News Release

Questions and answers about cannabis use during pregnancy

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Journal of Women's Health

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Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, February 3, 2020--A new study shows that women have many medical questions about the use of cannabis both before and during pregnancy, and during the postpartum period while breastfeeding. While more than half of licensed U.S. healthcare providers responded by saying that perinatal cannabis use was harmful, and nearly half discouraged perinatal cannabis use, many providers missed the opportunity to educate on safety or discourage cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. These findings are published in Journal of Women's Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article on the Journal of Women's Health website through March 3, 2020.

The article entitled "Women's Questions about Perinatal Cannabis Use and Healthcare Providers' Responses" was coauthored by Kelly Young-Wolff, PhD, MPH, Kaiser Permanente Northern California (Oakland) and colleagues from Stanford University and HealthTap. HealthTap is an open online platform in which anyone, anywhere can ask a free question. HealthTap's healthcare providers are licensed in the U.S.

The researchers categorized the women's questions about cannabis use into themes that spanned the time period of preconception, prenatal, and postpartum. The most prevalent questions were those concerning detection of cannabis in pregnant women or at delivery, effects on the ability to conceive, potential harms of a mother's prenatal use to the fetus, and risks of baby exposure and health effects via breastmilk. The provider responses regarding the safety of perinatal cannabis were denoted as 55.6% harmful, 8.8% safe, 8.8% mixed/unsure, and 26.8% not addressed.

Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women's Health and Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, states: "While nearly half (49.6%) of the providers discouraged perinatal cannabis use, 49.9% neither encouraged nor discouraged its use. This represents a missed opportunity to counsel women on the potentially harmful effects of cannabis use during conception, fetal growth and development, and breastfeeding."


Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K01 DA043604. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the Journal

Journal of Women's Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. Led by Editor-in-Chief Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women's Health, Richmond, VA, the Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women's healthcare issues. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Women's Health website. Journal of Women's Health is the official journal of the Academy of Women's Health and the Society for Women's Health Research.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including LGBT Health, Transgender Health, Population Health Management, and Breastfeeding Medicine. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 90 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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