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Medicinal Cannabis in Pregnancy - Panacea or Noxious Weed?

Abstract

The use of medicinal cannabis has been the subject of enabling legislation in Australia since 2016. At present the medical profession has not supported its use for anything but a few indications which include paediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy (especially Dravet's syndrome), pain syndromes associated with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and chemotherapy-induced nausea. However, in the United States where medicinal cannabis has been legalised in 29 States and Washington DC, nausea is an approved indication in many jurisdictions and this has been followed by widespread use for pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. This may prove to be ill advised as serious concerns have been expressed about its safety in pregnancy particularly its proven potential to restrict fetal and postnatal growth as well as to impair childhood cognitive functions such as memory, verbal skills and emotional development. These reported effects on neuropsychiatric behavioural and executive functions may influence future adult productivity and lifetime outcomes. Twenty-one States of the United States approve the use of legal cannabis for nausea and vomiting including its use in pregnancy. This is likely to encourage complacency regarding its fetal risks in pregnancy. In Australia the federal and State legislation restricts use of legal cannabis by placing the pharmaceutical under Sch 8 of the Poisons Act 1971 Tas which requires specific application for each individual patient use. It is to be hoped that this will prevent the excesses of use in pregnancy witnessed in the United States.

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Authors+Show Affiliations

Head of Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Western Sydney University. Conjoint Senior Lecturer Women's and Children's Health, University of New South Wales.

Source

Journal of law and medicine 25:3 2018 Apr pg 634-646

MeSH

Australia
Cannabis
Female
Fetus
Humans
Jurisprudence
Medical Marijuana
Plant Weeds
Pregnancy

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29978658

Citation

O'Connor, Mike. "Medicinal Cannabis in Pregnancy - Panacea or Noxious Weed?" Journal of Law and Medicine, vol. 25, no. 3, 2018, pp. 634-646.
O'Connor M. Medicinal Cannabis in Pregnancy - Panacea or Noxious Weed? J Law Med. 2018;25(3):634-646.
O'Connor, M. (2018). Medicinal Cannabis in Pregnancy - Panacea or Noxious Weed? Journal of Law and Medicine, 25(3), pp. 634-646.
O'Connor M. Medicinal Cannabis in Pregnancy - Panacea or Noxious Weed. J Law Med. 2018;25(3):634-646. PubMed PMID: 29978658.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Medicinal Cannabis in Pregnancy - Panacea or Noxious Weed? A1 - O'Connor,Mike, PY - 2018/7/7/entrez PY - 2018/7/7/pubmed PY - 2018/8/25/medline KW - cognitive disorders in childhood KW - efficacy KW - medicinal cannabis KW - pregnancy SP - 634 EP - 646 JF - Journal of law and medicine JO - J Law Med VL - 25 IS - 3 N2 - The use of medicinal cannabis has been the subject of enabling legislation in Australia since 2016. At present the medical profession has not supported its use for anything but a few indications which include paediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy (especially Dravet's syndrome), pain syndromes associated with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and chemotherapy-induced nausea. However, in the United States where medicinal cannabis has been legalised in 29 States and Washington DC, nausea is an approved indication in many jurisdictions and this has been followed by widespread use for pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. This may prove to be ill advised as serious concerns have been expressed about its safety in pregnancy particularly its proven potential to restrict fetal and postnatal growth as well as to impair childhood cognitive functions such as memory, verbal skills and emotional development. These reported effects on neuropsychiatric behavioural and executive functions may influence future adult productivity and lifetime outcomes. Twenty-one States of the United States approve the use of legal cannabis for nausea and vomiting including its use in pregnancy. This is likely to encourage complacency regarding its fetal risks in pregnancy. In Australia the federal and State legislation restricts use of legal cannabis by placing the pharmaceutical under Sch 8 of the Poisons Act 1971 Tas which requires specific application for each individual patient use. It is to be hoped that this will prevent the excesses of use in pregnancy witnessed in the United States. SN - 1320-159X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29978658/Medicinal_Cannabis_in_Pregnancy___Panacea_or_Noxious_Weed L2 - http://www.diseaseinfosearch.org/result/5922 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -