Healthy Parents Healthy Children: Cannabis is legal, but what does that mean for mothers when breastfeeding?


There is no known safe amount of cannabis (marijuana, hashish, hash oil) to use while breastfeeding. If a mom uses cannabis, it could affect her mood, judgment and how she supervises and cares for her baby. It could also affect her ability to breastfeed and respond to her baby’s feeding cues.

THC from cannabis is passed into breastmilk and is stored there. If this breastmilk is given to the baby, the THC is passed to them. The THC is then taken into their brain and fat cells and can stay in the baby’s body for weeks. There is limited research on the effects of cannabis on a breastfed baby. Some research shows that THC can affect a baby’s brain development and cause them to have slower movements and reactions. More research is needed on the possible effects of cannabis use and breastfeeding. Until more is known about it, using cannabis while breastfeeding is not advised.

Cannabis smoke also has many of the same harmful chemicals as tobacco smoke. Second-hand cannabis smoke can cause babies and young children to be sick and it can affect their level of alertness, understanding and judgment. If someone around you uses cannabis, it’s important for them not to smoke or vape cannabis in your home, in your vehicle, or in any closed spaces around your baby and other children.

For information about cutting down, quitting or finding a safer alternative if you use cannabis for medical reasons, talk with your health care provider. To learn more, you can also call the Alberta Health Services Addiction Helpline 24/7, toll-free at 1-866-332-2322, or visit Alberta Health Services – Addiction & Mental Health.

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