Pot’s not dope when you’re pregnant as it ups autism risk: ...

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Pot’s not dope when you’re pregnant as it ups autism risk: research

Biggest study yet hails from Canada, but sheds light for SA as it grapples with risk-reward equations of dagga

Senior science reporter

A new study, the largest of its kind, has found that smoking marijuana when you’re pregnant increases the chances of birthing a child with autism.

Just published in medical journal Nature Medicine, the research was carried out in Canada by the University of Ottawa. It found that “the incidence of autism was four per 1,000 person-years among children exposed to cannabis in pregnancy, compared with 2.42 among unexposed children”, according to senior author on the study, Dr Mark Walker, who leads the obstetrics and gynaecology department at Ottawa Hospital, which is affiliated to the university.

“Despite these warnings, there is evidence that more people are using cannabis during pregnancy,” he said. “This is concerning, because we know so little about how cannabis affects pregnant women and their babies. Parents to be should inform themselves of the possible risks and we hope studies like ours can help.”..

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