In recent years, we’ve seen cannabis-derived products have seemingly taken over the online wellness space. With more products available today, people are curious and eager to try these formulations.
However, since there’s not enough evidence about CBD, we still need to be vigilant when buying or using any cannabis-derived products. Keeping that in mind, people often ask if they can take CBD during pregnancy.
What do CBD and pregnancy studies say about this? Is CBD safe during pregnancy?
It’s understandable why pregnant women are more skeptical about the compound – there’s another life at risk. In this guide, we’ll discuss the relationship between CBD and pregnancy. Plus, we’ll shed light on what the FDA has to say about using CBD oil for pregnancy.
Marijuana, Cannabis, THC, and CBD: What Are They?
Before being a wellness solution, CBD was a money-maker for a billion-dollar industry. Thus, you need to keep in mind that not every claim made by a manufacturer is based on truth or a scientific principle.
Due to this, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with different terms used in the cannabis industry.
First off, cannabis is a plant that has more than eighty chemical compounds that show active action inside the body.
Among these, THC and CBD are widely known and used compounds.
As with all plants, cannabis also has various strains, and marijuana is one of the more popular varieties.
It’s different from other cannabis plants because it has a high THC content. Owing to that, marijuana consumption leads to a ‘high.’ On the other hand, hemp is a cannabis strain with a low concentration of THC.
Both these strains also have CBD but in different concentrations.
Since hemp is low in THC, it’s primarily used to derive CBD for CBD-infused products.
Today, we can see CBD products gracing shelves online and in physical stores. From CBD foods to CBD vape oils, there isn’t a shortage of cannabidiol products in the market.
While research has shown some benefits of CBD, manufacturers often tend to blow them out of proportion. Some tactics include making questionable health claims about their products, spreading misinformation, or mislabeling the items.
Therefore, when buying CBD products, you have to make sure that you’re not purchasing from a fraudulent company.
Instead, opt for brands with a positive reputation that have a history of making user-friendly products.
It’s also helpful to check if a brand has ever received a warning letter from the FDA. Doing so will give you an idea of the company’s honesty about their products.
Effects of Marijuana During Pregnancy
As discussed earlier, there are limited studies to show the effects of CBD oil during pregnancy. However, the FDA has shared some information about the usage of products containing THC during pregnancy.
Whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, using THC-containing products can harm the child’s health.
The US Surgeon General told the public that using marijuana during pregnancy can affect the fetus’s brain development as THC passes to the fetal bloodstream through the mother.
Moreover, the Surgeon General said that marijuana might also increase the likelihood of a child born with low birth weight. Some studies have even hinted at an increased risk of stillbirth and premature birth in people who use marijuana during pregnancy.
Most of these effects are linked to THC. Keep in mind that if you’re using THC products while breastfeeding, the cannabinoid can last in breast milk for up to six days.
The consumption of this milk by the baby can result in poor brain development, poor cognitive functioning, and hyperactivity.
Experts also believe that it may lead to long-term consequences that research still has to unravel.
Some of the components of marijuana smoke are the same as that of tobacco.
As a parent, you should know that it is not safe to smoke tobacco around children. Since marijuana has similar components, the rule applies to it too.
Effects of CBD During Pregnancy
Currently, there is no comprehensive data to prove the usefulness of CBD while breastfeeding or applying a hemp lotion while pregnant.
If you’ve heard anything of the sort, that’s just misinformation spread by some brands to increase their revenue.
The FDA is actively working on collecting information about the possible effects of CBD oil while pregnant and breastfeeding. From the knowledge currently available, it’s evident that using CBD during pregnancy is a cause for concern.
Animal trials have shown that administering a high dose of CBD in pregnant animals leads to failure of reproductive system development in male fetuses.
Additionally, studies also show that CBD passes to babies via breast milk.
Besides CBD’s inherent effects on the baby, the FDA is also concerned about the contaminants present in many CBD products. For instance, there have also been instances of products containing bacterial contaminants and heavy metals.
Also, some products contain a higher amount of THC than what is specified on the label.
Apart from this, clinical trials have shown that CBD has the following side effects in users:
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FDA-Approved CBD Products for Pregnant Individuals
Currently, the FDA has not approved any product that you can use safely during pregnancy. However, the FDA is looking at the effects of the cannabidiol from different angles, including:
- Using CBD products, like supplements and cosmetics, individually
- Using a combination of CBD products
As of now, there are many unanswered questions about the compound. Simply put, it’s not safe nor advised to use CBD oil while pregnant. In addition, the FDA has not approved any product that you buy online.
It means that the FDA has not tested those products for safety, nor has the regulatory body determined if the recommended dosage is effective or harm-free.
Is CBD Safe During Pregnancy?
Short answer, No. When a woman is pregnant, her raging hormones make her more sensitive to substances that may not affect her normally.
So, CBD ingestion is a big no-no. First, because it passes to babies via breastfeeding, and second, because it may cause adverse reactions inside her body (more so if she is taking pregnancy-related medications)
Now, you may wonder if topical application of CBD is the solution. Unfortunately, no. A pregnant woman’s skin is pretty sensitive too. As stated earlier, her body can react to substances that may not affect her otherwise (when not pregnant).
Hence, it’s best to avoid taking CBD during pregnancy, and before you fret, know that there are alternatives to CBD for managing pregnancy symptoms.
Alternatives to CBD Oil When Pregnant
When you’re pregnant, your body creates a nurturing environment for your baby and a series of unpleasant symptoms for you. Your hormones take a shift; your body makes more blood than usual, and nausea, insomnia, and mood swings follow all along.
Here’s how to manage your symptoms.
The overwhelming sensation of throwing up repeatedly can perhaps prevent sufficient nutrient intake. Consequently, you and your baby may suffer from weakness and deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals.
Nevertheless, you can manage nausea through a few tips.
- Eat right. Avoid greasy and spicy foods. Instead, consider eating foods high in protein and low in fat, so your body can digest them easily.
- Go for a morning walk. You cannot give your body a better start to the day than by breathing in the fresh air. It will calm your senses, aid digestion, and make you feel good about yourself.
- Eat frequently. Instead of eating large meals three times a day, munch on smaller, frequent snacks. This way, your stomach won’t be overfull, and you won’t feel nauseated.
Even if you are excited about being pregnant, you’ll still be dealing with frequent worries. For instance, you might stress about your baby’s health, future, or finances. Hence, it contributes to your mood swings.
So, instead of opting for CBD oil for pregnancy, manage your mood swings by
- Sleeping well
- Spending time with your loved ones
- Going out for the movies
- Owning a dog or a cat (they are great stress relievers)
So, before your mood swings overwhelm you and make you irritable and nauseated, consider implementing these relaxing tips.
During the first three months of pregnancy, sleeping patterns change due to the rising levels of progesterone. Furthermore, anxiety, stress, and physical discomfort can also contribute to disrupted sleep patterns.
Hence, you can manage insomnia with these practices instead.
- Set a sleeping routine (avoid day-time naps and sleep and wake up at the same time every day)
- Organize your bedroom
- Make sure your mattress and bed are comfortable
- Meditate before you go to sleep
- Try dietary supplements
- Get a body massage using essential oils (to soothe the body aches)
You might have heard rumors about the effectiveness of topical CBD while breastfeeding or bathing with CBD bath bombs while pregnant.
Don’t pay any attention to these claims because the FDA strictly advises against CBD use during pregnancy.