Birth and early developmental screening outcomes associated with cannabis exposure during pregnancy

Elyse Olshen Kharbanda, Gabriela Vazquez-Benitez, Alicia Kunin-Batson, James D. Nordin, Avalow Olsen, Paul A. Romitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare birth and early developmental screening outcomes for infants with and without in utero cannabis exposures. Study design: Observational cohort of women receiving prenatal care within a large health system, live birth between October 1, 2015 and December 1, 2017, and at least one infant visit. Cannabis exposure was through routine urine toxicology screen. Preterm birth, small for gestational age (SGA) birth, birth defects, and early developmental screening outcomes were assessed from birth and electronic health record data. Results: Of 3435 women, 283 (8.2%) had a positive urine toxicology screen. In utero cannabis exposure was associated with SGA birth, adjusted rate ratio (aRR) 1.69 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.22–2.34). Abnormal 12-month developmental screens occurred in 9.1% of infants with in utero cannabis exposure vs. 3.6% of those with negative maternal screens, aRR 1.90 (95% CI: 0.92–3.91). Additional birth outcomes were not associated with in utero cannabis exposure. Conclusions: Exposure to cannabis during pregnancy may adversely impact fetal growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-480
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding All phases of this study were supported by a grant (U01DD0001035) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [to PAR]. The sponsor was not involved in the study design, data collection, analysis or interpretation of data, writing of the paper, or the decision to submit for publication. Findings of this study represent those of the authors and do not represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.


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