Article Text

Exposure to in utero cannabis is linked to a higher risk of low birthweight, prematurity and admission to a neonatal unit
  1. J Petty
  1. University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr J Petty, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts, UK; j.petty{at}

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Commentary on: Avalos LA, Adams SR, Alexeeff SE, et al. Neonatal outcomes associated with in utero cannabis exposure: a population-based retrospective cohort. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2023; Nov 27. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2023.11.1232.

Implications for practice and research

  • Healthcare professionals should provide counselling for anyone who is pregnant about how prenatal cannabis use can lead to adverse infant health outcomes.

  • Further exploration is needed of the potential impact of prenatal cannabis on longer term outcomes, including the effects of cannabis strength and usage frequency.


In the USA, the incidence of cannabis use in pregnancy has increased from 3% (2002) to 7% (2017),1 with a higher occurrence in young people and adolescents.2 There is a perception that cannabis is lower risk compared with other prescribed medicines during pregnancy,3 leading to increased accessibility and acceptance. However, there are safety concerns relating to cannabis and therefore, it is recommended to discontinue usage during pregnancy. Research, examining the association of cannabis exposure in pregnancy with neonatal outcomes, …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer-reviewed.

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