Have you ever wondered, "Is it safe to use CBD during pregnancy?" If so, you're in good company.
Let's look at why expectant and new mothers are talking about cannabidiol, also known as CBD. Then we'll examine reasons why some people recommend it, and when. We'll also review why some others do not. And we'll conclude with our brief, current take on the question.
This discussion can inform you about the current commentary as you prepare to consult with your doctor. It is not medical advice. We can tell you what professionals in the industry are saying. Yet neither Mtiva's nor any other website is a substitute for the individualized advice of your own doctor.
With that clearly said, let's go ahead and take a look at what we know!
Why Expectant and New Mothers Take CBD
There are so many discomforts in a pregnancy. Some are obvious and well known. Some are particular to the individual. One obvious discomfort is morning sickness — the upset stomach that affects most pregnant women. In pre-clinical research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology (2011), CBD eased nausea. More to the point is research involving human subjects, and there is plenty to show that cannabidiol engages serotonin — the "happy chemical" that can ease our stress and uplifts our moods — producing a feel-good effect.
Post-partum depression is another well-known discomfort related to childbirth, and it can have debilitating effects. Cannabidiol, according to the Depression Alliance, is considered by numerous experts to be useful in easing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
CBD is not held out as a cure for long-term depression. Yet in some people, it has temporarily eased the symptoms of depression. This may have particular relevance to new mothers, whose depression is related to a specific physical and emotional life event. Pre-clinical studies have also shown the use of CBD as supporting longer sleep time.
So, can you use CBD oil while pregnant? There are strong believers in CBD for supporting a healthy pregnancy.
CBD has been shown in studies to assist in neurogenesis, Stuart Titus, Ph.D. told the magazine Romper. Neurogenesis means developing healthy brain cells.
For this reason, in the view of Dr. Titus, the more cannabinoids the better for mothers-to-be. Cannabinoids are natural compounds, and they engage receptors found normally in our bodies. Dr. Titus observes that many people are "cannabinoid deficient" and this connects with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and even early-onset dementia. At the same time, recommenders of CBD can point to the World Health Organization, which studied the topic and finds no negative health outcomes in anyone who has taken cannabidiol.
According to Parents magazine, which recently ran an article on how to use CBD while pregnant:
- Clinical research indicates that CBD can be "therapeutically useful" in managing pain, anxiety, depression, seizures, and sleep disorders.
- CBD can suppress nausea and vomiting — symptoms commonly experienced in pregnancy.
- Expectant mothers may suffer a severe form of morning sickness called hypermesis gravitum, which can starve and dehydrate a fetus. Yes, there is a prescription drug for this — one that some women avoid because of known side effects.
CBD is also a muscle relaxant, and in research using synthetic CBD externally, the researchers, in 2010, concluded that CBD assists oxytocin-induced contractions.
What can we take away from this? The implications are promising. We await more widespread reports so we can reach a stronger conclusion.
Contrary Views and FDA Advice
Contrary views are based on one issue: There are not enough studies that, critically, involve human beings during pregnancy and after birth.
The FDA strongly advises pregnant women against taking CBD, precisely because experts do not have enough thorough data involving CBD effects on nursing women and their developing fetuses. Believing that "some amount" of CBD will go through breast milk to a baby, the FDA advises against taking CBD while breastfeeding.
The Romper article also interviewed obstetric anesthesiologist James Lozada at Northwestern University's medical school, who says we need more information. Until we have more to go on, Dr. Lozada does not recommend CBD in pregnancy.
Some people are, of course, already using CBD before a pregnancy, perhaps to ease painful symptoms from a condition they have. They may stop while pregnant, then return to CBD when they have finished breastfeeding.
Bottom Line: Is CBD Safe for Pregnancy?
The basics, in our view, are as follows. Hemp oil is legal in the United States as an agricultural product. Hemp differs from the other well-known cannabis plant, because unlike THC, hemp derivatives such as CBD cause no psychoactive effects. And yet, because all cannabis was until recently on the federal Schedule 1 drug list, U.S. scientists have long avoided research into it. With the evolution of hemp into legal sphere, more voluntary research subjects will be present, but legal ethics will still rule out research on pregnant women. This sets up something of a Catch-22. As OB-GYN doctor Felice Gersh told Parents magazine, experts' concern is related to this very lack of research.
Expert also hesitate, Dr. Gersh said, because production is poorly regulated in some areas. The FDA points to the potential for substandard products to be contaminated with risky substances like pesticides, heavy metals, fungi, or bacteria. We understand their concerns. Always, always seek products that apply third-party testing and show you the results.
So, just what is the bottom line?
Above, we looked at what we know now, including precautions to consider. We sought information and opinions from across the spectrum, to make a range of information available to our customers. Learn as much as you can; and, before making a decision, consult a doctor to ask what is right for you. And always talk with your doctor before taking any supplements, vitamins, herbal or over-the-counter remedies while pregnant or breastfeeding.