This Version Posted: February 15, 2019
Is cannabis safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
There is NO known safe amount of cannabis use while pregnant or breastfeeding regardless of how it is used (smoked, vaped, eaten, taken as a pill, applied as a cream).
The chemical THC in cannabis is passed on to your baby during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
The safest option for you and your baby is to NOT use cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Using cannabis can have harmful effects on your own health, as well as your relationships, and your child’s health and development.
While more research is needed, studies have shown that cannabis use during pregnancy poses risks to babies and children and may have long-term effects on teens and young adults. Some of these risks include:
Risks to Babies:
- lower birth weight,
- increased risk of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) admission ,
- increased startles and tremors (e.g., shaking), and
- changes in sleep patterns.
Risks to Children:
- poorer attention (e.g., easily distracted),
- poorer memory,
- behaviour issues,
- difficulties in school, and
- mental health concerns (e.g., symptoms of depression).
Risks to Teens and Young Adults:
- increased risk of behavioural problems,
- poorer school performance, and
- more likely to start trying and using cannabis or other substances (e.g., tobacco, alcohol) at an earlier age.
- Information for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Mothers
- Best Start – Risks of Cannabis on Fertility, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Parenting
- The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
How does cannabis affect fertility?
Cannabis use may affect the ability to become pregnant because heavy cannabis use can change menstrual cycles for women, and lower sperm count and cause poor sperm quality in men.
If I use cannabis while breastfeeding, can I just pump and dump?
The chemical “THC” in cannabis can stay in your body for weeks. This chemical can be passed on to your baby through breast milk. The safest option for you and your baby is to not use cannabis when breastfeeding
Can second-hand cannabis smoke harm my baby or child?
Like tobacco smoke, secondhand cannabis smoke is harmful, especially for babies and children. Smoke or vape away from your children and not inside your home or car.
How can cannabis affect my ability to care for my child?
The THC in Cannabis can make you feel sleepy, affect your focus, ability to remember and react quickly. This may affect your ability to respond to your child’s needs (e.g., hunger cue) and safety. Remember, the effects of cannabis can last for a few hours
Cannabis use can cause confusion, affect mood and the ability to make decisions.