Can Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Harm a Baby?

Can Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Harm a Baby


In the U.S., 4% of pregnant women report using cannabis in the last month.

During pregnancy, up to 30% of THC (marijuana’s active ingredient) can reach the baby.

Research shows a child exposed to THC in the womb or through breast milk is more likely to:

  • Show more irritability and trembling as an infant.
  • Have decreased motor development at 12 months.
  • Show gaps in problem-solving and memory at school.
  • Develop hyperactivity and inattention symptoms.

However, it’s difficult to say whether THC exposure causes these issues or if it occurs alongside other contributing factors such as parental alcohol use.

In some states, women who expose their children to marijuana in utero may be required to get substance abuse treatment.


  1. Can marijuana use during and after pregnancy harm the baby? (2018). National Institute of Health. Retrieved from
  2. Is it safe to use marijuana during pregnancy? (2017). Retrieved from
  3. Some pregnant women don’t believe cannabis is harmful to their fetus. (2019, January 21). ScienceDaily. Retrieved from

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