Fresh Toast reports….

Increased cannabis use during pregnancy is concerning, “because we know so little about how cannabis affects pregnant women and their babies,” the study’s lead author noted.

Children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing autism, a new Canadian study found. The findings coincide with recent research that showed negative association between pregnancy and cannabis use, including infant health risks and small birth weights.

The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine this week by authors from the Ottawa Hospital and affiliated institutions in Ontario. Researchers examined data from 500,000 births in Ontario between 2007 and 2012, and found about 0.6%, or 3,000 mothers, reported cannabis use during pregnancy.

When reviewing the half million figure dataset, the study’s authors found 1.4% of children were born with autism spectral disorder. But that number rose to 2.2% among children whose mothers used marijuana while pregnant. That increased exposure of risk remained the same when the only substance mothers used was cannabis.

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