Science and Tech


How A Mom's Pot Use May Affect Their Child's Own Use

A new study out of Harvard shows children's whose moms used marijuana started using two years before children who parent did not.
Posted at 12:57 PM, Sep 24, 2018

As marijuana use becomes more acceptableacross the United States, mothers may want to consider a new study about how the drug can affect their kids. Its findings: a child is more likely to try pot earlier in life if their mom uses cannabis.

The new study pulled data about pot use from more than four thousand (4,440) children and more than twenty five hundred (2,586) mothers. Researchers tested to see if a mother's marijuana use during the first 12 years of their child's life affected whether and when that child tried the drug.

They discovered children of mothers who used marijuana started using themselves, on average, at age 16. Kids whose mothers did not use started when they were 18.

But this study isn’t a comprehensive look at how teens use marijuana. Subjects reported their own marijuana usage, for one thing. And researchers didn’t measure whether children knew their mother’s used marijuana. They also didn't measure how often the mothers used.

Researchers hope these early findings might inform the growing discussion around marijuana. They hope physicians who prescribe it will consider educating parents about the risks their children face. To date, medical marijuana is legal in 30 states and Washington DC. Recreational marijuana is legal in nine states.