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Is CBD Oil Safe During Pregnancy?

CBD Oil is becoming increasingly popular for a variety issues, from pain relief, suppressing nausea, anxiety help to a restful night’s sleep. It’s understandable that a pregnant mom would consider taking it for pregnancy’s side effects. But is CBD Oil safe during pregnancy? Probably not.

What is CBD Oil?

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is found in marijuana and hemp plants. It doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) so it doesn’t give you the intoxicating “high” associated with recreational marijuana. CBD oil is extracted and refined using ethanol to look like an actual oil. It’s available in a variety of products including pills, gels, gummies, vape oils, creams, and oral tinctures.

What do we know about the effects of CBD use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding?

There is no comprehensive research studying the effects of CBD on the developing fetus, pregnant mother, or breastfed baby. The FDA is continuing to collect and study the data on the possible harmful effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. However, based on what we do know, the FDA states there is significant cause for concern.

High doses of CBD in pregnant test animals have caused problems with the reproductive system of developing male fetuses. In addition, based on what they already know about CBD, the FDA expects that some amount of CBD will be transferred to babies through breast milk.

The FDA also states there is a potential for CBD products to be contaminated with substances that may pose a risk to the fetus or breastfed baby, including THC. They have also heard reports of CBD potentially containing other contaminants (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus); and are investigating this.

Moreover, CBD has known risks for people in general. Based on clinical studies in humans, risks can include the following:

• liver toxicity (damage)
• extreme sleepiness
• harmful interactions with other drugs

The FDA is studying the effects of CBD use from different angles, such as: (1) the use of CBD-containing products, like food, cosmetics, or supplements, over a person’s entire life; and (2) the effects of using these various products in combination. There are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD.

The FDA is planning to learn more about the effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, including, for example, whether and to what extent the presence of CBD in human milk harms the breastfed baby or the mother’s milk production.

Is CBD Oil legal?

Even though the government approves CBD derived from the hemp plant, individual states are changing their laws, which are not always the same as federal regulations. It’s important to check your state’s laws.

FDA has not approved any CBD products except for one prescription drug to treat rare, severe forms of seizure disorders in children. It states that it is still unclear whether CBD has any other benefits.

Should pregnant women use CBD oil?

The FDA strongly advises against the use of CBD on pregnant and breastfeeding women since research on the CBD’s safety among these populations is insufficient. It states on it’s website, “FDA strongly advises against the use of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabionol (THC), and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.”

The FDA further states “Do not put yourself or your baby at risk by using cannabis products while pregnant or breastfeeding.”

It’s understandable a pregnant mom would consider taking CBD oil for pregnancy’s side effects. But is CBD Oil safe during pregnancy?

Can I Use CBD Oil While Pregnant?

CBD oil is touted online as a one-stop remedy for relieving inflammation, stress, anxiety, nausea, and more. Many of those ailments could be symptoms of pregnancy, but you may want to do a bit of research before giving it a try.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is made from extractions from the cannabis plant, diluted into a neutral, edible oil. The CBD space is still relatively new and unexplored, so not as much research has been done into the therapeutic benefits of using CBD recreationally, compared to the amount of research done on using THC, the most active ingredient in marijuana which has psychoactive effects.

Research of the Affect of CBD Oil on Pregnancy

Derek Chase, founder of FLORA + BAST, explains the current lack of research available in the industry: “Given the lack of clinical data showing the safety of cannabinoids in general during pregnancy and nursing, we are unable to recommend that it is in fact safe. That said, there is no evidence that CBD will cause child development issues if exposed to the molecule inside the womb. But we do not interpret a lack of evidence to be evidence of safety.”

However, more research will be coming, Chase explained: “By way of background, due to hemp’s classification as a schedule I drug (i.e. no known medical benefits), research has been sparse in the last few decades. With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which makes hemp federally legal, there is renewed interest in studying the medicinal benefits of the plant, so it won’t be too long until we have a clearer understanding around the safety during pregnancy and nursing.”

Once there is more concrete research done about the potential advantages and side effects of using CBD while pregnant, more brands and dispensary locations will be able to better give information to consumers about using cannabis products when pregnant. For now, many – including Chase – are not comfortable discussing any benefits or side effects as “it is based on anecdotal evidence.”

Which Application of CBD is Safest?

CBD can also be applied to the skin topically, inhaled through a vapor pen, or eaten in an edible, among other methods. However, there are differences based on the method in which you choose to use CBD.

Chase elaborated on the differences between topical application and oral ingestion: “When applied topically, unless through a transdermal patch, CBD and other cannabinoids do not pass through the surface layer of your skin to enter the bloodstream. As such, if a mom or mom-to-be were willing to try a CBD-containing product, we would recommend topical remedies. When administered orally, there is a greater chance that a developing fetus would be exposed to the CBD and cannabinoids.”

So, Is CBD Safe During Pregnancy?

The best advice we can share with the current research available is to discuss with your doctor what you would be using CBD for and to try and find a way to still experience the relief it offers without causing any harm to your baby.

Looking for other ways to cope with anxiety during pregnancy? Here are five strategies to dealing with gestational anxiety.

CBD products are all the rage right now in the wellness space, but are they safe to use when pregnant?