Implications and quantifications of marijuana use regarding neonatal outcomes


Zheng Yub, Martin Fitzgerald, Raorao Lia, James Amose, Lu Luoa


June 3,2023


Legalization of marijuana is increasingly steadily which supports more widespread use and a growing perception of less risk of harm, however study of its effects on newborns when used by pregnant women is still lacking. Current physicians and health care practitioners are not fully informed to advise best practice regarding marijuana use during pregnancy. Additionally, methods to measure marijuana usage and effects are still limited and require further development, therefore assessment of whether not pregnant women should use marijuana products is timely and important.

This paper questioned whether or not pregnant women should use marijuana products, firstly through review of available peer-reviewed literature. Secondly, by review of how its effects are quantified and captured, including International Disease Classification codes (ICD). Lastly, assessing the bioactivity of marijuana by in- silico analysis of the four key cannabinoids CBC, CBG, CBN and THC.

Findings of this study confirm that research the neonatal effects on offspring from pregnant women using marijuana is still non-conclusive and in many instances contradictory. This research field is highly confounded by multiple sociological, economic, political and experimental factors. Further complicated by the common use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs by marijuana.

Therefore, more study quantifying the dose-effect relationship of marijuana in pregnant women and potential implications for their offspring is needed before safe use during pregnancy can be advised to avail of its apparent its positive benefits. Longer-term and follow-up studies are required to reduce confounding factors apparent in current studies relating to marijuana use. This study finds multiple adverse effects and bioactivities of marijuana could have neonatal implications. Therefore, the cessation of marijuana during pregnancy is recommended to provide the least risk and highest safety profile for mothers and their infants, until future research proves otherwise.

DOI: 10.1016/j.phyplu.2022.100304


Yu, Z., Fitzgerald, M., Li, R., Amos, J., & Luo, L. (2022). Implications and quantifications of marijuana use regarding neonatal outcomes. Phytomedicine Plus, 2(3), 100304.