The team’s analysis are the first steps in studying the effects of cannabis on children as attitudes surrounding its use change rapidly — recreational adult cannabis use is now legal in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Patterns of usage, too, are changing; one of the fastest-growing subsets of cannabis users may come as a surprise: the pregnant.
Children whose mothers’ used cannabis while pregnant are more likely to have an elevated risk of psychopathology during middle-school. Researchers found those exposed to cannabis in utero were more likely to experience depression, anxiety, attention problems, social-behavioral problems, and sleep disturbances. Additionally, the children showed signs of lower cognitive performance, lower indices of global brain structure, and were more likely to have a lower birth weight.