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Perinatal marijuana exposure

National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center – 2012

A fact sheet on the effects of prenatal exposure to marijuana. Describes how THC (the major psychoactive component of marijuana) can cross the placental barrier during pregnancy. Children can also be exposed to THC via breastfeeding and secondhand smoke. Presents data on the prevalence of marijuana use by pregnant women, noting that it is the most common illicit drug used during pregnancy. Describes the biological and developmental effects of prenatal marijuana exposure in infants and children. These include impaired nervous system and cognitive functioning, depression, risk of substance abuse, and compromised immune system. Explains how parental marijuana use can negatively impact parenting capacity and parent-child attachment. Lists effective screening and intervention strategies.