By: Michelle Edelstein, MPH
Rutgers School of Social Work faculty and School of Public Health faculty, Qiana L. Brown, PhD, MPH, LCSW, has co-authored an epidemiological, developmental, and clinical overview of cannabis use during pregnancy.
Prenatal cannabis use has increased in recent years and poses potential harm to both maternal and child health. Although studies on the short- and long-term consequences of prenatal cannabis exposure are increasing, findings have been inconsistent or difficult to interpret due to methodological issues. Thus, consolidating these findings into clinical recommendations remains a challenge. Improving observational studies will be an important step toward understanding the extent to which prenatal exposure to cannabis influences health outcomes for mothers and their offspring.
Dr. Brown with her colleagues from the U.S., the Netherlands, and Norway conducted an epidemiological, developmental, and clinical overview of prenatal cannabis use to provide recommendations for future research and clinical practice. Recommendations include, for example, the need for further research on prenatal cannabis exposure and the long-term consequences to offspring health in representative samples; and the need for provider training on health risks associated with prenatal cannabis use.
“Research should continue to monitor trends in prenatal cannabis use and associated maternal, fetal, and child health consequences. These data will help inform clinical practice,” says, Dr. Brown. “This is particularly important in a sociopolitical environment where states are rapidly legalizing cannabis use for medical and recreational purposes,” Brown adds.
“An epidemiological, developmental and clinical overview of cannabis use during pregnancy,” was recently published in Preventative Medicine.