Effects of prenatal cannabis exposure on developmental trajectory of cognitive ability and brain volumes in the adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study

doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2023.101209.

Online ahead of print.


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Daiki Hiraoka et al.

Dev Cogn Neurosci.



Although cannabis use during pregnancy is increasing widely, the effects of cannabis on developmental trajectories, such as whether its effects during pregnancy remain the same between time points or gradually increase, are unclear. This study aimed to examine whether cannabis use during pregnancy affects the process of change in cognition and brain volume. Data from two-time points measured longitudinally were analyzed. We used data from the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study. Participants included 11,876 children aged 9-11 years participated at baseline, and 10,414 participated at 2-year follow-up from 22 sites across the United States. We explored the associations between prenatal cannabis exposure and cognitive abilities and brain volumes developmental trajectories. Among 11,530 children with valid data for prenatal cannabis exposure, 10,833 had no prenatal cannabis use, and 697 had cannabis use during their pregnancy. There was a significant interaction between time points and cannabis use during pregnancy on visuo-perceptual processing ability (b = -0.019, p = .009) and intracranial volumes (b = -6338.309, p = .009). We found that the effects of exposure to cannabis during pregnancy are not uniform at all times and may gradually become more apparent and magnified as development progresses.


Cognitive development; Longitudinal data; Marijuana; Neurodevelopment; Prenatal cannabis exposure.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of Competing Interest The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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