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Woman smoking a cannabis cigarette or joint
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Babies Exposed to Cannabis In Womb At Increased Risk of Obesity, Health Issues: Study

A new study claims that babies exposed to cannabis in the womb will have a greater risk of obesity and insulin resistanceoldsear

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This analysis and commentary article originally appeared at

Cannabis exposure during pregnancy may result in obesity and insulin resistance in children according to shocking new research published by the Endocrine Society.

“There’s this misconception that cannabis is safe,” said study author Brianna Moore, an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora, Colorado.

“So some women may use it in pregnancy, thinking that it’s a safe alternative to other medicines, even prescribed medications,” Moore said. “Yet studies show connections between marijuana use during pregnancy and low-birth weight in babies and behavioral problems later in childhood, and there may be links to glucose and weight issues as well.”

Cannabis use during pregnancy: risk of obesity and insulin resistance

Cannabis use among pregnant women is on the rise, but the health risks to the developing child are not yet sufficiently understood.

A 2016 study in Colorado, for instance, showed that just over 1/5 of pregnant women had detectable levels of cannabinoids (THC and CBD) in their body. A 2019 analysis of nearly 500,000 American women by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found cannabis use in pregnancy had more than doubled between in the fifteen years between 2002 and 2017.

CBD is popular because it is marketed as being “nonpsychoactive,” so that consumers can reap health benefits from the plant without the “high”. CBD is advertised as providing relief for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and sleep problems.

“We found that cannabis use during pregnancy was linked to increased fat mass percentage and fasting glucose levels in 5-year-old children,” said Brianna Moore.

“We would encourage women to refrain from using any cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding to minimize adverse health effects in the offspring.”

The researchers studied urine samples from 103 pregnant women, 15% of whom had detectable levels of cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD) in their urine.

Five years later, their children had higher fat mass and fasting glucose levels compared to children who were not exposed to cannabis during pregnancy.

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