Using CBD products while pregnant

Published Apr 4, 2019 11:38 a.m. ET
Photo by Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash

Though there is very little cannabis research on consuming cannabinoids during pregnancy, though there are many reasons why a woman may want to use them. THC is psychoactive and believed to be detrimental to the fetus and smoking is most definitely not recommended, but are CBD products relatively safe to take? The answer will depend on who you ask and may differ depending on your particular circumstance. Especially when comparing possible adverse effects from CBD against other over prescribed drugs that we know come with a range of potential risks to both mother and baby.

What is CBD?

CBD is a cannabinoid that is produced by both hemp and marijuana plants and is the second more common primary non-psychoactive element found in both species.

What are CBD products?

When CBD is extracted to make pure CBD oil, it is generally done using a hemp plant to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC. Once the oils have been pulled from the plant, the solvent is then processed for removal or immediately packaged if alcohol based for tinctures. The results are a potent condensed CBD oil that can be used to make a variety of different CBD products like creams, makeup, oils, tinctures, or edibles.

Benefits of CBD

CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory that can be an excellent aid for many different ailments that are experienced by women during pregnancy including:

  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep Issues
  • Nausea

Potential side effects

As long as you do not have a sensitivity to some ingredient other than CBD that may be included in a CBD product than any possible adverse effects will be short-lived and much less severe than many prescribed medications often recommended to women during pregnancy but may consist of:

  • Sleepiness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Appetite

CBD specific cannabis research on pregnancy

So far due to potential legal and moral issues, there have been very few studies on pregnancy and cannabinoids like CBD or THC possible effects. Those that have been conducted were done on other species such as mice or rats, so the results are likely not entirely transferable to humans. What researchers found is that THC inhibited the development of embryos during the earliest stages and that CBD did not result in the same effect. What it did instead was increased the levels of anandamide which may result in long term effects.

In conclusion

While we can’t say for sure whether or not CBD products may cause any potential adverse effects in a fetus or mother during pregnancy, we do know that as young as seven days into gestation the endocannabinoid system is formed which is required to interact with cannabinoids. This means that any cannabinoids that are consumed will have some sort of impact on the baby. Some researchers believe that the possible risks are null and void when compared to other medications that are commonly prescribed to women to deal with ailments that CBD can help to alleviate. Others are concerned about the unknown and will not advocate for CBD’s medicinal benefits during pregnancy because of it. In the end, the decision will come down to a personal choice that should be discussed with a family physician or healthcare provider who can monitor you during a self-prescribed course of treatment.

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