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Cannabis and Breast Milk Study by ACTRI Researcher Chambers Sparks News Coverage

August 30, 2018—ACTRI leader Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, is spotlighted in news outlets across the country for her recently published study about marijuana concentrations in breast milk. Dr. Chambers and the research team reported that traces of marijuana can be found in breast milk up to six days after use. The results were published in the journal Pediatrics on August 27 and broadly featured in the news media, including in the New York Times, CNN, CBS, Fox, and USA Today.

The study included 54 samples from 50 women who used marijuana; the drug was found in 63 percent of the samples. The researchers conducted the study to better understand how much marijuana actually gets into breast milk and how long it remains. “Pediatricians are often put into a challenging situation when a breastfeeding mother asks about the safety of marijuana use. We don’t have strong, published data to support advising against use of marijuana while breastfeeding, and if women feel they have to choose, we run the risk of them deciding to stop breastfeeding — something we know is hugely beneficial for both mom and baby,” said Dr. Chambers, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UC San Diego, director of clinical research at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, and director of the ACTRI Center for Life Course Research. ACTRI supported the study through the NIH CTSA grant.

The breast milk samples were from the Mommy’s Milk Human Milk Research Biorepository at UC San Diego, the first-ever human milk research biorepository in the nation. Mommy’s Milk was co-created by ACTRI and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego in 2014. Dr. Chambers was instrumental in establishing the biorepository and serves as its program director.

Read the Pediatrics journal article, Marijuana Use by Breastfeeding Mothers and Cannabinoid Concentrations in Breast Milk

Additional news links: New York TimesCNNCBSFoxUSA Today

UC San Diego Health news release: Marijuana Found in Breast Milk up to Six Days after Use

About UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute:

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) is part of a national Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium, led by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Science. Established in 2010, ACTRI provides infrastructure and support for basic, translational and clinical research throughout the San Diego region to bring discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside, and facilitates training and education of the next generation of researchers. ACTRI carries out its activities in collaboration with institutional and corporate partners and currently has more than 1,500 members.