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Marijuana and Pregnancy

Medical marijuana may be legal here in Minnesota, but that doesn’t mean it is safe for your pregnancy. Historically, pregnant women have been advised to abstain from all recreational drug use, tobacco use, and alcohol use, and that is still true today. 

Increasingly, more women are inquiring about the use of medical marijuana and CBD (cannabidiol) oil during pregnancy. CBD oil, the THC-free version of marijuana, is being increasingly marketed for many medical conditions and is easily available on the internet. Clinical research has shown that medical marijuana and even CBD based oils may be effective for managing chronic pain as well as other symptoms such as nausea, so it’s no wonder that expectant moms are curious about CBD.

We recommend abstaining from all use of CBD in pregnancy. It is imperative to understand that cannabinoids in all forms could be harmful to both moms and their developing babies, especially during the first trimester.  

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has stated, “pregnant women or women contemplating pregnancy should discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy for which there are better pregnancy-specific safety data.” 

Researchers are still learning about the effects of marijuana during pregnancy, but the current research indicates that:

  • Marijuana exposure may disrupt normal brain development of a fetus. 
  • Babies whose mothers used marijuana during pregnancy may be smaller at birth. 
  • The risk of miscarriage and stillbirth is increased.  

Despite the risks, the prevalence of marijuana use during pregnancy ranges from 2% to 5% in most studies. And, what’s even more surprising: 34–60% of marijuana users continue use during pregnancy, with many women believing that it is relatively safe, it is not.

We encourage you to consider the risks of using CBD or marijuana while pregnant, and always consult with your provider on alternative options that are healthier for you and your little one. 

Resources: ACOG’s infography on Marijuana use during pregnancy and lactation.