Maternal marijuana use during lactation and infant development at one year

Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1990 Mar-Apr;12(2):161-8. doi: 10.1016/0892-0362(90)90129-z.


Prenatal marijuana exposure is associated with adverse perinatal effects. Very little is known about the effect of postnatal marijuana exposure on infant development. Postnatal exposure can result from maternal use of marijuana during lactation. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) transfers and concentrates in the mother's milk and is absorbed and metabolized by the nursing infant. The present study investigated the relationship between infant exposure to marijuana via the mother's milk and infant motor and mental development at one year of age. One hundred and thirty-six breast-fed infants were assessed at one year of age for motor and mental development. Sixty-eight infants were exposed to marijuana via the mother's milk. An additional 68 infants were matched to the marijuana-exposed infants on pre- and postpartum maternal alcohol and tobacco use. Marijuana exposure via the mother's milk during the first month postpartum appeared to be associated with a decrease in infant motor development at one year of age.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child Development / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lactation*
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects