Reimagining Research with Pregnant Women and Parents Who Consume Cannabis in the Era of Legalization: The Value of Integrating Intersectional Feminist and Participatory Action Approaches

Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2022 Feb;7(1):11-15. doi: 10.1089/can.2020.0086. Epub 2020 Dec 9.


Research on women who consume cannabis has predominantly focused on the perinatal period whereby cannabis consumption is problematized, linked to negative perinatal outcomes, and related to substance use and mental health challenges. When this historical literature and research about cannabis consumption is considered through a sociolegal and intersectional lens, questions emerge about how cannabis legalization may benefit and harm women, particularly women who experience marginalization along various axes of identity such as gender, race, and class. Questions also emerge about how women who consume cannabis may be perceived, represented, and treated as part of health and social care practices, particularly while pregnant and parenting. This commentary seeks to untangle what could be at stake for pregnant women and mothers, and what could be emphasized in future research endeavors, in the new era of cannabis legalization in Canada. The authors encourage research initiatives that attend to and reimagine harm reduction philosophies, and that integrate intersectional, feminist, and participatory action research approaches.

Keywords: feminist; parenting; participatory action research; pregnancy; women.

MeSH terms

  • Cannabis* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Drug
  • Parents
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women
  • Substance-Related Disorders*