Can You Use CBD While Pregnant?
Offering many benefits, CBD products are widely used for pain relief and stress reduction. However, for pregnant women, the scenario becomes complex. CBD’s potential impacts on a developing fetus remain a pertinent concern.
The FDA strongly discourages the consumption of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
It’s critical to understand how substances we consume can affect our bodies and more importantly, the health of our future children. Despite all the rage and widespread use during the first trimester of pregnancy, the question persists: are these CBD products safe for expecting mothers?
Stay with us as we delve into this issue further over the counter, and offer tips on how marijuana use can to relieve stress without relying on CBD.
What is CBD and Can You Use CBD while Pregnant?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound derived from the cannabis plant that has gained popularity in recent years for its potential therapeutic effects. Unlike THC, the compound in marijuana responsible for its psychoactive effects, CBD doesn’t get you “high”.
Instead, it’s been used by many to manage chronic pain and alleviate physical discomfort. While CBD is not considered an accepted medical treatment for any condition, it is used by many as an alternative to traditional prescription medications.
However, marijuana use during pregnancy is a contentious issue, given the potential risks to the developing fetus. While CBD is derived from the same plant as marijuana, it is important to underscore that its effects may be different, especially during pregnancy.
Given these concerns, expecting mothers should consult with healthcare professionals before considering CBD use for pain or stress relief.
Forms of CBD
If you are new to the world of CBD, you may be wondering what forms are available to consume. The most common ones include:
CBD oil is perhaps the most popular form of CBD consumption. It is typically ingested sublingually (under the tongue) or mixed into food or drinks.
While convenient and easy to dose, the question of ‘Is CBD oil safe during pregnancy’ remains, as it directly enters the bloodstream and could potentially impact the fetus.
Gummies and Edibles
These are CBD-infused food items that offer an enjoyable way to consume CBD. However, the effects take longer to kick in as they need to be digested first.
The safety of these forms for pregnant and breastfeeding women is also questionable, as they have the same potential risks as CBD oil.
Topicals, including creams, lotions, ointments, and balms, are another form of CBD. They are applied directly to the skin for localized relief of pain or inflammation.
While they don’t enter the bloodstream like CBD oil or gummies, it’s still important for expecting mothers to exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before use.
Is CBD Legal in Canada?
Yes, CBD is legal in Canada, but its use still comes with certain restrictions. Notably, it is prohibited to transport CBD products including gummies, on a plane.
While CBD is viewed as a non-psychoactive alternative to marijuana, experts advise it still falls under the umbrella of substances susceptible to misuse.
Therefore, regulations aimed at preventing drug abuse are in place. Despite its therapeutic potential, carrying CBD while flying can land you in legal trouble. This rule stems from efforts to prevent the potential misuse of substances and promote public safety.
So, while CBD may help with stress or pain relief, remember that flying with CBD gummies in Canada is strictly off-limits.
Determining the Safety of CBD Use During Pregnancy
Determining whether you can use CBD safely while pregnant or breastfeeding is a tricky concern to understand. Research on cannabis is restricted by federal law, making it challenging to study CBD’s effects.
Despite marijuana being legalized in many U.S. states, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) still has marijuana and classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug.
These substances are deemed to have a high potential for abuse and are not accepted for accepted medical use or treatment. This classification, in part, hinders comprehensive studies on the effects of CBD use during pregnancy on the developing fetus or the pregnant individual.
The lack of human studies leads many experts to recommend avoiding CBD and CBD-containing products during the first trimester of pregnancy. While there are gaps in human studies, several experts indicate animal research shows nothing that suggests potential risks.
These studies indicate that CBD may not be safe for developing fetuses and could lead to adverse effects in adult offspring too. For instance, a study conducted at the University of Minnesota involved giving a “human-relevant dose” (.) of CBD to pregnant rodents.
The scientists found that CBD not only affected the offspring’s mood and cognition after birth, but the risk for these negative impacts continued long after the period of CBD exposure.
It’s essential to note that the research used Epidiolex, an FDA-approved CBD isolate for treating seizures, not the cannabis plant. This product contains only CBD, while hemp and full-spectrum CBD oils include minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds aside from CBD.
The study used mice as human models, and it revealed that the pregnant animals tolerated CBD without issue.
However, female offspring exposed to CBD in the womb exhibited altered memory and anxiety behavior as adults. The adult male offspring have also experienced epigenetic changes in multiple brain regions, which could affect gene activity.
The FDA refers to older research showing that high doses of CBD given to pregnant animals can disrupt the reproductive system of developing male fetuses.
A 2019 review also highlighted several CBD adverse effects in pregnant animals, including developmental toxicity, embryo-fetal death, decreased growth, delayed or altered reproductive development, altered fertility in offspring, neurobehavioral changes, and decreased fetal weight.
Therefore, health experts have justifiable concerns that fetal exposure to CBD during pregnancy could potentially harm human babies, too.
While researchers cannot make health recommendations, they encourage individuals to speak to their doctors and reconsider CBD use during pregnancy and nursing. As Dr. Flack asserts, “Even though CBD is widely available and lacks the “high” of THC, it is not inherently safe for a developing baby.”
Considering the unknown health effects of CBD use during pregnancy and the adverse effects found in animal studies, the CDC advises against maternal cannabinoid exposure through CBD use while pregnant.
Can You Use CBD While Breastfeeding?
As with pregnancy, the potential risks of using CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding, or chestfeeding remain largely unexplored due to a lack of comprehensive research.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, chemicals like CBD could potentially transfer into breast milk, possibly impacting a nursing baby’s development.
Although CBD may seem like an attractive relief aid for postpartum symptoms, its possible intrusion into breast milk necessitates caution.
Understanding that CBD could bear short-term and long-term consequences on an infant’s growth and developmental trajectory, it is important for breastfeeding individuals to discuss these considerations with their healthcare provider.
Tips on How to Relieve Stress Without Relying on CBD
Morning Sickness and Food Aversions
- Engage in small, frequent meals throughout the day to mitigate the effects of morning sickness.
- Opt for bland, easy-to-digest foods if you’re experiencing food aversions.
- Pregnant individuals should also consider ginger in their diet, as it helps soothe nausea.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule to ensure you get plenty of rest—this is crucial for managing pregnancy symptoms.
- Staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet can also help combat fatigue.
- Light physical activity, such as prenatal yoga, can be beneficial.
Pregnancy Aches and Pains
- Regular exercise can help alleviate common pregnancy aches and pains.
- Consider safe alternatives like massages and warm baths to ease discomfort.
- Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new regimen.
- Engaging in regular physical activity can release endorphins and enhance mood.
- Developing a strong support network can help you navigate the emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy.
- Mindfulness techniques, like meditation and deep-breathing, can be great tools for managing stress.
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule and build a calming bedtime routine.
- Consider using pregnancy pillows to support your growing belly and help you find a comfortable sleeping position.
- Limit fluid intake in the evening to reduce night-time bathroom visits, which can disrupt sleep.
While these safe alternatives can help manage pregnancy symptoms and promote fetal development, it’s always essential to discuss any changes in your routine with your healthcare provider.
This ensures you’re not inadvertently exposing your developing fetus or nursing baby to possible risks.
Related Article: Cbd Cream for Skin
Pregnancy is a crucial phase in a woman’s life, and it’s paramount to prioritize the growing baby one’s health above everything else. Despite the widespread popularity of CBD products, it’s essential to be cautious about their use during pregnancy.
While CBD has been claimed to provide relief from various ailments, the potential risks of cannabis has to the developing fetus cannot be ignored.
There’s a dearth of comprehensive research in this field, primarily due to ethical considerations, as it’s not feasible to expose pregnant women to substances that might harm their unborn child.
Hence, most of our understanding comes from animal studies. These studies have shown potential adverse effects of CBD exposure, raising alarm bells about its safety during pregnancy.
In addition to animal studies, the FDA and CDC have expressed concern over the use of CBD during pregnancy and nursing. The potential of CBD compounds entering breast milk and affecting the baby’s development poses enough reason to exercise restraint and seek safer alternatives.
Safe and natural alternatives to manage pregnancy symptoms include maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in light exercise, meditating, and seeking emotional support. These practices can alleviate discomfort and anxiety and ensure a smoother pregnancy journey without exposing the baby to potential risks.