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Is cannabis (marijuana) safe during pregnancy?

Updated: Sep 29, 2019

Marijuana has become legal in many states both medically and recreationally. For this reason, the need to understand its effects becomes more critical-- especially in high risk populations such as pregnant women. Similarly to alcohol or nicotine during pregnancy, marijuana can effect birth outcomes.

In recent years, marijuana has been praised for its medicinal effects, specifically for anxiety, pain relief, etc. It has ridden on the everything 'natural' fad because it is a plant and some have treated it like a medicinal herb.

We have no doubt there are studies that support these claims --- marijuana use may be better in some circumstances when comparing prescription or over the counter medication for non-pregnant individuals.

Some pregnant women have reported using marijuana for its antiemetic effect to help with morning sickness or aversions. Some studies have found that it may help decrease risks for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

Sounds great right? However, as it is still a drug, it is not recommended.

Studies have found that there is an increased risk (almost double the risk) for preterm birth with infants being small for gestational age (as low as the 3rd-10th percentiles), placental abruption, and NICU admissions.

Marijuana has been seen to impair brain maturation and cause neurodevelopment disorders in children after birth. This is because central nervous system development during pregnancy makes the baby particularly vulnerable to drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, and cannabis. While preeclampsia and gestational diabetes may be risks during pregnancy, their risks do not outweigh these results from the use of marijuana.


TCH readily crosses the placenta and therefore can directly negatively effect your baby. Both CBD and THC have negative metabolic effects on a baby during pregnancy (both should be avoided).

If you have further questions regarding the above post (or anything else regarding maternal nutrition throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding) please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you with your concerns!

Until next time!

Mikayla and Cassie

Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors


Schwarts, Ben (2019) Does cannabis use increase a woman's risk for PTB?., Contemporary OB/GYN.

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