In utero cannabis exposure is tied to a small increase in psychosis proneness

  • Fine JD & al.
  • JAMA Psychiatry
  • 27 Mar 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Prenatal cannabis exposure after the early weeks of gestation increases risk slightly for psychosis proneness in middle childhood.
  • The authors call the associations “robust.”

Why this matters

  • As cannabis use becomes more common, these authors warn that their findings reinforce recommendations that pregnant women avoid using cannabis “until more is known."

Key results

  • 4.61% of children were exposed to cannabis in utero:
  • 138 only before maternal knowledge of pregnancy.
  • 61 before and after maternal knowledge of pregnancy.
  • 2 only after maternal knowledge of pregnancy.
  • With exclusion of fixed-effect covariates, maternal cannabis use after knowledge of pregnancy was associated with proneness to psychosis in the child (P=.004).

Study design

  • Data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study .
  • Psychosis proneness tested using the Prodromal Questionnaire-Brief Child Version.
  • 4361 children (with 3774 mothers) tested from ages 8.9 to 11.0 years (born 2005-2008).
  • Funding: NIH.

Limitations

  • Small numbers exposed prenatally to cannabis.
  • Possible underreporting of cannabis use.
  • Conversion rate of psychosis proneness to psychosis not clear.