Sex Difference: What Does Cannabis Do To The Brain Before Birth?

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According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, a total of 246 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 have used an illicit drug. Cannabis is by far the most widely cultivated, trafficked and used psychoactive substance, and its consumption has grown more rapidly than both cocaine and opiate abuse over the past decade.

The use of marijuana during pregnancy ranges from 2% to 5%, and it increases to between 15% and 28% among young and socioeconomically disadvantaged women; many pregnant users also believe that the drug is safe with no major effects on the fetus (Committee on Obstetric Practice, 2017). The main component in marijuana, delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is able to cross the placental barrier and enter the fetal bloodstream, so thousands of infants are exposed to cannabis before birth.

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