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Monday 12 September 2022

The findings, funded by the National Institutes of Health, add to the growing scientific evidence of the negative health effects of cannabis use during pregnancy

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Prenatal exposure to cannabis after the middle of the first trimester — generally after five to six weeks of fetal development — is associated with attention and social and behavioral problems that persist as affected children progress into early adolescence (11 and 12 years), according to new research supported by the National Institute of Technology. for Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. These conditions may put these children at risk for developing mental health and substance use disorders in late adolescence, when young adults are typically more susceptible to these disorders and behaviors.

Posted today in Gamma PediatricsThis study analyzed data from ongoing Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, the largest long-term study of brain development and health in children and adolescents in the United States, which is supported by NIDA and nine other National Institutes of Health institutes, centers and offices. The study was conducted by scientists at Washington University in St. Louis.

These findings add to a growing body of research on the effects of cannabis use during pregnancy. a Previous analysis Using baseline data from the ABCD study found an association between prenatal cannabis exposure and behavioral problems in these 9 to 10 year olds. Preclinical studies have shown that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive substance in cannabis, can cross the placenta and affect brain development.

Cannabis use among pregnant women a plus From 3% in 2002 to 7% in 2017. In 2018, 4.7% of pregnant women reported using cannabis and 5.4% in 2019, according to National survey on drug abuse and health. The authors say the results of this new analysis support caution against cannabis use during pregnancy.

The ABCD study tracks nearly 12,000 young adults as they grow into young adults. Investigators regularly measure participants’ brain structure and activity using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and collect psychological, environmental and cognitive information, as well as biological samples. The ABCD study seeks to understand the factors that influence mental, cognitive, social, and emotional development, with the ultimate goal of providing actionable information to help educators, health professionals, and policy makers improve the lives of all children, today and for generations to come.

The Adolescent Brain Development Study and the ABCD Study are registered trademarks and service marks, respectively, of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Article – Commodity

DAA Baranger, et al. Association of mental health burden with prenatal cannabis exposure from infancy to early adolescence: Longitudinal findings from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study.. Gamma Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1001 / jamapediatrics.2022.3191


  • Nora De Volco, MD, director of NIDA
  • Jaya Dowling, Ph.D., director of the ABCD Study, NIDA

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About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA is a component of the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute implements a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance the science of addiction. For more information about NIDA and its programs, visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):NIH, the country’s medical research agency, includes 27 institutes and centers and is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The National Institutes of Health is the primary federal agency that conducts and supports basic, clinical, and polymedical research, investigating causes, treatments, and treatments for both common and rare diseases. For more information about the National Institutes of Health and its programs, visit

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