For many women, CBD use has become a fact of everyday life. The idea of giving up your favorite cannabinoid during pregnancy can be anxiety-inducing, but you’re simultaneously concerned about any potential negative effects CBD may have on your baby.
While no major side effects of this cannabinoid have been found, experts still recommend that you avoid using CBD during pregnancy. Learn why in this detailed Naia CBD guide to the latest research on CBD and pregnancy.
Overview of CBD and pregnancy
What is CBD, and why would you want to use it while pregnant? Let’s start with the basics:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plant
- It does not get you high, and cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC are called industrial hemp
- The CBD in industrial hemp can be extracted and turned into a myriad of different products
- Each type of CBD product affects your body differently, but scientists haven’t discovered any glaring side effects of this abundant cannabinoid
There are two main reasons you might be interested in using CBD while pregnant:
- You already use CBD on a regular basis, and you’d like to continue doing so
- Pregnancy has brought with it new changes that made you interested in CBD for the first time
In each case, experts recommend that you avoid using CBD as long as there’s a developing life in your womb. If CBD doesn’t have any side effects, why is this the case?
Research has failed to find any significant CBD side effects in adults. That doesn’t mean the same rules apply to developing fetuses.
Babies go through an amazing range of changes as they develop in mothers’ bellies, and your body needs to be a finely-tuned machine to facilitate these changes. Your body will naturally muster the resources it needs during pregnancy, but CBD could potentially throw a wrench in the works of the complicated new machinery pregnancy is constructing throughout your hormonal and nervous systems.
We still don’t know the specifics of how CBD affects babies as they develop in utero. In humans, however, CBD interacts with receptors that are critically involved in the regulation of serotonin, so it’s possible that using CBD while pregnant could cause developmental issues involving this critical neuroreceptor.
CBD oil pregnancy research
Over the last year or so, a few CBD pregnancy studies have surfaced within international academic literature. One of these papers, published in June 2020 in the journal Current Pain and Headache Reports, thoroughly examined the current state of research on CBD and pregnancy in humans.
Another paper, written by Japanese scientists and just released in the April, 2021 issue of Drug Metabolism and Disposition details experiments performed on mice to determine the safety of CBD during pregnancy. It’s unclear if these results also apply to humans, but the research team concludes that their results indicate “once-daily CBD intake during pregnancy is unlikely to result in CBD accumulation in the mother or fetus.”
Accumulation of CBD in fatty tissues, leading to potential toxicity in the fetus, is the main concern when using CBD while pregnant. More research needs to be done, but these results indicate a pressing need for further studies — a need that will surely be answered considering the ever-growing popularity of CBD.
Should I use CBD during pregnancy?
We’ve reached the question of the hour. Should you use CBD while a baby is in your belly?
The definitive answer is “no.” At this point, we simply don’t know enough to CBD to determine whether this cannabinoid might be harmful to your fetus, and it’s generally important to be very careful with what you consume when you’re eating and supplementing for two.
Is CBD oil safe during pregnancy?
Here’s the somewhat unsatisfying answer — we don’t know. When used reasonably, CBD appears to be non-toxic in adults (even in staggeringly high concentrations), but we don’t know if the same is the case for fetuses.
Some recent research seems promising when it comes to the subject of CBD pregnancy safety, but we’ll need to wait for authoritative sources to chime in before we give our opinion. If you’re concerned about the safety of using CBD while pregnant, consult with your prenatal physician.
What are the side effects of taking CBD during pregnancy?
CBD use is now widespread, and there hasn’t been a resultant spike in infant mortality or congenital defects. The side effects of CBD are commonly mild in adults, leading us to assume that they’d likely be mild in fetuses as well.
Adults and developing fetuses are so different, however. Entirely separate biological rules apply to growing babies, so we have no idea how using CBD might impact the safety of your pregnancy or your child’s long-term health.
What are some alternatives to CBD during pregnancy?
In general, it’s best to avoid taking anything of any kind when you have a baby in your womb. You’ll need plenty of essential vitamins and minerals, of course, but anything else commonly considered to be a “health supplement” should probably be avoided. Even some prescription medications should be discontinued while you’re pregnant.
Let’s consider some natural, drug-free remedies for three of the most common woes of pregnancy:
1. Morning sickness
Some women don’t experience morning sickness at all. If you do, however, you might be tempted by CBD reviews online applauding this cannabinoid’s apparent antiemetic benefits.
It’s really best not to take any drugs for morning sickness, however. The most ideal thing you can do if you feel nauseous while pregnant is eat something.
It doesn’t have to be much, but providing your belly with a little bit of food might settle it. As the area where your baby is growing, your gut experiences major disruption during pregnancy, and treating your belly carefully will pay off with reduced nausea.
2. Disrupted sleep
Insomnia often strikes during pregnancy, and many Naia CBD customers rely on CBD to get to sleep every night. If you already use CBD to get to sleep, giving up your favorite non-intoxicating cannabinoid might be challenging.
Your doctor may be able to recommend a viable sleep aid as an alternative. If you’d prefer to avoid pharmaceuticals, try natural relaxation techniques like meditation or light exercise before bed.
3. Mood balancing
Lots of people use CBD for pain or sleep, but even more use this non-intoxicating cannabinoid for help with anxiety or depression. Pregnancy is a time when your emotions are already experiencing major disruption, sometimes causing latent mood disruptions to bubble to the surface.
CBD isn’t the answer, however, to the hormone-based mood disruptions of pregnancy. Save the CBD for after you’re done breastfeeding, and seek emotional support from your partner, family members, friends, or a therapist.
CBD pregnancy safety — the bottom line
In the end, it’s up to you and your doctor to build a safe relationship with CBD while you’re pregnant. Your physician may end up deciding non-ingested CBD products, like creams and soaps, might be safe since they don’t absorb into your bloodstream in any considerable concentrations.
Or, you might be advised to stay away from CBD entirely for the duration of your pregnancy. In the end, your baby’s health is most important, so make decisions that put the future first.