Research: What can cause cannabis use during pregnancy?
Its use during pregnancy can have long-term effects on children
Women who use cannabis during pregnancy may be less likely to reduce their stress and anxiety during pregnancy, according to a new US scientific study. , the first of its kind. Cannabis can disrupt the placenta and thus adversely affect the subsequent development of the child.
Researchers from Mount Icahn School of Mount Sinai and New York City University (CUNY) published the paper in the journal National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), led by Professor Yoko Nomura of the Department of Psychology, studied 322 mother-child pairs. When the children were six years old, the levels of stress hormones in their body and the resistance of their heart to stress conditions were measured, while their behavioral and emotional function was also evaluated.
It was found that children born to mothers who had used cannabis during pregnancy had - after a few years - more stress, aggression and hyperactivity, as well as higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, compared to children whose pregnant women mothers were not cannabis users.
As cannabis legalization is gaining ground internationally (often for medical reasons), many people mistakenly believe that its use poses no health risks at all. The impact of cannabis on pregnant women is an issue that has not been adequately studied to date.
"We know that cannabinoids play a role in relieving stress, which is why people use cannabis to reduce their stress and relax. "But the study shows that exposing children to cannabis in the womb has the opposite effect on them, causing them to have higher levels of stress, aggression and hyperactivity than children who were not exposed to cannabis during pregnancy." Dr. Nomoura.
"Pregnant women are being bombarded with misinformation that cannabis is not dangerous, while the reality is that cannabis is stronger today than it was a few years ago. "Our findings show that its use during pregnancy can have long-term effects on children," said Dr. Jasmine Herd, director of the Mount Sinai Addiction Institute in New York.