Cannabis use during pregnancy

"Hi there

my sister recently found out she is pregnant. She uses cannabis daily to help with anxiety and sleep. I have come across conflicting information when it come to smoking during pregnancy. She has been reducing her use for a while but does not want to stop completely. Her works hours begin at 330am and smoking helps regulate her sleep. Does anyone have any helpful information on smoking while pregnant? Should she switch to edibles instead? Thanks so Much! "

The reason why you’ve come across conflicting information is most likely because the studies–which are few and far between–so far present results that fall on each side of the aisle: one side concluding that consuming cannabis while pregnant has negative effects on the baby in utero, while another side finding that it doesn’t. We published an article on this very debate a while back. If this is something your sister can discuss with her doctor, that’s something she should do to help her make as informed a decision as possible.


I am not a doctor but I believe any doctor your sister would talk to would probably warn her against smoking marijuana during pregnancy. I’ll point you to a video we filmed last year that talks about a study done on this topic.

HelloMD Live – Episode 4


I just wanted to chime in here and say that I stopped using cannabis while pregnant and every medical professional I spoke to said I made the right move. I had awful morning sickness and was tempted to treat it with marijuana, but I didn’t as I was too scared of the effects on the baby.

Watch the video that Pamela posted here–our chief medical officer says "Just don’t do it!" He cites a study where pregnant women who used marijuana had a higher rate of pre-term birth than women who did not.

It’s frustrating to treat anything while pregnant–not a lot of studies have been done on taking things while pregnant, so it’s hard to get a definitive answer. But I would encourage you to tell your sister to stop using cannabis while she’s pregnant. I know it will be frustrating for her (my husband uses cannabis to fight insomnia, so I understand how important it can be for some people for that issue!), but I really would tell her to stop. If she’s not convinced, encourage her to talk to her doctor(s) as well.


I know this is a topic with a lot of conflicting views, but I believe the only ‘medical’ response is that the safety of cannabis use during pregnancy and nursing is unknown. It is for that reason that no clinical professional is willing to OK using it in those circumstances. Despite the lack of clinical science here, we have to be aware that an enormous uncontrolled experiment has been going on in which large numbers of women are using cannabis during pregnancy without supervision. All we know about the outcome is that, so far, no obvious problems have consistently appeared in the population attributable to this. On the one hand, it can give a sense of reassurance that any direct effect is statistically small enough that it hasn’t become obvious. On the other hand, of all matters in healthcare, the safety of children during gestation is at the top of the list. Because the stakes are so high reason demands the utmost caution and the most conservative recommendation.


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