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Factors Associated With Cannabis Use During the Reproductive Cycle: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study of Women in States With Recreational and Medical Cannabis Legalization.



Passage of cannabis laws may impact cannabis use and the use of other substances. The suggested association is of particular concern in pregnant women where exposure to substances can cause harm to both the pregnant woman and fetus. The present study contributes to the minimal literature on factors associated with cannabis use during the preconception, prenatal, and postpartum periods including state legalization status, concurrent use of tobacco and e-cigarettes and adequacy of prenatal care.


We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using combined survey data from the 2016-2018 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) collected from 36,391 women. Logistic regression was used to estimate the impact of state-legalization, adequacy of prenatal care, and other substance use on cannabis use during the preconception, prenatal, and post-partum periods.


In the preconception model, residence in a recreationally legal state (OR: 2.37; 95% CI, 2.04-2.75) or medically legal state (OR:3.32; 95% CI, 2.90-3.80) compared to a non-legal state was associated with higher odds of cannabis use. In the prenatal model, residence in a recreationally legal state was associated with higher odds of cannabis use (OR: 1.51; 95% CI, 1.29-1.79) whereas there was no association with residence in a medically legal state. Tobacco use including e-cigarettes and moderate prenatal alcohol use were also significantly associated with cannabis use.


Recreational cannabis legalization is associated with the use of cannabis prior to, during, and after pregnancy. Renewed clinical and policy efforts may be warranted to update prenatal substance use prevention programs, educational campaigns, and provider education as cannabis legalization evolves.

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