Research shows that using cannabis during pregnancy can lead to health problems for babies and children. Although cannabis is a plant and is now legal, it is safest not to use cannabis during pregnancy.
• Cannabis affects your baby's brain development throughout your entire pregnancy and after birth up until the age of about 25. The more cannabis that is consumed during pregnancy, the more your baby's developing brain is affected.
• There is no known 'safe' amount of cannabis use while pregnant. The safest approach is not to use cannabis.
• Studies have indicated that the use of cannabis during pregnancy may be associated with increased risk for low birth weight and premature birth. Premature babies may experience short term and long-term health issues.
• Maternal cannabis use has been linked to adverse effects on children's brain development, memory function, ability to pay attention, reasoning and problem-solving skills. It is also associated with more hyperactive behaviour in children.
• All of the various ways that cannabis can be consumed (i.e. smoked, vaped, eaten, using lotions or oils) may affect your baby's development. Smoke going into your lungs takes oxygen away from your developing baby. Smoking cannabis increases carbon monoxide levels in the blood, which decreases the amount of oxygen your baby receives – just like with cigarettes. Also like cigarettes, second-hand smoke from cannabis is unsafe for your baby.
• If you do choose to use cannabis while pregnant, reflect on how often and how much cannabis you consume. Try to use as little cannabis as possible, use it less often, and choose low-potency products — those with low THC and/or high CBD content.
For more information about cannabis and health, see www.fnha.ca/cannabis