February 2019 by Adela Talbot, University of Western Ontario

Daniel Hardy, a Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry professor, led a recent study that found “alarming” damage to important organs in newborns who were exposed to cannabis – and, specifically, to THC – while in utero. This damage could lead to heart disease and diabetes later in life. 

Just because it's legal, doesn't mean it's safe.

Exposure to cannabis – and, specifically, to THC – while in utero leads to heart defects and metabolic limitations likely to result in heart diseaseand diabetes later in life, according to a Western-led study.

"All the studies to date have tried to address how exposure to cannabis in pregnancy influences offspring have been limited to the brain and behaviour. They indicate a correlation between cannabis use and low birth weight and there's a good body of work that demonstrates moms who used cannabis in pregnancy have children who have issues with anxiety and social disorders. But no one had looked at metabolic outcomes."

Given such alarming findings and their implications for children born to women who used marijuana during pregnancy, Hardy called Health Canada and offered to present a seminar on his research.

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