Pregnancy requires lifestyle changes of all sorts. Many activities you could otherwise engage in become off-limits, as the health and wellness of your baby are paramount. So when it comes to CBD and pregnancy, should mothers-to-be steer clear?
Despite many articles talking about the benefits of CBD use during pregnancy, the evidence suggests differently. According to available research, women should avoid CBD during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
This article goes in-depth into all questions about CBD use and pregnancy. From official recommendations, available research, and possible side effects, we give you what you need to expect when you’re expecting.
Let’s dive into CBD and pregnancy.
Why Would Pregnant Women Consider CBD?
It’s no secret: pregnancy isn’t a walk in the park.
Pregnancy can throw your body out of whack like nothing else, from morning sickness to bodily aches and pains to issues with appetite and more.
And CBD offers benefits that could address many of these side effects, which has led many women to consider turning to this natural cannabinoid.
FDA Recommendation: Avoid CBD While Pregnant
Let’s be clear: CBD use during pregnancy is not recommended. In fact, the FDA urges women to avoid all forms of cannabis products, including CBD, while pregnant or breastfeeding.
The reason for the recommendation is principally a matter of caution. But when it comes to your baby’s health, caution is the name of the game.
CBD Side Effects For Mothers
First, CBD can cause certain side effects. These can include:
- Dry Mouth
- Low Blood Pressure
Most users will find these side effects to be mild or even non-existent. But when pregnancy is involved, the body becomes far more sensitive to changes of any sort.
The last thing you want is for unexpected CBD side effects to compound those of the pregnancy itself.
CBD Side Effects For Infants
More importantly, the available research suggests that CBD use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding could cause health issues for your baby.
At this time, no comprehensive studies have been carried out to determine CBD’s effects on human pregnancy. Animal studies do suggest the possibility of complications, however, which is enough to cause concern for expectant mothers.
A rodent study from the University of Minnesota was the first to examine the effects of maternal CBD use on infant rodents’ development.
It discovered a variety of effects, several of which could last into the infants’ adulthood. And while they were not all negative, they were sufficient to cause concern. In the study, CBD use by pregnant mothers was observed to affect:
- Higher rates of anxiety in the infants, lasting into adulthood
- Improved memory behavior
- Higher potential for neurodevelopmental disorders, including:
- Intellectual disability
- Autistic disorders
During pregnancy, the future health of your baby-to-be is paramount. So even though the evidence about CBD and pregnancy is inconclusive, there’s enough to suggest that expecting mothers should steer clear until they are done with breastfeeding.
When Is It Safe to Resume Using CBD?
Pregnant mothers probably shouldn’t resume CBD use immediately after pregnancy. As with many other substances, CBD use can continue to affect your infant even after birth.
So when is it alright to resume using CBD in your routine? After you are no longer breastfeeding your infant.
Most data about cannabinoids and breastfeeding comes from studies on THC, CBD’s intoxicating cousin. But research suggests that most of hemp’s cannabinoids can be detected in a mother’s breastmilk up to six days after use.
But that’s not to say that you should prioritize CBD over your breastfeeding. Even if alternatives exist, breastfeeding is an important part of an infant’s development, one that offers tangible benefits to the infant’s immune system, healthy growth, psychosocial development, and more.
So don’t be too eager to get back to your regular CBD use, regardless of the benefits it offers. Your infant’s health and future development are far too important.
If you’re struggling with symptoms for which you would otherwise use CBD, consider speaking to a medical professional about pregnancy-safe alternatives.
The Verdict on CBD and Pregnancy
CBD may be an attractive option for pregnant women struggling with many of pregnancy’s worst symptoms. But at this time, there simply isn’t enough information to determine that CBD during pregnancy is safe.
Animal studies have shown a number of adverse effects of CBD use for developing infants. Several of these adverse effects pose significant health risks and could last into the infant’s adulthood.
Even after giving birth, consider delaying CBD use until after you have completed breastfeeding. Cannabinoids like CBD pass easily into breastmilk, and it’s conceivable that several of the above effects could be transmitted through nursing.
As always when considering CBD, it’s best to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and intended use.
Especially during pregnancy, it’s important not to take risks with your health and wellness. Whatever reason you might be considering CBD, there are infant-safe alternatives that can help improve your experience.