can lead to health problems for babies and children.


Doctors and other health professionals in Canada recommend that women who use non-medical cannabis stop using cannabis during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Pregnant women experiencing morning sickness are advised to explore alternative treatments with their primary health care providers


If you are expecting and can't or don't want to stop using cannabis entirely, then use as little cannabis as possible and use it less often. Also, find out more about safer ways to consume cannabis, such as using a vaporizer instead of smoking cannabis. If you are trying to reduce or stop using cannabis recreationally while pregnant, talk to your health care provider about services in your community that can support you


Note that there are short- and long-term risks associated with using cannabis while pregnant, whether the cannabis is prescribed by a doctor or not.


Cannabis use during pregnancy can lead to:


• Pre-term labour and delivery, which can lead to a premature birth. Premature babies may experience short-term and long-term health issues

• Low birth weight, which can result in increased vulnerability to infections and difficulty feeding

• Potential learning and behaviour consequences that appear later in childhood, such as learning challenges, impulsivity, hyperactivity and more