School of Medical and Health Sciences
Rising Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentrations in modern cannabis invites investigation of the teratological implications of prenatal cannabis exposure. Data from Colorado Responds to Children with Special Needs (CRCSN), National Survey of Drug Use and Health, and Drug Enforcement Agency was analyzed. Seven, 40, and 2 defects were rising, flat, and falling, respectively, and 10/12 summary indices rose. Atrial septal defect, spina bifida, microcephalus, Down’s syndrome, ventricular septal defect, and patent ductus arteriosus rose, and along with central nervous system, cardiovascular, genitourinary, respiratory, chromosomal, and musculoskeletal defects rose 5 to 37 times faster than the birth rate (3.3%) to generate an excess of 11 753 (22%) major anomalies. Cannabis was the only drug whose use grew from 2000 to 2014 while pain relievers, cocaine, alcohol, and tobacco did not. The correlation of cannabis use with major defects in 2014 (2019 dataset) was R = .77, P = .0011. Multiple cannabinoids were linked with summary measures of congenital anomalies and were robust to multivariate adjustment.
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