Editor's Note
This meta-analysis provides a critical review of results from longitudinal studies examining the impact of prenatal cannabis exposure on multiple domains of cognitive functioning in individuals aged 0 to 22 years. Articles were included if they examined the cognitive performance of offspring exposed to cannabis  in utero . An examination of the total number of statistical comparisons ( n  = 1,001) between groups of participants that were exposed to cannabis prenatally and non-exposed controls revealed that those exposed performed differently on a minority of cognitive outcomes (worse on <3.5 percent and better in <1 percent). The authors conclude that the current evidence does not suggest that prenatal cannabis exposure alone is associated with clinically significant cognitive functioning impairments.
Summary

Background:  Despite limited data demonstrating pronounced negative effects of prenatal cannabis exposure, popular opinion and public policies still reflect the belief that cannabis is fetotoxic.

Methods:  This article provides a critical review of results from longitudinal studies examining the impact of prenatal cannabis exposure on multiple domains of cognitive functioning in individuals aged 0 to 22 years. A literature search was conducted through PsycINFO, PubMed, and Google Scholar. Articles were included if they examined the cognitive performance of offspring exposed to cannabis  in utero .

Results:  An examination of the total number of statistical comparisons ( n  = 1,001) between groups of participants that were exposed to cannabis prenatally and non-exposed controls revealed that those exposed performed differently on a minority of cognitive outcomes (worse on <3.5 percent and better in <1 percent). The clinical significance of these findings appears to be limited because cognitive performance scores of cannabis-exposed groups overwhelmingly fell within the normal range when compared against normative data adjusted for age and education.

Conclusions:  The current evidence does not suggest that prenatal cannabis exposure alone is associated with clinically significant cognitive functioning impairments.

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