Effects of marijuana on reproductive health: preconception and gestational effects

Kimberly S. Ryan, Jasper C. Bash, Carol B. Hanna, Jason C. Hedges, Jamie O. Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewRecent widespread legalization changes have promoted the availability of marijuana and its increased potency and perceived safety. The limited evidence on reproductive and perinatal outcomes from marijuana exposure is enough to warrant concern and action. The objective of this review is to provide a current and relevant summary of the recent literature surrounding this topic.Recent findingsThe available published studies on the effect of marijuana exposure on reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes are conflicting. Human studies are often observational or retrospective and confounded by self-report and polysubstance use. However, the current, limited evidence suggests that marijuana use adversely affects male and female reproductive health. Additionally, prenatal marijuana exposure has been reported to be associated with an increased risk of preterm birth and small for gestational age infants.SummaryWith the increasing prevalence of marijuana use, there is an urgent need for evidence-driven recommendations and guidelines for couples interested in conception, affected by infertility or who are expecting. At this time, no amount of marijuana use during conception or pregnancy is known to be well tolerated and the limited available evidence suggests that the safest choice is to abstain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-565
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • cannabis
  • fertility
  • marijuana
  • maternal substance use
  • pregnancy
  • reproductive function
  • reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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