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Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2009 Oct;259(7):383-93. doi: 10.1007/s00406-009-0026-0. Epub 2009 Jul 2.

Cannabis use in pregnancy and early life and its consequences: animal models.

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Department of Psychopharmacology, Central Institute of Mental Health (ZI), J5, 68159 Mannheim, Germany.


Cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands have been detected from the earliest stages of embryonic development. The endocannabinoid system appears to play essential roles in these early stages for neuronal development and cell survival, although its detailed involvement in fundamental developmental processes such as proliferation, migration and differentiation has not yet been completely understood. Therefore, it is not surprising that manipulations of the endocannabinoid system by cannabinoid exposure during early developmental stages can result in long-lasting neurobehavioural consequences. The present review will summarize the possible residual behavioural effects of cannabinoid administration during pre- and perinatal as well as early postnatal development, derived from animal studies.

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