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Aurora magazine

Cannabis in pregnancy doubles the risk of preterm labor

Women who use cannabis during pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth before the deadline. Moreover, they incur a greater number of serious complications. This is demonstrated by a Canadian study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers analyzed the data collected on 661,000 pregnancies. In 10,000 of these, women admitted to having used cannabis during gestation. About 20% of the group in question gave birth before the 37th week, compared to 6% of other women.

The difference is significant and the link to cannabis use is quite obvious. What are the reasons for the phenomenon? Cannabinols can cross the placenta and enter the fetus's bloodstream. According to some animal studies, the THC contained in them could affect the developing endocannabinoid system. This would cause a series of adverse reactions, one of which is precisely the preterm birth. Women who used cannabis during pregnancy also experienced a greater number of complications.

The most frequent emerged are detachment of the placenta and severe bleeding, with even the loss of the child. In the group in question, there was in fact 66% more spontaneous abortions than the other: around 1.6% against 0.9%. Furthermore, 19.3% of children ended up in intensive care, compared to 13.8% in the other group.

The study shows that it would be better to avoid cannabis in pregnancy, but has limitations. Researchers have not focused on other factors that could affect gestation. As a result, it is unclear how much of the above is really related to the substance.