Study Summary: Cannabis During Pregnancy (Jamaica)

Updated: Oct 9

Welcome to Higher Learning LV's Study Summary series. This series reviews and summarizes peer-reviewed research studies and was developed specifically for cannabis industry professionals. These study summaries provide easily digested quick reads for a variety of important issues regarding the commerce and chemistry of legal cannabis.

A 1991 study entitled "Five-year Follow-up of Rural Jamaican Children Whose Mothers Used Marijuana During Pregnancy" that was published in the West Indian Medical Journal explored the health and overall development of a group of Jamaican children whose mothers consumed cannabis during their pregnancies.


The Study

"This research provides data on the development of 59 Jamaican children, from birth to age five years, whose mothers used marijuana during pregnancy," reported the study's authors. Study participants used cannabis during pregnancy "and were matched with non-users according to age, parity, and socioeconomic status."


"This research provides data on the development of 59 Jamaican children, from birth to age five years, whose mothers used marijuana during pregnancy."

The children being studied were tested at one, three, and 30 days of age using the Brazelton Neonatal Bahavioral Assessment Scales. The study subjects were also tested at ages four and five, but using a more appropriate test for those ages, the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities.


"Data about the child's home environment and temperament were collected from direct observations, as well as from standardized questionnaires," reported the study.


The Results

The researchers observed "no significant differences in developmental testing outcomes between children of marijuana-using and non-using mothers." The study's authors actually observed "more favorable scores" for the babies of cannabis-consuming mothers at 30 days of age in terms of two testing criteria, autonomic stability and reflexes.


The study observed "no significant differences in developmental testing outcomes between children of marijuana-using and non-using mothers."

Testing conducted at ages four and five showed that results were more correlated to characteristics such as home environment and preschool attendance patterns than whether the mothers consumed cannabis during pregnancy.


View the original study.


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