Cannabis Exposure in Pregnancy Linked to Mental Health Problems in Early Teen Years

    A new study finds exposure to cannabis during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of developing mental health problems in the early teen years, NBC News reports.

    The study found prenatal cannabis exposure after five or six weeks of fetal development is associated with attention, social and behavioral problems that persist as children reach ages 11 and 12. The data comes from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, an ongoing study of almost 12,000 children. The study found children who had been exposed to prenatal cannabis were at higher risk of developing disorders such as ADHD, aggressive behavior, conduct disorder and rule-breaking behavior, the researchers found.

    “Once they hit 14 or 15, we’re expecting to see further increases in mental health disorders or other psychiatric conditions — increases that will continue into the kids’ early 20s,” researcher David Baranger of Washington University in St. Louis said in a news release.