Pregnant people’s perspectives on cannabis use during pregnancy: A
systematic review and integrative mixed-methods research synthesis
Background: Cannabis use during the perinatal period is rising.
Objectives: To synthesize existing knowledge on the perspectives of
pregnant people and their partners about cannabis use in pregnancy and
lactation. Search strategy: We searched MEDLINE, APA PsycINFO,
Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Social Science
Citation Index, Social Work Abstracts, ProQuest Sociology Collection up
until April 1, 2020. Selection criteria: Eligible studies were those of
any methodology which included the perspectives and experiences of
pregnant or lactating people and their partners on cannabis use during
pregnancy or lactation, with no time or geographical limit. Data
collection and analysis: We employed a convergent integrative approach
to the analysis of findings from all studies, using Sandelowski’s
technique of “qualitizing statements” to extract and summarize
relevant findings from inductive analysis. Main results: We identified
23 studies of pregnant people’s views about cannabis use in pregnancy.
Comparative analysis revealed that whether cannabis was studied alone or
grouped with other substances resulted in significant diversity in
descriptions of participant decision-making priorities and perceptions
of risks and benefits. Studies combining cannabis with other substance
seldom addressed perceived benefits or reasons for using cannabis.
Conclusions: The way cannabis is grouped with other substances
influences the design and results of research. A comparative analysis
emphasizes the importance of understanding why a pregnant person might
choose to use cannabis in order to foster dialogue about perceptions of
benefit and strategies for risk mitigation.