Many women report that they use CBD oil during pregnancy to reduce pregnancy-related nausea and other uncomfortable symptoms.
While the use of medicinal marijuana has been in the news for quite some time, the recent onslaught of CBD (short for Cannabidiol) products backed by celebs like Mandy Moore and Olivia Wilde has made CBD oil a popular remedy in its own right.
It’s touted as the natural treatment for an impressive list of ailments like anxiety, muscle pain, nausea symptoms that are all too common during pregnancy.
While there are several beneficial products that women can take while pregnant like prenatal vitamins or other substances, these can include certain types of foods, prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and illegal substances.
CBD, also known as Cannabidiol, is a compound found within the cannabis plant. Although there is no significant research outlining the beneficial or adverse effects of CBD, many people around the world use it for therapeutic purposes.
Unlike another joint compound found in cannabis like THC, CBD does not provide mind-altering effects. If you are wondering if you can take CBD oil while you are pregnant, schedule a meeting with your doctor. Although there is limited research on the effects of CBD on a fetus, your provider will be able to determine whether or not you should use CBD hemp oil while you are pregnant. Too common during pregnancy.
Is CBD Oil Harmful?
It’s a straightforward question with a not-so-straightforward answer. There’s no conclusive evidence that shows taking CBD during pregnancy is (or isn’t) safe. Many experts say it’s best to err on the side of caution and skip CBD while pregnant until scientists better understand how it affects your body and growing baby.
Understandably, moms-to-be would perk up at the mention of a remedy to ease anxiety. There’s plenty about pregnancy that can be stressful, and ignoring symptoms of anxiety or depression puts you and baby at risk. To some, the appeal of CBD, as opposed to synthetic medication, is that CBD oil comes from a plant. “People have an assumption that if it’s natural, then it’s safe, but that’s not the case.
People have an assumption that CBD is natural and it is safe, but it is not the case. Catherine Monk, PhD, a professor of medical psychology in the department of obstetrics and gynecology, and psychiatry at Columbia University research, NY, said:
We don’t have enough idea to say that if it is dangerous or not!
With scant research on the use of CBD oil during pregnancy, experts say to avoid it. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should not use marijuana. This includes any of its byproducts, including medical marijuana.
Studies show that marijuana use during pregnancy can lead to smaller babies with lower birth weight and other unwanted outcomes. Comprehensive research on healthy pregnant women and CBD doesn’t yet exist. But even the lowest-dose products aren’t considered safe during pregnancy.
Smoking or Vaping CBD
Research shows that when mothers smoke or vape marijuana, chemicals cross the placenta and reach the fetus. Exposure to marijuana could disrupt healthy fetal brain development. It could also increase the risk of giving birth to a smaller or even a stillbirth baby.
Although there is no data to suggest CBD oil alone carries the same risks. Nonetheless, CBD oil is a new and largely unregulated market. There are scores of case reports of products marketed as “pure” CBD contaminated with substances you want nowhere near a growing baby, including THC, pesticides, toxic metals, and bacteria.
A 2013 study did find, however, that CBD could enhance the permeability of the human placenta barrier, which could endanger the developing fetus. What exactly does this mean? With enhanced permeability, the chances of potentially harmful substances penetrating through the placenta and into the fetus are increased.
Suggestions By Medical Professionals
Medical professionals aren’t exactly on board with the use of CBD during pregnancy. Not only is there not enough research that proves it’s safe to use during pregnancy. But there’s also the fact that CBD alters the endocannabinoid system, which is vital for fetal neurological development. It’s been suggested that the endocannabinoid system plays an integral role in a developing infant.
There’s an apprehension that cannabis compounds (like THC and CBD) could interfere in the natural developmental process, which could cause problems in the future. During early pregnancy, anandamide levels are naturally reduced. There’s a concern that because CBD can raise anandamide levels that it could somehow interfere with fetal development.
Pregnancy hormones and the fact that you now have to balance a newfound baby bump can undoubtedly wreak havoc on your muscles, joints, and ligaments. The supposed benefit of applying CBD on top of your skin, instead of ingesting it, is that the compound shouldn’t end up in your bloodstream.
In theory, targeting a specific area with a topical would be a positive thing for a pregnant woman. As there shouldn’t be the systematic distribution of CBD through your nervous system.
CBD While Pregnant: Yes or No?
Drawing on the field regulated by the system at hand, we can speculate that CBD can: relieve nausea, prevent contractions, ease the pain, or help to fight postnatal depression.
Sure, all these qualities have been known to folk medicine for ages, but we’re talking about pregnancy! They are still only promising premises. To be able to recommend cannabis dietary supplements, further studies are needed to determine safety.
Unfortunately, reviews on the effects of CBD on pregnancy are neither conclusive nor comprehensive. One trial on rats did not show any effect of CBD on the course of pregnancy.
On the other hand, the in vitro test suggested some reduction of the embryo’s mass after exposure to Cannabidiol. However, it is worth noting that the amount of CBD used in the said experiment was huge. The amounts exceeded recommended doses of dietary supplements by orders of magnitude.
Keep in mind that CBD falls into the marijuana category. While some states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, the DEA still considers it a Schedule 1 drug.