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Preconception cannabis use: An important but overlooked public health issue

Cannabis is the most commonly used federally illicit drug among pregnant women in the United States, and the prevalence and frequency of prenatal cannabis use are increasing. The preconception period – typically thought of as the 3-12 months immediately preceding pregnancy – is a distinct and critical period for women’s health that has often been overlooked when examining prenatal cannabis use. Given that substance use behaviors typically develop before pregnancy, and risk factors associated with prenatal cannabis use are often present prior to conception, preventive approaches to addressing prenatal cannabis use would benefit from focusing on women who use cannabis prior to pregnancy. In order to ensure preconception cannabis use is brought to the forefront of cannabis prevention efforts, we recommend additional research, patient education, and clinician training focused on preconception cannabis use.

Authors: Skelton, Kara R; Young-Wolff, Kelly C

Womens Health (Lond). 2022 Jan-Dec;18:17455057221124071.

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