Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

Wading through the weeds: A public health response to supporting pregnant and breast/chest feeding people who consume cannabis

Greene, S., Ion, A., Gabel, C., Ryan, C., Blake, M., Ali, A., Kozack, T., Griffith, G., Carinal, C., Bernier, A, & Maurice, R.

The goal of this study was to mobilize new knowledge to improve public health approaches to supporting Black, Indigenous, and other unjustly marginalized people who consume cannabis during pregnancy and breast/chest feeding. The researchers used Photovoice to conduct qualitative research with pregnant and breast/chestfeeding people who consume cannabis. Photovoice is a participatory arts-based research approach that aligns with decolonizing, Indigenous, and Feminist Participatory Art/Action Research frameworks. Twenty-three people participated in the study.

Findings emerging from the Photovoice workshops were grouped into five themes: (i) centring lived experience; (ii) moving beyond discourses of risk vs. discourses of resilience; (iii) stigma and surveillance; (iv) access to care and information on cannabis during pregnancy, breast/chest feeding, and parenting; and (v) supporting mothers (and birthing people) who consume in ways that work. This study emphasized the importance of centring the lived experiences of pregnant people and parents in future cannabis research and policy development, to support a client-centered approach in the development of public health policies, practices, and strategies.


Kozak, T., Ion, A., & Greene, S. (2022). Reimagining Research with Pregnant Women and Parents Who Consume Cannabis in the Era of Legalization: The Value of Integrating Intersectional Feminist and Participatory Action Approaches. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 7(1), 11–15.

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