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Cannabis Use During Pregnancy: Trimester-Specific Insights into Cannabinoid Preferences – Results from COVID-19 Cannabis Mom Study

Anuradha Ramdas
University of Miami

Co-Authors: Amrit Baral1, Ranya Marrakchi El Fellah1, Bria-Necole Diggs1, Cynthia Lebron1, Sarah E Messiah2, Denise C Vidot1
1University of Miami, 2University of Texas

Background: Increased rates of cannabis use during pregnancy emphasize the need for further research on the effects of cannabis and cannabinoids to safeguard maternal and fetal health. While research on this topic is emerging, there is a crucial gap in the pattern of cannabinoid preferences and cannabis use during pregnancy by trimester. This study aims to provide trimester-specific insights into cannabinoid use patterns among pregnant individuals.

Methods: This analysis draws data from the COVID-19 Cannabis Mom Study, a cross-sectional investigation into cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Informed consent and data collection were facilitated through REDCap. Participants utilized an electronic survey link to self-report their cannabinoid usage, patterns, and behaviors during pregnancy. Descriptive statistics, implemented via SAS Analytics, were employed to compute and present information on cannabis use and dominant cannabinoids consumed across trimesters during the participant’s current pregnancy.

Results: In the total sample (N=252, mean age 31.2 years (SD=6.0).), 32.1% (n=81) reported currently being pregnant. Within this group, the majority were in their second trimester (43.2%), followed by third (35.8%) and first trimester (21.0%). Of those currently pregnant, 95.1% reported cannabis use before pregnancy, and 90.1% continued during pregnancy. Among pregnant individuals that reported THC as the dominant cannabinoid consumed, the highest prevalence of use was in the third trimester (42.5%) compared to 23.4% in the first trimester and 34.0% in the second trimester. CBD-THC ratio dominant cannabinoid was most prevalent during the second trimester (47.6%) compared to 23.8% in the first trimester and 28.6% in the third trimester. Most (85.7%) of those unsure of the dominant cannabinoid used during pregnancy were in their second trimester compared to 14.3% in the first trimester and 0.0% in the third (overall p=0.10).

Conclusion: Results revealed that most pregnant individuals, particularly those in their second or third trimester, were utilizing cannabis to alleviate pregnancy-related symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the findings showed a difference in cannabinoid dominance by trimester. These findings underscore the need for trimester-tailored interventions and education for pregnant individuals and healthcare providers that address potential risks and benefits associated with cannabis use during each trimester of pregnancy.