In one of the most comprehensive examinations to date of marijuana use during pregnancy, Torri D. Metz, MD, MS, a University of Utah Health associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, will evaluate the drug’s effects on the health of both mother and child throughout gestation.
The study, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, will focus on the risk of adverse outcomes for newborns, including placenta dysfunction and inhibited fetal growth in the womb. It will also assess whether marijuana increases the probability of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension among expectant women.
Marijuana is the most commonly used drug during pregnancy, but little is known about its potential effects on mother and child. Previous studies have found substantial evidence that the drug can lower birth weights. However, these studies have relied on self-reporting from mothers-to-be or clinical toxicology testing rather than evaluating biological samples directly.