A new study published yesterday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that marijuana use during pregnancy can increase the risk in unborn children developing psychosis later in life. This revelation poses yet another reason the reported recent 75% increase in marijuana use during pregnancy is so concerning.
“While the pot industry has been caught recommending its highly potent products pregnant mothers, studies such as this prove that we should be doing more to warn individuals to the risks of marijuana use,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama administration. “Lawmakers touting the pot industry’s line are sending the message that this drug is harmless, which is leading to a rise in use among vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women.”
“Our research shows that prenatal marijuana exposure after maternal knowledge of pregnancy is associated with a small increase in psychosis proneness during middle childhood or about age 10,” said Jeremy Fine, the lead author on the study and undergraduate at Washington University in an article published on the university’s website.
“Given increasing cannabis accessibility and potency, as well as growing public perceptions that it’s safe to use, it is critical for additional research to understand the potential adverse consequences and benefits of cannabis throughout development and how these associations may arise,” added Dr. Ryan Bogdan, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences and senior author of the study. “In the meantime, evidence that prenatal marijuana use is associated with a small increase in offspring psychosis proneness suggests that marijuana use during pregnancy should be discouraged until more is known.”
This study closely follows a undercover investigation last year which found that 70% of marijuana stores in Colorado were recommending marijuana products, including 99% potency edibles and concentrates, to pregnant women to “treat” symptoms associated with morning sickness.