The general consensus is that using cannabis during pregnancy could be dangerous and that, without more research, it isn’t worth the risk.
Marijuana isn’t largely accepted as safe for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. There is research that indicates that THC transfers to breast milk and may affect infant development. Additionally, when used during pregnancy, marijuana may negatively affect uterine blood flow, according to Pediatrics.
Does the same go for CBD? The truth is that, despite sharing many properties with marijuana, cannabidiol is a much different product. For starters, legal CBD contains less than .03% THC, which means users won’t experience a psychoactive high. What do these differences mean for pregnant and breastfeeding women? Here’s what we found out.
The Research is Limited
The first, and perhaps most important, thing to establish about the use of CBD during pregnancy is that it hasn’t really been researched. The science that does exist regarding cannabis use during pregnancy is largely concerned with marijuana-derived products. The general consensus is that using cannabis during pregnancy could be dangerous and that, without more research, it isn’t worth the risk.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that CBD is dangerous, it means we don’t know. Because of this, it is suggested that pregnant and breastfeeding women should speak with their doctor before beginning use of CBD.
Potential Uses of CBD During and After Pregnancy
Even though there is no official word on the safety of CBD for pregnant and breastfeeding women, there are many women who share that it has improved their experience because of its ability to address certain symptoms specific to pregnancy.
For starters, nausea during pregnancy can become debilitating for some. Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a serious condition characterized by persistent vomiting and nausea so severe that mothers may become dehydrated or struggle to maintain a healthy weight. For these women, CBD may offer some relief due to its ability to decrease vomiting and nausea.
As many as 94% of pregnant women experience some sleep issues, with the most severe being persistent insomnia. Adequate rest is important to maternal mental health. For this reason, some mothers may turn to CBD, which has been associated with improvements in sleep.
Lastly, it is estimated that between 8.5% and 10.5% of pregnant women and 4.4% and 10.8% of women in their postpartum period experience a generalized anxiety disorder. While more research needs to be done, preliminary animal studies have found that CBD may be effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.
Using CBD While Pregnant or Breastfeeding
As noted by What to Expect, it is difficult to determine if CBD use is OK during pregnancy or while breastfeeding because research has largely focused on marijuana and THC and its effect on fetal development and infant development while breastfeeding.
That being said, there are many moms who have used CBD during pregnancy. The best way to determine if this cannabis product is right for you is to weigh your options with your healthcare provider. If together you decide CBD is the right choice for managing pregnancy or postpartum symptoms, your doctor can also assist you in deciding on an appropriate dosage.