CCSA re­leases re­port on cannabis use dur­ing preg­nancy

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Prairies - GLOBE NEWSWIRE

With cannabis le­gal­iza­tion less than 50 days away, the Cana­dian Cen­tre on Sub­stance Use and Ad­dic­tion (CCSA) has re­leased the lat­est ver­sion of Clear­ing the Smoke on Cannabis: Ma­ter­nal Cannabis Use dur­ing Preg­nancy.

The re­port con­cludes that, in ad­di­tion to in­creas­ing the risk for low birth­weight, smok­ing cannabis while preg­nant can re­sult in ef­fects on the child well into ado­les­cence and young adult­hood. These ef­fects in­clude:

• In­creases in at­ten­tion deficits;

• Hy­per­ac­tiv­ity;

• Im­pul­siv­ity;

• Lower aca­demic per­for­mance in school; and

• An in­creased risk for men­tal health and sub­stance use is­sues later in life.

“In­for­ma­tion on the ef­fects of cannabis use dur­ing preg­nancy is es­sen­tial to help health­care providers ad­vise pa­tients about the im­pact of cannabis use and im­prove the health and well-be­ing of pa­tients’ chil­dren,” ex­plains Chealsea De Moor, knowl­edge bro­ker at CCSA. “Health­care pro­fes­sion­als can take this op­por­tu­nity to openly dis­cuss these is­sues with their pa­tients to mo­ti­vate be­hav­iour change for the ben­e­fit of both mother and child.”

Re­search also found that, like al­co­hol, el­e­ments in cannabis (namely THC) trans­fer through breast milk to in­fants. There is no re­search on the ef­fects of THC on in­fants in­de­pen­dent from pre­na­tal ex­po­sure, but ex­perts have sug­gested that in­fants ex­posed to THC could ex­pe­ri­ence:

• Se­da­tion;

• Lethargy;

• Poor eat­ing habits; and

• Dif­fi­culty with mother-in­fant bond­ing.

Af­ter al­co­hol, cannabis is the most widely used psy­choac­tive sub­stance in Canada. In 2015, al­most 17% of Cana­dian women of child­bear­ing age re­ported us­ing cannabis within the past year.

“This is a timely re­port as come Oc­to­ber Cana­di­ans will be able to buy cannabis legally for recre­ational pur­poses and there is a lot of mis­in­for­ma­tion on cannabis use dur­ing preg­nancy,” says Sarah Kone­fal, re­search and pol­icy an­a­lyst at CCSA.

“Pro­vid­ing ex­pec­tant mothers, fam­i­lies, health­care providers and re­lated au­di­ences the re­sources to make in­formed de­ci­sions was key for this up­date.”

CCSA be­gan pub­lish­ing re­ports in the Clear­ing the Smoke on Cannabis series in 2009.

These re­ports con­tinue to be among the most fre­quently down­loaded re­sources from the CCSA web­site. Hash­tags #Clear­ingTheSmok­e #Smok­ingWhenEx­pect­ing

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