CBD Oil And Pregnancy

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It’s understandable a pregnant mom would consider taking CBD oil for pregnancy’s side effects. But is CBD Oil safe during pregnancy? CBD Oil: Is It Safe to Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding? All What to Expect content that addresses health or safety is medically reviewed by a team of vetted health professionals. Our

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.

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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 I 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.”

CBD Oil: Is It Safe to Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?

All What to Expect content that addresses health or safety is medically reviewed by a team of vetted health professionals. Our Medical Review Board includes OB/GYNs, pediatricians, infectious disease specialists, doulas, lactation counselors, endocrinologists, fertility specialists and more.

We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re reading. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

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The use of CBD oil is a popular trend, touted as a remedy for everything from anxiety to nausea. But since it comes from the cannabis plant, is it really okay to try if you’re pregnant?

CBD oil seems to be all the rage these days as a treatment for a whole range of ailments, including stress and pain. The growing acceptance and legality of marijuana in many states has unleashed a flood of CBD oil products on the market. You can find CBD-spiked lattes, gums, candies, lotions and beauty products almost everywhere, with fans hyping their healing powers.

But none have been approved by the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) or regulated in terms of dosage, formulation or method of delivery. And though CBD oil, which comes from the cannabis plant, doesn’t seem to be addictive, it has not been shown to be safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

What is CBD oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting the essence with a neutral, usually edible oil. Unlike THC, pot’s most active ingredient — and the one that gets you high — CBD is touted for its medicinal properties but doesn’t give you a buzz.

People use CBD oil by putting a few drops under the tongue, applying it to the skin or inhaling a vapor made from the oil. Proponents say it has a calming effect that helps with stress and sleep.

What is CBD oil used for?

Most people who use CBD oil are seeking relief from insomnia, pain, anxiety, depression or nausea. While there is research on its use as a treatment for a variety of more serious conditions, including epilepsy, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, anxiety and even traumatic brain injury, doctors warn that it can interfere with other medications and may cause side effects including depression.

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Is CBD oil safe to use during pregnancy?

While there’s scant research on the use of CBD oil during pregnancy, experts say to avoid it.

More on Pot, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should not use marijuana or any of its byproducts, including medical marijuana.

Studies show that marijuana use during pregnancy can lead to smaller babies with a lower birth weight and other unwanted outcomes.For that reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), ACOG and the U.S. surgeon general all warn pregnant women not to smoke or vape marijuana or use any byproducts.

Don’t be alarmed if you sipped a CBD-spiked soda before learning you’re pregnant, however (but do mention it to your practitioner). Though there is evidence that the active ingredients in marijuana can harm a developing baby, the existing research has looked mainly at repeated, regular pot use among pregnant women.

If you are pregnant and tempted to try CBD oil, the best thing to do is to discuss it with your doctor. He or she can offer other, pregnancy-safe ways to improve your symptoms, and advise you of all the potential risks and side effects of CBD oil — both for you and the baby.

What are the possible risks or downsides of using CBD oil while pregnant?

Comprehensive research on healthy pregnant women and CBD doesn’t yet exist. But even the lowest-dose products aren’t considered safe during pregnancy.

Research shows that when moms smoke or eat marijuana, chemicals cross the placenta and reach the fetus. Exposure to marijuana could disrupt normal fetal brain development and increase your risk of giving birth to a smaller or even 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.

Is CBD oil safe to use while breastfeeding? What are some of the risks?

While there are no studies on the use of CBD oil use while breastfeeding, experts advise against that too. Studies show that chemicals ingested during marijuana use can be passed through breast milk, potentially affecting your little one (though there are no studies that directly show how CBD oil could affect a nursing baby).

Another reason to skip CBD oil while nursing: Using it could make you feel sleepy or slightly intoxicated, so you risk having impaired judgement while caring for your child.

What are alternatives to CBD oil when I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

During pregnancy, your body creates a warm, nurturing environment for your baby — and a cascade of uncomfortable symptoms for you.

Surging hormones, shifting fluids and a burgeoning bump in your midsection can cause nausea (in the morning and anytime, especially during the first trimester), insomnia, moodiness and anxiety. Coping with drugs or alcohol isn’t safe, but there are a range of options to manage your symptoms and help you feel better:

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Nausea

One surprising strategy for nipping nausea in the bud is to eat, even if the thought of food turns your stomach. Try munching on smaller snacks and meals more often, and make sure your stomach never gets completely empty (that’s when you’re more likely to retch).

Keep plenty of food on hand. Ask someone who isn’t dizzy with nausea to run to the store and stock your kitchen with tummy-soothers like plain crackers, bananas and soups, and make sure you keep something to nosh on by your bedside.

Avoid highly spiced, fried or greasy foods, which can upset your stomach even if you aren’t pregnant. Some moms-to-be swear by ginger — in candies or steeped and sipped as tea. Others say crunching ice or sucking fresh lemon juice helps soothe their stomachs.

If these and other drug-free queasiness cures don’t do the trick, ask your doctor about prescription medication for severe nausea. And remember — there is no evidence that marijuana in any form is helpful with morning sickness.

Insomnia

If you’ve already tried warm milk, bubble baths and foot massages to soothe you to sleep during your pregnancy, you can ask your doctor about over-the-counter or even prescription medications that are safe to take.

No matter how exhausted you feel, don’t take any sleep aid — including herb teas or “natural” supplements — without consulting your practitioner.

Anxiety and depression

Moodiness, irrational fears and crying fits can hit when you least expect them, even if you’re thrilled about your pregnancy. Surging hormones, your changing body, social isolation and lack of sleep can all conspire to make you feel worried, stressed or down.

What to do? Studies suggest talk therapy, light therapy and making sure you take care of yourself can help alleviate your feelings. Share how you feel about with your practitioner, and don’t take any medications without her okay. Some antidepressants are safe for use during pregnancy.

Carrying a baby and caring for a newborn are intense experiences, both emotionally and physically. But don’t succumb to the urge to try CBD oil. There’s evidence to suggest it isn’t safe for you or your baby, and there are plenty of other ways to help you navigate the less pleasant side effects of pregnancy and the postpartum stage.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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