Pregnancy is a fascinating yet uncomfortable experience for many women, accompanying unpleasant side effects such as nausea, insomnia, aches, pains, cramps, and morning sickness. What is already a stressful time for expectant mothers can exacerbate if these symptoms are ignored over time, leading to anxiety and even depression. On that same note, some prescribed medications may induce adverse effects, causing unnecessary problems, and ultimately adding to the already hefty pile of pregnancy-associated ailments.
CBD (cannabidiol) has been touted for its ability to provide therapeutic relief of various ailments such as anxiety pain, nausea, inflammation, stress, and insomnia, all of which are also pregnancy-related conditions. It is no surprise that increasingly expectant women are becoming curious about using CBD.
But, during pregnancy, many factors that affect the mother can influence the health of her baby, for example, the environment she is in or whatever she is exposed to, and whatever she consumes daily. This concern raises many questions: Is CBD safe to use during pregnancy? Will it have a significant effect on the fetus?
Here is what is known about CBD use during pregnancy.
What is CBD?
Let’s cover what CBD is before anything else.
CBD, formally known as cannabidiol, is one of over 100 active chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is one of the most popular compounds alongside THC, formally known as tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana notorious for its psychoactive effects and “high”-inducing properties. It is important to note that there are two types or “varieties” of the cannabis plant: hemp and marijuana. Hemp is federally legal and contains minute traces of THC, while marijuana contains a considerable amount of THC. CBD can be derived from either marijuana or hemp.
To clear up any confusion, although CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, it does not have any psychoactive or intoxicating properties, therefore it does not cause a “high” or any long-term detrimental effects. CBD is mainly used for therapeutic purposes, while marijuana is widely used for recreational purposes and some medicinal purposes.
Is CBD safe to use while pregnant?
There is some contradiction concerning the use of CBD during pregnancy.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is no extensive research on the effects of CBD on the developing fetus, pregnant mother, or breastfed baby. However, there are a few reported effects that are a significant cause for concern.
- One animal study has shown that high doses of CBD in pregnant subjects have altered the reproductive systems of developing male fetuses
- Human studies have shown that CBD can pose risks such as liver damage, extreme fatigue, and harmful drug interactions, all of which are reported side effects of one FDA-approved CBD prescription medication
- Because of the current under-regulation in the CBD market, due to the sudden deluge of products, there is a likelihood that products may be contaminated, and there may be some mislabeling and misinformation regarding product ingredients. One possible instance is where the product might contain traces of THC, but is not indicated on the product label. The FDA warns that there may be serious risks if marijuana (even exposure to the smoke) or any THC-derived products are consumed during pregnancy, as it may adversely affect fetal development and growth and may potentially lead to stillbirth.
On the other hand, mothers have personally reported that CBD has been beneficial during their pregnancy, stating that it alleviated many ailments such as severe, persistent morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum, “HG”), insomnia, and food aversions.
To resolve this confusion, the best thing to do for you and your baby’s safety is to confer with your obstetrician before taking any medicines or supplements containing CBD.
Ultimately, the FDA hasn’t given the green light for CBD use during pregnancy and has strongly advised expectant mothers to avoid use in any form whatsoever, despite reported benefits from mothers themselves. The best advice is to seek your obstetrician’s direction on the matter before putting yourself and your baby at potential risk.
CBD is still a relatively new product in the market, and research still needs to be done to obtain concrete knowledge on its effects on various individuals.
Information sourced from the above links
Information provided in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always confer with your healthcare provider or any other healthcare professional regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this site.
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