Pot smoking by parents tied to risk of psychotic episodes in kids

(Reuters Health) – Cannabis use by mothers or fathers during pregnancy, or even only before pregnancy, is associated with an increased risk of psychotic-like episodes in their children, a Dutch study suggests.

FILE PHOTO: Various-sized joints for sale are pictured at the annual 4/20 marijuana event at Sunset Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Redmond/File Photo

Because pot use by mothers and fathers carried similar risk, and a mother’s use before pregnancy had the same effect as use during pregnancy, the study team speculates that parental pot use is likely a marker for genetic and environmental vulnerability to psychotic experiences rather than a cause, and could be useful for screening kids at risk for psychosis later in life.

Babies exposed to cannabis in the womb do have an increased risk of being underweight and unusually small when they’re born and developing cognitive and behavior problems early in life, the researchers note in Schizophrenia Research. Cannabis can also cause hallucinations in adults, particularly with frequent use and at high doses, but less is known about the potential for infants exposed to the drug in the…

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