Approach to active cannabis use during breastfeeding

Cannabis is one of the most commonly used psychoactive substances in our environment. For women who consume this substance while breastfeeding, recommending at least a reduction in consumption is absolutely necessary, although the goal should be to stop using it altogether.

Providing accurate information about the risks associated with cannabis exposure for both the mother and baby is essential. This includes understanding how easily the metabolites of this substance can pass into breast milk and thus to the infant. It is also important to highlight that the amount of substance the baby is exposed to depends on the mother’s consumption and that the development of the infant’s nervous system and growth can be compromised by exposure to cannabis.

Furthermore, continued use of this toxic substance can affect the mother’s behavior and judgment, potentially posing a risk to the baby.

If total cessation of cannabis use is not achieved, mothers should be advised to smoke in a room where the baby is not exposed to the smoke, as it is associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Additionally, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of washing hands and clothing that may contain traces of cannabis before resuming physical contact with the baby.

It is also important to inform women that cannabis compounds can remain in breast milk for days or weeks after consumption and can also be found in the infant’s stools and urine.

During these interventions, the nursing professional should also inform about the benefits of breastfeeding, so that the woman can make an informed decision.


Bibliography: Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. Lactancia Materna – Fomento y Apoyo al Inicio, la Exclusividad y la Continuación de la Lactancia Materna para Recién Nacidos, Lactantes y Niños Pequeños. 2018 p. 208.



Preventive intervention level



Primary Care, Hospital care, Hospital, Specialized care, Addiction treatment centers, Community settings



Age range

14 o +


clinical interview, consumption, family, Social factors, woman

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