Prenatal exposure to pot is associated with differences in the thickness of the brain, particularly in the frontal brain, in preadolescent children. This was a study done with MRIS. This was written by Hanan El Marroun, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands and published online June 15 in Biological Psychiatry.

Children aged 6 to 8 years were invited into the MRI component of the program and the mothers use of cannabis exposure during pregnancy was measured with maternal self-report asking questions for each each trimester of the pregnancy. 113 nonexposed children; 96 children whose mothers smoked only tobacco during pregnancy; and 54 children whose mothers were studied during the pregnancy.

When comparing exposed to non-exposed children, those exposed to cannabis had “thicker frontal cortices, specifically, a thicker superior frontal area of the left hemisphere… and a thicker frontal pole of the right hemisphere” This part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, supports functions such as the ability to suppress responses and thoughts, attention, higher-order motor control, and working memory.

The New York Times “reported a study published in BJU International found that the sperm of male smokers was “damaged in ways that could reduce the chance of fertilization and might also lead to health problems in the baby.” The researchers found that the “DNA in smokers’ sperm was fragmented, probably because of oxidative stress from the cadmium and nicotine in cigarette smoke,” which has been associated with increased risk of genetic problems and childhood cancer. They also found nonintact acrosomes and changes in seminal plasma, both of which “might impair fertilization.”