As states have begun to legalize marijuana, its use has been more openly discussed. While the effects of other commonly used drugs, such as alcohol, have been studied extensively, the effects of marijuana – especially on developing babies during pregnancy – have been much less studied and less widely publicized. This relative silence from the scientific community has affected the public’s opinion on the safety of marijuana: 70 percent of U.S. women think there is “slight or no risk of harm” to the baby from using marijuana during pregnancy. Expectant mothers may use marijuana rather than prescription drugs during pregnancy to relieve pain because they feel “natural” or home remedies are a safer option than prescription drugs. However, just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it is any safer or a better alternative to well-studied prescription drugs. This seems to be the case for marijuana. Given that marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy, understanding its risks and impacts on the developing fetus is important.

Three large-scale longitudinal studies tracked how maternal cannabis use affected their child’s development, and they have had surprisingly consistent results. The Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study surveyed 700 pregnant women who used marijuana in 1978 and has followed about 200 of those children into adulthood. The U.S.-based Maternal Health Practices and Child Development Study has studied 580 children of marijuana users from pregnancy through age 14. The Generation R study is tracking almost 8,000 children in the Netherlands.

Children of marijuana users were more impulsive and hyperactive, and exhibited behavioral issues, lower IQ scores, and memory problems when compared to children of non-users. These mental health problems persisted through their teenage years, where they were significantly more likely to have attention problems and depression. Marijuana-exposed children were also almost twice as likely to display delinquent behavior, such as drug use, by the age of 14 and were more than twice as likely to regularly use marijuana and tobacco as adults. The very consistent results between mice and human studies (summarized in the infographic from The Scientist below) highlights an increasing understanding of the impacts of marijuana use on development.


It’s important to note that some behavioral outcomes may not be completely related to fetal marijuana exposure. Children of marijuana users may have grown up in a different social environment with more lax views on drugs, contributing to their increased drug use.

As marijuana continues to be legalized, we should expect to see more studies on its health effects and safety.


Managing Correspondent: Chelsea Weidman Burke

Press Article: The Scientist

Original Journal Articles: The Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study

The Maternal Health Practices and Child Development Study

The Generation R Study

Image Credit: Cleveland Public Library

166 thoughts on “How Marijuana Exposure Affects Developing Babies’ Brains

  1. I’m curious how many if these mother’s had underlying genetic-based anxiety or ADHD related conditions themselves. How much is genetic-based vs exposure related.

    1. All the bad effects of marijuana are also everything I went through as a child into my teenage years. So I’m really doubtful this has any truth and reality. My mother didn’t smoke weed when she was pregnant and I still had all these issues.

        1. I would like to know that myself. I would think the brain of a 17 year old is still developing? My granddaughter started having headaches at the age of 3. I got her in with a neurologist and they found lesions on her brain. The dr told me this was caused from her mother smoking pot. She is now 11 and she has had issue for along time. Im just wondering if all her issues are due to her mother smoking pot while pregnant?

          1. I’m 17 and my mom was smoking pot when I was in the womb and I’m fine how old was the mom I think that has something to do with it my mom was 25

          2. The majority of cannabis smoked by those in the 70’s (in the UK at least) was mainly the resin type. This had far less if the psychotic chemical, THC, in than the ‘skunk’ cannabis used by most users in the UK now. It would be interesting to see the impact on children born to parents who smoke ‘skunk’ cannabis. Is sperm quality affected by a father’s use of ‘skunk’ cannabis? Pregnant women should be asked about their partner’s drug (or alcohol) use prior to conception.

            As others have stated, parents may also have had other diagnosed or undiagnosed conditions prior to smoking cannabis that may be genetically passed on to their children.

      1. I had my first child at 15. I don’t recommend it lol! However, I did fine. Mine are grown. All educated professional well rounded adults. Like everyone else not perfect but good. They’re decorated veterans and overall just good people. I myself went back to school at 20 got my GED and later got my Bachelor’s and more than three quarters through my Masters. All of my own children are gifted. I believe my circumstances are unique but not extraordinary. I went to insane lengths to get through school and get my children there too. I give more than half the credit to them having a great dad. Always loving kind involved and rock steady. Pot effects one’s motivation and can impact learning ability. If it is managed in a truly recreational manner it’s acceptable to use in moderation. When one has already been at work, done their daily duties, and no longer on anyone’s time, there’s no harm in enjoying a little marijuana. And the same goes for parenting it shouldn’t be done around the children. But…that’s a hindsight statement! Lol It didn’t harm mine but probably didn’t help either. And it is the one thing I’d do differently . We have 4 children 2 smoke 2 don’t . The 2 who do, are veterans and have a prescription for PTSD, which I’m certain they have now.

        1. I had my first child at 14, but I don’t agree with you. I recommend it, I think it was totally cool. I named him Elon, then I got bored so I put him next to a homeless dog and left him there lmao

          1. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😭😭😭😭😭 This shouldn’t upset anyone with an actual sense of humor 😁😂😂

      2. Agreed! This is kind of a whack “study” … many people with anxiety issues use marijuana. How do we know their children are t just inheriting this?

        1. The issue is an epigenetic one. Epigenetics is relatively new to modern humans, but it has always existed. It would do you some good to take a cursory look at the subject. There is cognitive impairment from marijuana in offspring, especially when the THC content remains above 30 percent. It is like the effect of one drink versus four in an hour.repeated.

      3. You seem to be a case of Nuture VS. Nature. My opinion…Nature over ruled your Nuture. Society played a Strong role. My opinion is regarding your LACK of Nuture… Planted Roots (so to speak), As in,; Knowing exactly whom you are & the values, morals, etc. that may have been instilled.

    2. My husband had and I had different issues growing up from above. His mom and my mom definitely didn’t smoke weed. So it really doesn’t make a difference. I have many friends that told me their parents smoked weed during pregnancy and they are successful, smart individuals. More research needs to be done.
      I think using cannabis is better than taking a ton of prescription drugs sold to you by pharmaceutical companies that are owned by the wealthiest and scary powerful families! It’s all a conspiracy!

      1. I can see once in a while but my niece smoked daily and her infant was severely delayed and it cause cause damage whether you believe that or not. It affects the brain, learning and motor skills.

        1. It definitely needs further research involving the stronger strengths of cannabis (‘skunk’) that most use nowadays. I know far too many young adults who smoked ‘skunk’ in their teens who are depressed, unmotivated and worse, others who suffered such severe mental health issues that they took their own lives. These young people had good homes and parents and the common element was smoking ‘skunk’. My own loved one suffered with psychosis due to it, which continued use led to schizophrenia. I have met far too many young people under 25 in mental health units who are heavy cannabis (‘skunk’) users. When they are psychotic, they believe that cannabis (and nicotine) helps stop any voices or delusions they have, so keep smoking it – unfortunately, it just makes it worse after a short period of time.

          I cannot see how smoking stronger strengths such as ‘skunk’ whilst pregnant does not impact upon the developing brain of a baby, when recent research has shown that smoking it under the age of 20, whilst the brain is still developing, can result in developing psychosis.

          When I was young, smoking cannabis was seen as harmless and this was obviously due to the type of cannabis (resin type) that people mostly smoked. We need to re-educate our young people on the dangers of stronger strength cannabis on their mental health.

    3. Exactly, Im not bragging by any means but I smoked with my son and he’s always outshining the other students quiet and attentive. My sister smoked throughout her pregnancy with my nephew and he’s a chess champion and well behaved his school wanted to skip a grade but he didnt want to leave his friends. These studies are HIGHLY questionable when the side effects on a national website list the same as cocaine, and thats absurd.

      1. So what parent in their right mind would risk any Part of their child’s health just a smoke a joint? Is it really worth their IQ points, their attention span, their possible future doubled risk for drug addiction depression etc.?
        These studies have been done in a scientific manner. Open your eyes and realize that introducing any chemicals into your body isn’t natural nor normal.

        1. Thank God there is common sense in someone. Not just marijuana but DABs, 98 % oil of marijuana which is pretty bad. Our grandsons is in the hospital with claps lung and not eating because mom and dad both use DABs 5 of 9 months. I hate marijuana.

          1. shut up sandra there’s nothing wrong with weed just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean other people don’t benefit or need it your what’s wrong with the world and if you can’t mind your own business and deal with people’s medical and recreational needs then you need a life and a therapist

        2. You have to have cannabinoid receptors in your brain, to even “get high.” So you saying “introducing chemicals into your body is not normal” is a contradiction considering there are drugs worse to be “absorbing” than cannabinoids which have myriads of positive effects. Granted, abusing cannabis can lead to mental illness, and I mean abusing. The reality is that most people that view weed in a negative light, view it that way because of propaganda starting in the 20s-30s and because of it, not much study has been able to be done like it should. But no one should be telling someone you can’t smoke cannabis or it’ll make their kids ill because no one knows for sure. And to look down on anyone just because you think something is not the way to go. What we can do is to educate ourselves on marijuana and make educated decisions on wether or not it’s good for whatever your going through.

          1. You just stated that abusing marijuana causes mental illness! My arguement is everyones tolerance level is different. Some users will smoke three fatties a day and carry on with their day. Its their daily routine. Someone that seldome uses has a couple puffs and needs a wheelchair. Just saying every case is different but what is it doing to the unborn fetus. Not all mothers limit their use. So why take the chance? May god bless you too

      2. You are a bunch of excuses, Marijuana is really bad. Thank god that your son is ok now, lets see in the future. May be you have a braind delayed too and you do not noticed these issues with your son.

    4. Thank you! I was wondering the same thing. Half of those traits are practically passed down genetically. At least that’s my opinion throughout my family

    5. Sometimes it’s really hard to say no to drugs, especially marijuana. I’ve been addicted to marijuana since I was 12 years old.

    6. Very good point. I would say a huge percentage counting from the people I know. Marijuana becomes hard to quit only when it is benefiting the user in ways such as lowering anxiety or inducing sleep for those who have insomnia etc

    7. Yeaaaa my mom was in the military the entire time she was pregnant with me, so she definitely didn’t smoke or intake cannabis in any form. Somehow, I still managed to get diagnosed with ADHD and Major Depressive Disorder. This is more likely to be a genetic thing than weed related.

      This article smacks of personal bias from the author/s.

      1. Your comment smacks of personal bias as well. They didn’t say all problems are related to THC but the study notes some irregularities. You still have genetics that are passed down to our children period. Why add to the problem with any drug use while pregnant? Just a thought.

    8. Really quick I would just like to explain something.

      Psychology is completely based on fear and the understanding of primarily white people. In a climate that encapsulates minority values along with the continuous prosecution of minorities and black and brown people, for this particular subject all of these things could equally be due to the fact that primarily all of the people that they test are not of the decent that they are. The doctors who do the test do not smoke and the consistency of the test being based on a drug that has been used to prosecute and lets say it “kill people”.

      To say that ill say this, I am Black I am a woman and I do understand and have experienced all of these problems. But all of these problems did not occur do to the marajuana. I actively avoid intoxication for a long time, until I was exposed to it by one of my friends who was quite pushy. My anguish during the time was due to my low grades which steemed from extensive bullying and a lack of understanding for me as a black woman in public school.

      Here is the thing I have a Bachelors and I’m getting a MBA: Strategic Media and Digital Content. Prior to this I skipped a grade in school. Because of my anxiety, I talked a lot so my classmates liked to bully me. In no way has my life been held back by this. I did have asthma but it went away after the use of a humidifier in my room. Currently have no asthma, and after that I have no asthma still and I have smoked weed, after the time that my mother smoked. Around the age of 17.

      All of this to say my action do not reflect the smoke or brain damage. They are entirely do to the way that my family treated me during my childhood and so on. All information pertain to this subject is in my opinion, completely based on the studies of men and women who were white and drug induced themselves. The influence of Freud and Pavlov and Skinner and Bandura and James and Rogers. Is not a great bases for people looking to expand a study for people that those sciences would not even have considered within the studies that they conducted to be viable or even important enough to understand fully.

      In my eyes some if not all of their studies just induce psychological torture, and the actual study were done out of the joy and love of pain not consideration for the betterment of the people. Including but not limited to White People.

      P.S. I consumed more sugar in my life than most, but during most of those times I was join by an array of people who with there different lifestyles and income should have and were considered to be my equals.

      ***Note that I know that my grammar is horrible. I was a bit distracted by the accusations that I am inherently a dead beat who negatively influences those around me due to the influence of something that I wasn’t aware of until I was 24 years of age.***

    9. I think the children wasn’t born with these supposed factors. My thinking is the pot head parents sucked as parents which led to children’s depression and mental state

  2. My Grandson has been diagnosed with ADHD. BUT I have watched him he seems to be autistic. Dr diagnosed in in like 10 minutes I have been studying his behavior for years.

  3. My daughter at the age of 10 was diagnosed by a doctor not a nurse with petit mal seizures. We knew there was something wrong since the age of 4 years but the mother who is a registered nurse insisted she had adhd. I thought my daughters behavior was a result of the mothers Marijuana use all through her pregnancy wich I never supported and was against. She said her doctor told her it would be easier on the child to continue useing while pregnant. My doctor told me he does not believe any doctor would say such a thing. I do not believe their are any benefits to useing Marijuana for the child and can’t say for sure it caused her problems but it definitely did not help.

    1. My adopted son is 20 now and I got him at 2mths old and has severe hand tremors and had to wear hand weight to help him with trying to write . We have tried every nuerologist since he was little and lots of meds and physchical therapy with no luck as he got older into his pre teens he felt so embarrassed and I had to literally like open stuff for him and All fine motors skills . He also has an eating disorder called ARFD it’s to do with textures so if he thinks it feels really odd in his mout he gags and vomits . He eats certain things he likes with the trxtures but pediatrician told me then ok let’s give him pediasure vanilla of course ) ughh and let him just eat the foods he likes because he can’t help it anyways and he hates being this way . So one day I took him to another nuerologist and he told my the age of 14 to not ever try marijuana or alcohol because you will notice it is stopping ur tremors completely ! I was like livid and told nurse why would he tell a person that when they know they hate being this way all their life? So when my son turned around age 15 he met sum friends that had weed and Guess What he tried it and was so damn happy to see he felt completely normal like he’s always wanted to feel . It broke my heart because he wanted to keep using it because it was my sons Cure and he was the most happiest he’s ever been . Until something with the law happened and now he’s gonna be on prob for 18mths , he’s so upset because I know he’s gonna relapse just to stop shaking and feel Niemeyer and niw as he’s getting older his heads making shakes too . He says mom I can’t live like this anymore because I m shaking again and I hate myself . What to do Anyone with an idea ? Please help he tried to take his life twice when they put him in jail for a few weeks . My hearts breaking fir my son just wanting to feel normal . Ty

      1. When he’s done with probation you should leave and find a place where it’s legal. Part of growing is learning to love yourself and appreciate life as a gift itself. So teaching your son to love himself, and to be okay with who he is now, so he can grow is absolutely key. His own mentality could be what destroys him, but only if he lets it. I’ll be praying for you, your family and your son. I don’t know what you believe, but God see us all, and faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. So don’t discount where you both are now, because now is where we all are, and that’s where you begin. God bless

  4. I adopted a girl from a cannabis mother. The list above of finding is her. She also has very low empathy . Highly manipulative. Balance issues .she flinches and jitters all time. Struggles with eating and low weight. Poor immunes system. Poor coping skill.

    1. Probably because she’s adopted. I grew up in the system. Don’t blame pot. It’s been a blessing in my life after I was forced to take meth in the system

      1. Parenting starts while the child is in the womb. So feeding a growing fetus marijuana is good parenting? Your opinion is flawed.

      2. Yea I heard a doctor tell someone that they had a woman come in that smoked pot and did dope and shot heroine and she had the smartest baby and child they have ever seen and she got off drugs and pot and got her child back and he is in collage and younger then every student in his school he is like 17 they said and in collage majoring his classes so you can’t blame everything on drugs it’s also genetics and how a child is raised so don’t blame on thing cause there are multiple factors

    2. My mother didn’t use marijuana when she was pregnant with me and I had all these same issues growing up. But I was also in an abused household. These problems sound completely normal for a child that is going through something. I wouldn’t be so quick to blame it on the mother and your bad parenting skills. I had a lot of terrible homes through the adoption agency and terrible parents with no patience. They think they want to travel child now they want a perfect little baby just like everyone else.

      1. Oh Weed Almighty. Bless my dear child that comes 2nd before you. May you make my child smarter and healthier than the mother that was clean and drug free. Ame? What was that word i was looking for?

        1. This thread if for educational discussion over fetal medical & prenatal care with marijuana use.
          If you’re here to judge or hinder others from posting their honest thoughts and feeling a with things WE HAVE DONE and YOU HAVE NOT, then why are you here again because clearly, you’re not trying to educate yourself. You’re just trolling.
          I praise these women (and men), in Jesus name, for being honest and open with their very personal, medical history- just to help others. Thank you for creating a space where we can be open and thank you for creating something we can use to counteract the prescription drugs being used and abused. In your Precious and Holy name, Amen.

          I’ll finish since you can’t seem to.

          1. *not fetal medical care- mother’s use of MMJ and the affects in fetus-
            Just a correction.

          2. You cant argue with a dope user and studies have been done. Morning sickness yeah okay is called dope sickness. I suppose your going to say next marijuana makes you a better driver too. Right. Your also saying that it must be okay for minors to smoke weed too. Make sure you pack some marijuana cookis in your kids luch bag. UGH. Cool mom.

          3. I suppose your going to say next that weed makes you a better driver too. Studies have been done and does affect the developing brain. Whats okay next then? Feeding your 5 year old marijuana cookies? Try and make yourself feel better about your decisions.

          4. My husbands mom smoked weed with all 3 of her boys.. They all have problems with emotional regulation, anxiety, depression, motivation, and keeping a job. They are all lazy and all became pot heads themselves. One is a legitimate sociopath in jail. Very low IQ all around. Really regretting my decision of marrying into this dysfunctional drug addict family, my husband still praises weed. Funny how only those who don’t smoke it see it for what it really is

    3. that’s not weed that sounds like bpd or some other behavioral disorder i suggest consulting a psychiatrist

  5. I’m a preschool Director/Teacher. I’ve seen first hand the effects that marijuana has on a childs ability to think.
    They just can’t grasp what they are being taught. It’s so sad. Their little brains just don’t work properly.
    If you’re a pregnant mom don’t smoke marijuana, or take cannabis. Choose your baby first.

      1. No they don’t. Speak for yourself. Thats quite a blanket statement, bulking “everyone” in together like that. I think that you’re defining disorders as “any medical conditions known to man” lols, and you’re wrong because a disorder is one specific category of a medical condition. You should know this stuff.

      1. if you are attached to cannabi you will defend it with all your might, if it affects your mood when you crave cannabi and after using it certainly it will affect a baby brain that is still developing, take easy with your baby

    1. I used it medicinally the entire way through pregnancy, from conception and beforehand. My daughter is now 5, loves learning and is actually ahead of peers in some things and on par with peers in everything else. She’s also the calmest of my 3 children. So I’m not sure why my experience is different to the children you are seeing but it is worth investigating why. Therefore, we shouldn’t be shutting down the conversation with judgements and telling people they aren’t putting their child first. Not ‘suiciding’ is also putting your child first. You don’t know all people’s situations to make such statements. Some people don’t handle hormonal imbalance as well as others. Some have CPTSD from childhood, such as myself. We deserve a chance at normal life too. I didn’t drink during pregnancy even though I’ve had alcohol use problems. That’s because alcohol is far more studied, provides no medicinal benefit and we know it’s bad. So in that respect, I did put my child “first”.

      Perhaps genetic components are a factor in the children you see. Perhaps there was other drugs involved such as alcohol which makes the ‘evidence’ you see practically useless in relation to cannabis use. To me though, the discrepancy means that cannabis is not proven as the cause. Or at least not as the only cause. It’s not a definite at the least.
      So, what are the actual chances? We need hard facts, not emotional people using guilt trips. We need to know statistics but no one ever will while there is so much judgement everywhere. People like myself don’t want to be honest when we will be judged so harshly. I’m really going out on a limb here to share my personal experience.
      I didn’t use cannabis with my now 4 yr old and she’s the one with ADHD, emotional issues and some speech issues.
      P.s marijuana is not the scientific name, it’s the mainstream propaganda name. Cannabis is the term you should use if you want people who read studies on the subject in general, many of which are cannabis users (we’re not dumb), to take you seriously.
      We really need more studies done on cannabis alone. People can’t even take doctors seriously when they don’t know for sure, say things that can’t be proven and lump every drug in one basket.

    2. I agree with you. Cannibus has some value, but it is not a cure-all and using it during pregnancy exposes a developing baby to harm. My hubs had 2 children with a woman who smoked while pregnant, and although they seem smart enough, they are not functional people in adulthood with zero motivation. People who love cannibus will find any other reason that their kid has a problem aside from the obvious harm caused by their drug use in pregnancy. I think these studies need to follow the exposed child into adulthood and then the cause and effect will be clear.

  6. I am a pretty avid pot smoker. I have had 2 kids now and I am 25. I did not start smoking until I was 18. It has actually helped me through my ADHD and depression and anxiety. I was pre-diagnosed with these disorders before I ever touched pot. My daughter is smart, she learns quick, can do different brain teasers and puzzles in record time. She is now 5. I have a boy who has recently turned 3 months. There is not a single thing wrong with him. He’s smart, since he was just over 1 month old he could hold his head up and himself up, he started rolling over at 2 months and tried pushing himself. He is healthy and happy. There is not enough research done yet to say that the effects of marijuana are going to cause problems. I mean nothing in life is entirely healthy but I’m pretty sure marijuana has killed less people than peanuts. So until I am given better research results I am a complete advocate for marijuana.

    1. I agree, I also have 2 children, one whom was just born and is only 7 days old and is VERY alert, she’s already trying to lift her head, she responds to noises by turning in the direction she heard the noise and I’ve never seen her jitter or jump in her sleep or anything they’re saying happens when they’re exposed to marijuana. Also I have a 22 month old who also was exposed to marijuana and my baby is already saying her ABC’s, she’s potty trained, and she loves for me to read to her, she’s very outgoing and just advanced overall for a one—almost two year old!

    2. Thanks for sharing I appreciate it I’m 35 weeks & can’t really stop because it is my medicine for my depression & anxiety

    3. >My daughter is smart, she learns quick, can do different brain teasers and puzzles in record time. She is now 5. I have a boy who has recently turned 3 months. There is not a single thing wrong with him. He’s smart…

      Sad they are “just smart”. They would have been brilliant with higher IQ’s if you didn’t smoke put during your pregnancy. Ever consider that?

      1. So Ken, please explain to me how being smart is not enough? And how do you know that if she didn’t smoke marijuana that her kids would be deemed “brilliant”? Hell, my mom never smoked with me and I can tell you that I am smart, but no where near brilliant.
        Here are some “smart” words that my mother did teach me, “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.” You could’ve addressed your stance on the issue without bringing someone else down.

        1. Don’t you idiots know that today’s we ed is not real weed it contains all types of chemicals that is very very dangerous and and destroys brain cells constantly and if a child goes through that and in the early age he will not have the ability to learn he will be slow and that’s facts

    4. Kudos to you for sharing, i totally agree. None of the studies so far inclide enough info about the patient;how they were raised or conditions previously diagnosed in family history

    5. Same. My 2 year old son is almost too smart actually, and this just isn’t his mother talking. I’m encircled with internationally known Montesorri administrators and school social workers, who have shared how impressed they are with how quick, coordinated, how they can see him problem solving when faced with a task. He was holding his head up in the hospital shortly after birth! Myself and his father are both educated and athletic so I’m sure his genetics haven’t hurt, I think my use of cannabis during pregnancy, to help with joint pain accelerated/enhanced his brain. He sings the ABCs, some letters are repeated-he’ll be two end of March, and counts while he’s on stairs “8, 9, 10” repeated. Hit hit every milestone early. . . I call Bullshit on this article.

      1. How much marijuana would you recommend a pregnant mother to take while carrying. 2 or 3 fatties a day?

        1. Mary Jane a couple hits a day divided up. Won’t hurt the kid. Its when you don’t know how to control how much you use, the health problems in a child *Can* be affected. I’m in the same boat. Trying to decide if I should keep smoking or quit for the benefits of the baby. There is nothing wrong with smoking Marijuana. In fact its encouraged to people who have mental health problems. It helps reduce anxiety, depression, helps with sleep. I’m sure other benefits too. That’s what it does for me. It’s up to you what you would like to do. My first pregnancy I didn’t smoke Marijuana with my daughter and she is very smart. I am the type who respects anyone’s decision on this topic.

        1. He’s 16 and now writing, producing, singing, and graduating high school one year early (2022). I’ll be happy to keep you updated on his success OR failures which, I’m sure, is what you were expecting. So far, nothing but great things for both of my children. No tinge of autism. I’ve looked for signs. She’s extremely artistic and crafty. Taught herself to crochet, plays the piano, and sings. She’s more of a math & science, tbh. She loves a science project. She’s 11, will be 12 on April fool’s day.

      2. Love this. People think when we say we smoked during pregnancy that we sat around and got blitzed. I micro-dosed with a one hitter as needed throughout the day. I have a labral tear in my hip and weened off of pain meds as soon as I found out I was expecting. I honestly thank God my doctor kept it real and told me he doesn’t agree with the smoking part but he knows it would help me tremendously. Edibles weren’t as easily accessed as they are today.
        I really hope they get more research done and the comments on these threads help.

        1. You are catagorizing yourself with all mothers who smoked dope while pregnant. Not all mothers micro-dosed and if your claiming there is no harm in useing …. why did you micro-dose and limit your use while pregnant?

          1. I micro dosed bc I was pregnant and I didn’t want to sit around stoned. Another reason why I quit other things- it IS a substance, and I was smart enough and aware enough not to overdo it. I used it as needed for nausea, anxiety, and pain. Of all substances, marajuana is the less harmful and most helpful. During pregnancy and not.

    6. I agree with you. I smoked pot while I was pregnant to quell my anxiety and depression (prediagnosed & medicated before both pregnancies, stopped taking meds while pregnant). I only smoked my second pregnancy because I was so sick (I only gained 27 lbs) and all the research I found beforehand was nothing but positive, other than the people who just disagree with “drug use” or smoking while pregnant altogether. One of the things that’s stood out to me was the artistic ability that was assumed to have been raised in moms who smoke. The only reason that stands out to me now is because my son is 14 and has been making music since he was 8 & playing piano (Fur Elise from memory!) by 10. He creates YouTube intros for friends and all kinds of stuff. Highly intelligent, gets As & Bs, very socially active & healthy. My now 9 year old daughter is too very artistic. She likes to build things and engineer…. the 3D LEGO’s architectures are her preferred Christmas and birthday gifts. However, she was born with a heart murmur and hypo active thyroidism. The murmur went away naturally but she will have to take synthroid her whole life bc she basically doesn’t have a thyroid. My mother in law has the same issue, so I’m not sure where that would fall. She’s also an A-B student and has won 1 & 2nd place in her school district for art (mixed media & pastels) in the last 2 years. I say nothing is good in excess, but in moderation everything can be manageable. Just talk with your doctor and be honest. Also, if you’re aware of studies going on and you’re pregnant & smoke pot, help expand research if you’re comfortable with it. I wish I would have so the scary stories wouldn’t be the only stories out there.

    7. Thank you the first mother with real life experiences. My mother did not use marijuana when she was pregnant with me and I actually had all of these problems listed above. Trouble concentrating trouble thinking. However as an adult, I do use marijuana which helps me with my depression and my ADHD. There’s no conclusive evidence that marijuana affects your fetus.

    8. Was your babies tested for THC? My daughter just had her baby and they tested the baby and she came up positive…now my daughter is going thru all this crap! Can they take the baby from her because of this?

      1. No they can’t take the baby! They can only do a home study and CPS just doesn’t want any smoking around the baby which is perfectly understandable. Don’t let them intimidate you.

    9. I am with you Mama O smoke for 28 weeks pregnant with my son who is now 9 years old and he is a straight A student and was advanced as a baby he was walking at 8 months old. There needs to be more research done I’ve seen healthy moms who don’t smoke weed have the most problematic children and illnesses in their children than mothers who smoked weed. It is all a crock of crap. These kids with seizures are being given Marijuana to control their seizures so who is to really say it has that negative of an impact on a child’s brain?! If it wasn’t for weed I would have never been able to hold down food and stopped being nauseous all day long with having Hypermesis Gravidarum this pregnancy. I just quit at 31 weeks and I’m due in 9 days. My baby is perfectly healthy and is almost 8lbs! I’m not hearing any of the negativity.

    10. Exactly. There is not enough research that’s been done, so why take the risk? It’s selfish on your part to make the choice knowing there isn’t enough research to prove it’s okay or not okay to smoke weed while you are pregnant. You’re just going based on your bias in thinking smoking weed is absolutely fine. Wouldn’t you just want to be cautious and not take that risk IF there are adverse affects on your baby. Just so irresponsible that you made that choice for your children who are powerless and incapable of making that decision for themselves.

    11. The problem with this is there is data that it causes damage so why would you risk your baby’s health & brain development for your pleasure? Tell me. Do your research on this. Frequently used during pregnancy damages your babies brain and caused learning problems & more skill problems! Smoke at your own risk but not when you are pregnant! Period!!

    12. Thank you for sharing this. I took edibles moderately during my pregnancy and while breastfeeding to manage nausea and anxiety and my son is doing awesome. He’s attentive and musical and vocal. He’s 3 months and drs say he looks like 6 months. Women used to be given opioids and told to drink. We didn’t know about fetal alcohol syndrome until the 70s.. and many people grew up fine despite not having those facts. It’s individual.

  7. Why do I feel that these women are already a high risk group for these depression/anxiety issues – what was their use for cannabis? Was it to treat such problems or used recreationally? If it was used for mental issues, I’d say babies problems are hereditary rather than from exposure There really needs to be more studies done so people don’t take half information and run with it.

    1. Is called being dependant on weed and does not cure your anxiety but actually is the cause of it while you are off the herb. Your fooling yourself into believing weed is the cure for your problems

      1. Weed is not meant to be a cure. Is tylenol a cure for a fever or does it help the symptoms? Most people smoke weed to help them get through situations or problems they are having…not to cure them.

        1. Marajuana has been the only thing that has helped me with bipolar dissorder. After being on 10 different medications with verying side effects including suicidal tendancies, and marijuana has no side effects on me and is a lot cheeper than any synthetic medication I have taken.

      2. This is literally such an idiotic comment. There have been hundreds of studies from numerous universities that detail the benefits of ingesting different cannabinoids. So you’re just flat out wrong with that one. Second of all, you saying that is actually incredibly ableist! Claiming that people that use marijuana for the medicinal benefits are dependent on it is just messed up and completely untrue. You’re invalidating the treatment and disorders of millions of people all over the world. If not billions. Just say you’re like 65 and think Reagan was the best president and sit down.

        1. Actually i thought JFK was a great president. You seem quit defensive on this matter so near and dear to your heart. For some i suppose is a cure for mad cows disease.

  8. We have many studies but marijuana users will never believe them. We could have a thousand studies that say marijuana is harmful and one study saying it helps and that the they will run with.

    1. Please list one of those thousands of studies because based on my hundreds of hours of Google research I can find nothing that is conclusive. It all says it may affect your fetus. As of now there is not enough data. And there’s not enough negative data as well. A lot of information online is just opinionated BS. But I want to see the scientific studies with conclusive data of factual information. It doesn’t exist. They’re studying rats not humans. My friend is a heavy marijuana user and her child is on honor roll in a Tech High School. So I see no proof that it affected him negatively at all. He’s an athlete and he’s brilliant.

      1. Thank you for you using common sense. I am not being sarcastic. Nothing in this study made sense as any of the factors brought up are more likely a result of outside influences in raising the child rather than use of any kind of chemical. I have no scientific evidence however i have known many women who have smoked in the same house as their child or smoked while pregnant and by far those kids seem to be the most well rounded, practicle, and responsible kids as well as very intelligent. I agree these studies are not being done on people. Also notice how at the start of this article it says not many studies have been done.

      2. Why is your name meow? One thing is for sure this precious weed is far more precious to these mothers than their unborn baby. My precious.

  9. People with ADHD are more attracted to drug use. And considering the fact that ADHD is herditary, we can safely assume that the reason kids of Marijuana users have ADHD and similar “disorders” is purely hereditary.
    Meaning the main argument of this article lacks the understading of the diffrence between corolation and causality.

    (I apologize for mispells im not that used to typing in english. but this article was so painful I just had to reply)

  10. Hi there,
    Just came across this article and I must agree that it makes sense, all that you wrote in it about the dopamine reception specially.
    Marijuana use creates a havoc on the natural dopa receptors and it has been proven, especially when consumed frequently.
    I am glad that you are spreading this type of awareness. Our digital world and technologies can help us substitute Marijuana anytime, it’s over to people to realize it. There are many other natural remedies

  11. Ok personal experiences are not the same as a peer reviewed study. I hope everyone understands this. Not hating on how you feel but these are longitudinal studies. If you dont agree, either do your own research or accept that that may be the case. Marijuana may be good for some things but marijuana does indeed affect a developing brain, it does it to preteens who use it everyday so of course it would affect a brain that’s forming in the womb.

  12. Let’s all take the time to understand that Studies are done for a reason, mostly to gain a better understanding of the affects that substances may have on the body while being used. This does not mean that everyone will experience these affects. It is to educate on the risk involved, and possibility of these affects. It is then up to us as consumers, to determine if we are willing to take that chance. In this case, are we willing to take the chance of exposing the unborn fetus to this substance, after learning there may be a POSSIBILITY of a negative outcome for this child and their future? It all comes down to how much you’re willing to gamble, and how much risk your willing to take.

  13. My 3 month old grandson is precious but he is experiencing direct affects of his mother’s smoking in the same apartment where he sleeps. She puts a towel under the door but that does nothing for the vapors permeating the entire apartment. it’s in the carpet, in the walls, in everything that can hold a smell-fabric, clothing, etc. he can;t keep still most times but not as in baby motions– he is jerking and startled by magnitude of rapid motions. This calms down a great deal while he is at my house. It is abuse. plain and simple.

    1. Does he sleep alot my 3 month old grand daughter is in a home where they smoke I find she sleeps alot when I keep her she wakes more often to eat

    2. This is so sad and it is abuse. Toxins going into bloodstream with every breath . I see the easily startled ones, the shaking arms and hands. Pray that this all stops…

      1. Ummmm marajuana does not cause the shakes in babys. Thats crack, cocane, and even alocohol. To “od” on marajuan you would have to smoke over a lb of weed which is impossible btw. I am not saying ot is wise to smoke while pregnant but if your going to shoot up your kid with mercury, formaldehyde, aborted fetal tissue, and animal remains I cant imagine marajuana being much worse than that. Oh and floride in the water too. Just saying. There are many legal things that are much more harmful to your child that we considder to be normal and even healthy and no one bats an eye. I have known several women who had smoked while pregnants and their kids are bright and well behaved. Some have even skipped a grade.

    3. This is horrible and your grandchild should not have to suffer the constant exposure. However I do not believe cannabis use is completely abuse. I smoke in a safe environment away from my children and keep all of belongings completely out of reach. I never let my house smell of it or expose my children to it. I hope your daughter realizes her use is not safe for her child, but not everyone is like that and most are just trying to do what they can to have a stress free pregnancy.

  14. It is a great blog post.I am always read your blog helpful

    and informative tips. I like it thanks for sharing this

    information with us

  15. Vote is up for prop 207 today in Arizona (legalization of marijuana)
    With having frequented marijuana use as a juvenile, and my parents being busted for distribution, I of course lean to legalization.
    Although, being a nationalist (not white nationalist) I can distinguish a number of dynamics and parameters that marijuana has intermittently interceded, with the likes of this ;and microevolution in frequent users in general being the most resound… And with this and that, part of me wants to say no.

    With that, is there any studies into the correlations between propaganda and the premise to negative inert predispositions or positive inert predispositions in the parents, reflecting in their interaction with the children that might effect things such as dopamine levels, glutamate signaling, and synapse formation?

    I have read that growth can be severely stunted by stress and negative thinking. How does a mothers general attitude reflect in her speech pathology with her child, constantly thinking that he … could be potentially less intelligent due to the study?

  16. Thank you so much for posting this. This is very informative and worth reading. I would be glad to share this with my friends and family.

  17. Would you let your 5 year old smoke marijuana? The women claiming smoking marijuana has no effect on the fetus are in denial. What is their tolerance level? Not the same as an unborn fetus. Per pound what is the prescribed dosage a pregnant mother should take without causing harm to fetus?

  18. Excellent post. This is something that is not brought up enough. We always hear on marijuana and the developing brain on teens and youth. We NEVER hear any evidence based backed research on pregnancies. Loved this post.

  19. Could it be possible those behavioral and developmental issues were genetic? And is this study purely based on marijuana use or were these mother also partaking in tobacco, alcohol, or other drug usage? This study seems slightly vague and doesn’t give a lot of solid facts on the controlled variables that were in place.

    1. I am a concerned GG and I was just asking and got some pretty lax opinions.. if a parent really cares about their child or fetus they will do everything possible to make sure their child is healthy and normal.. Children are a gift and only loaned to us for short time.. Please make sure you do everything possible to make sure your child is protected from start to finish … or don’t have any.. Life is hard enough without disabilities and abuse..You see some that do fine but you don’t see the ones that don’t.. Try thinking about them 1st. And fore most..

  20. This study does seem slightly vague, but I can tell you in my experiences with my son and his older brother who is not mine. The mother smoked while both kids were in the womb as well as smoke around them as infants and toddlers, sometimes in enclosed areas. From what I have seen while in the womb didn’t seem to be such a big issue but once out of the womb she continued to smoke around them and that definitely had an impact on certain areas of their lives, including but not limited to behavioral problems, learning issues, and add/adhd. I don’t care who you are but you should definitely not expose your children to the side effects of Marijuana it is a psychosomatic drug that does have effects on the brain especially developing brains in young children. My sons brother has an extremely hard time with sleep, learning, memory and behaviors and I do believe it is due to this exact thing. No young child should have any of this forced upon them when they aren’t even old enough to make that decision for themselves. Your children should always come first before a joint or a dab. I used to smoke weed as well but but never condoned it while she was pregnant and I would get mad at her for doing it around them as infants/ toddlers and I feel my son and his brother are now paying the consequences of their mothers actions. Shortly after my son was born I stopped smoking because I wanted better for my son then how I grew up and how I watched his brother grow up. Children are pure and innocent and exposing them to this in my book is just bad parenting.

    1. Why don’t you all answer the question.
      The strains of cannabis are so different to many years ago.
      Anyone that smokes weed has an altered perception to reality.
      Good luck with research

  21. Hello, if the next father smoked for 1 year before conception canabis and different THC substances, the mother doesnt smoke at all ,which are the risks for baby? It can appear brain problems or something?

  22. Your blog has provided useful information for the work. All the tips in the post are great. Thanks for sharing. keep blogging~!

    Makes you question the credibility of Harvard if their “research” is just stupid surveys done on random people without proper background documentation.

  24. I wish they would be more transparent about the methods of the research for these studies. Collecting valid data on two very sensitive populations 1) pregnant women and 2) drug use combined is going to be quite problematic. Relying heavily on self -reporting, which is inherently bias and then add the social stigma around cannabis use and double that for using during pregnancy. I can’t imagine that the data collected from these studies is as valid as the claims they leap to make. Was there consistency with the method of delivery? (I.e. differences between smoking or ingesting cannabis?) was there consistency in dosing or frequency of us? Was there any control or extrapolation for those that also used other illicit drugs in addition to Cannabis? We know that alcohol and opioid use during pregnancy is dangerous for both mother and fetus, however opioids are routinely used as anesthetic during labor. I would be interested to see the results for a study that recruits otherwise healthy, non-users to occasional cannabis users, who utilize a specific dose and ratio of CBD and THC that is appropriate for the condition it is meant to treat. For example, Hyperemesis Gravidum can be very dangerous and life threatening, and we don’t currently have a great way to treat it. If there’s a chance that cannabis could be an effective treatment with minimal risk and side effects compared to current protocols, I think that’s worth exploring. Same for labor pain – we already use aggressive, risky, and side effect laden interventions during labor. Yet we don’t want to explore the use of Cannabis as a possible alternative? Why is that? In order to make informed decisions, we need to have good data. Before we can even begin to say one way or another on Cannabis use for perinatal conditions, we need better data. And the only way we are going to be able to do that is to find a way to improve research design and methods on this topic. We have to be transparent and honest about the very significant limitations that have been put on these studies by legal, sociological, and ethical constraints.

  25. I am a paediatrician. My wife suffers sever PTSD, as a veteran , and vaporises medical marijuana once or twice a day. She continued to do so during both pregnancies, which occurred in her early 40s.

    Our teenage daughters both attend a private high school for gifted children. Neither use marijuana, but both know that their mother uses it medicinally and see how it benefits her.

    I don’t use marijuana, I never have. As a medical professional, I understand the critical nature of research. Research done around this topic has been poor, to say the least. Mainly, strength of thc, amounts and method of consumption, and any relevant follow up lack in published literature.

    I don’t recommend marijuana use as a doctor. However, I am fortunate my wife’s doctor did.
    Otherwise, she would not be living the happy, fulfilled life we have been blessed by God to build together.

  26. I am 31 years old woman born from parents who never ever tried any kind of drugs, alcohol or nicotine in their whole life. Not even any relative family members who does that were around me and my brother. I never smoked with till I became 23 years old. Both me and my brother have IQ higher than 130 and studied in best universities but these did not help our mental health. We both suffered from being anxious, depressed, having social skills problems, body balance etc. Just to remind that currently I am pregnant and the doctors prescribed many medicines for my anxiety and extreme vomit all pregnancy. Those pills have been proven that are harmful for fetus but are still prescribed for me. So are these researches reliable? As a child of healthy parents I am mentally sick, and who will guarantee my child’s health for long term regarded to the all pills I took during pregnancy?! I can understand women who choose to trust weed more than doctors’ prescription to have their health problems fixed.

  27. Do you guys think this is more while in the womb, rather than a few puffs while breastfeeding and if toddler is much older? I don’t know how much gets through breastmilk?

  28. I here so many questions about the “What If’s” and I am not sure if anyone has taken into consideration the simply fact that it all begins with… ‘a lie’! In other words, In the beginning humans did not need any form of illegal drugs, but (listen) someone told them they did and in that, a ‘chain-reaction’. Did you hear that? When I research so many issue of this ‘human condition’… I’ve realized that a selfishness has always been present. Should it really be of any wonder that we are where we are today? Pick a topic. Economy, Homelessness, Relationships, just to name a few. No… we are where we are because we choose to be. God help us all! Sir Luke DoC <

  29. All these excuses because you want to keep smoking weed it’s wrong and you know it you’re destroying our future children our future leaders please stop it’s not a conspiracy we’ve known this for years before you young punks were born

    1. When they take over this country you know why because you idiots will not stop smoking weed around kids and while being pregnant with babies

  30. I have a have a friend who is a multi-bowl a day smoker, both her children were born very underweight, her youngest is a few months old and doesn’t show any developmental milestones so far, just sleeps, won’t really cry, and hasn’t started to hold his head up on his own. Her older child is almost 3 and still babbles, no actual words. Just wanted to add some anecdotal evidence that may show it isn’t healthy for baby. If you’re smoking very small amounts for nausea/pain, I understand, but I think some people just use that as an excuse when in reality they’re smoking recreationally

    1. Maybe having a mom that smokes is the problem, I was a baby in a similar position but then my mom adopted me and yeah. Tbh though I wasn’t a very big speaker then I got bullied for talking too much lol

  31. Hi, Its a wounderful post.Thanks for your nice post. Do you know? British researchers found that medical pot slashed seizures by almost 90% and reduced use of traditional medications.

  32. It’s sad that there is not enough information….
    I have been smoking pot in the last 4 months and my wife found out that she is pregnant and now we are concerned about it (she is non smoker)
    There is a risk of autism and other neurological issues from what I read and we don’t know what to do…. Is there still a risk if only the father has been smoking?

    1. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that your baby is 100% healthy & smart & happy. Please share your observations! And congratulations on being a dad! Cannabis is magic & so are babies. 🧡

  33. It’s extremely interesting to me to see the cannabis users comments vs. the non cannabis users. Every single person that has utilized cannabis has a well thought out, grammatically correct, educated response. Every person that clearly fell prey to the war on drugs…. Is angry, jumbled messaging, grammatical errors & extremely judgemental/close minded. I think that small case study of comments shows more than this entire study on mice. A little background, I’ve been studying the healing effects of cannabinoids for 10+ years, I’m a certified nutritionist, I own my photography business as well as my nutrition business. I’m far from lazy…stupid, or uneducated. Our breast milk produces cannabinoids for our newborn baby’s endocannabinoid system. Every single living thing, including plants have an endocannabinoid system. The goal of cannabis is to reduce inflammation in the body. Keep all 9 systems in homeostasis & promote neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the opposite of neuro degeneration, something our brain does naturally over time, with injury or without. Neurogenesis promotes the cell turnover in the brain, creating new neuro pathways & new cell growth. I’m sorry to burst these old timers bubbles, but the tobacco, alcohol, tap water (that has 700x times the health guideline limit of arsenic, birth control & chlorine) , pharmaceuticals, processed food & technological warfare that they fed their body & brain while pregnant…. Is far more detrimental to a developing baby than a plant that hasn’t taken a single life on this planet. There’s a reason you can’t overdose on cannabis, the very cannabinoids you’re consuming protect you from such a thing. So, for my canna mommas, canna babies, and mommas on the fence…. Before your doctor prescribes you anti vomiting medication that causes high blood pressure & clots, before they tell you to take Tylenol to lower your fever & before you take pitocin for induction, an epidural with fentanyl in it or a c section that wasn’t necessary & may cause lifelong injury…….trust your gut & moreso trust that cannabis has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for conception, pregnancy, labor & birth. Cannabis also increases milk supply postpartum. And for those of you that are so against it, I have one question… are you fighting this hard against Xanax, anti depressants, adderall, SSRI’s, muscle relaxers? Because those pharmaceuticals have been destroying lives since the 80’s. Cannabis improves lives, mental health, physical health & overall well-being. I’m 36 weeks with a healthy baby girl. I have amazing blood pressure, no gestational diabetes, no anemia, healthy hemoglobin & I sleep, eat healthy & walk 3 miles a day.

    Come @ me.

    1. With an explanation like this i am convinced marijuana is magical. Your right it does make you smarter and age restrictions should be dropped. Mothers should be allowed to give to their enfants at all ages. It would probably stop them from crying or crawling around getting into things ,making it easier to care for them ,giving mothers more time for themselves. Your a genius!

  34. Women have become more desensitized and just care about themselves more than their child. Smoking weed while pregnant is proof or they wouldn’t be doing it.

  35. This is a great article and question. How do we really know if a developing baby’s brain is in fact affected negatively by Cannabis? Cannabis is an herb that our bodies are equipped with receptors to receive. It is not a substance which could endanger or poison the body from its presence alone. I would imagine that stimulants such as caffeine would have a much harsher effect on the fetus. Thanks for the stimulating write-up!

  36. My husband gave an edible drug, without telling me, the day before our second doctor appointment. The doctor could not find our baby heartbeat. I feel so betrayed. Do you think he was trying to kill the baby? Who gives a pregnant woman at 11weeks pregnant an edible without their consent… He told me it was a blue raspberry, and then ask me thirty minutes later how I feel. My body reacted to the drug candy and I think it caused the baby heart ti stop beating. The doctor assume it was an abnormal chromosome, cause I’m over 40 with high blood pressure.

  37. My sister had her newborn removed from her custody at the hospital after she gave birth because of the THC present. I hold 2 business degrees and I am very well versed in the general psychology field because of my family history and resulting research I have done to understand all of my family. Myself included. The child is now 5 and seems to be performing at an accelerated rate educationally in pre-school. His conceptual understanding and curiosity is remarkable, though it is hard to quantify exactly how comparative it is at this young age. His emotional development is on par with what you’d expect, and his behavioral demeanor is very cooperative. His environment is with me as an intellectual that structures stability as a norm for neuroplasticity reasons; I have understood for a while that stability is a key ingredient for how brains grow and accumulate experiences as knowledge reference points. Based on that fact, it genuinely does not appear to be proving that THC while carrying has a discernible impact on neurocognitive and behavioral development. He is also physically sound, active, and friendly. While this individual study certainly does not prove anything for certain, I have been watching this play out with the awareness of the possibilities on purpose. I will bookmark this page to return with updates as we go.

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