Health risks of marijuana use during pregnancy

Crossed out cannabis leaf on pregnant belly

The government of Canada legalized marijuana on Oct 17, 2018. Does this mean that it’s safe to use marijuana during pregnancy?

Some people have reported that using marijuana during pregnancy helps to manage morning sickness. However, due to the potential risks to the pregnancy, baby and mother, safer approaches should be discussed with a health care provider.

Marijuana comes from a cannabis plant which contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The chemical THC makes people feel high when smoked, eaten or vaped and CBD provides medicinal effects such as decreasing pain and anxiety.

Using marijuana during pregnancy can increase the risk of: 

  • Baby not getting enough supply of oxygen and nutrients
  • Low birth weight
  • A small for gestational age baby
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature birth

Other possible effects of marijuana use include difficulty getting pregnant and children  possibly having difficulities with learning, behaviour and mental health later in life..

There is no safe amount of marijuana use during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding are strongly encouraged to avoid marijuana in any form to protect their baby from potential harm.

Video: Times Have Changed, SOGC

If you or your partner are concerned about marijuana use and/or any other substance use speak to your health care provider. You can also eChat or speak with a Public Health Nurse at (416) 338-7600.


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