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Using pot during pregnancy can hurt baby's brain: Study

Written by:

QMI Agency


Jan. 29, 2014

(QMI Agency File)


Using marijuana while pregnant can impair the development of a baby's brain, a new study says.

The main component in cannabis - 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC - can derail how nerve cells form connections, and that could limit the amount of information the brains of affected children can process, researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York say.

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Not all children exposed to pot will suffer immediate defects, the researchers said, but they are at an increased risk of delayed neuropsychiatric diseases.

"Even if THC only would cause small changes, its effect may well be sufficient to sensitize the brain to later stressors to provoke neuropsychiatric illnesses in those affected later in life," researcher Tibor Harkany said in a release about the study Wednesday.

The study has been published in the peer-reviewed EMBO Journal.

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