CBD Oil and Pregnancy – How Safe Is It?

CBD Oil and Pregnancy – How Safe Is It?

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CBD isn’t just the non-intoxicating part of cannabis anymore. It’s holding its own as the star trend in the health and wellness world. Spas, skincare brands, and beverage companies are all integrating CBD into their products and services. The cannabinoid has also found its way into pet treats for anxious pups or pets with joint pain. 

It wasn’t long before pregnant women and moms started to look into CBD. But is it safe? Or is it on the long list of foods, supplements, and substances that women should stay away from during their pregnancy? 

What Is CBD? 

CBD is a cannabinoid that is found naturally in cannabis plants. “Cannabis” is an umbrella term that includes hemp and marijuana. While one has been accepted and the other villainized for decades, they are essentially the same plant. CBD appears in both hemp and marijuana – but you will find THC (another cannabinoid) in marijuana, which has made it illegal for years. 

The biggest difference between CBD and THC is intoxication. THC is what gets you high. You can ingest CBD before going to work, driving a car, or taking a test and you won’t feel stoned. However, CBD can have an effect on the brain. Luckily, these effects are usually positive.  

Benefits of CBD Oil

CBD has many benefits that can help users young and old, with chronic illnesses or mental health issues, to manage pain and other symptoms. 

Benefits of CBD Oil

A few drops of CBD oil, taken on its own or with food, can:

  • Stimulate appetite
  • Reduce nausea
  • Decrease stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Reduce chronic pain
  • Encourage sleep in people with insomnia 
  • Reduce inflammation and acne 

It only makes sense that pregnant women have started to reach for CBD oil. Morning sickness, mood swings, and changes in appetite are normal during pregnancy. Plus, now that marijuana is legal throughout Canada, CBD products are everywhere. 

You will see information about CBD in magazines for new moms and on your friend’s Facebook page. But before you book a CBD massage or pop some gummies, it’s important to know the effects of CBD on you and on your baby. 

Is Marijuana Safe For Pregnant Women? 

As much of a bummer as it is to say this, we would recommend putting down the bong while you’re pregnant. While marijuana is generally safe for adults, it can have negative effects on a developing fetus. In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidelines (for the first time) regarding marijuana use and pregnancy. In short, they said “no.” Prenatal groups and researchers claim that the THC in marijuana can enter the placenta – essentially, when you smoke, you are puff-puff-passing to your baby. 

Some studies even suggest that marijuna usage is more dangerous than tobacco usage. “When marijuana is smoked, serum carbon monoxide concentrations in the pregnant woman are 5 times higher than those when tobacco is smoked, resulting potentially in impaired maternal respiratory gas exchange and subsequent adverse effects on the fetus. Given these known effects of marijuana on the placenta and placental transport, it is biologically plausible that marijuana use during pregnancy could affect both maternal and fetal outcomes.” 

So marijuana could cause some negative outcomes for both mom and baby. But what are they?

Low Birth Weight

Low Birth Weight

There are no conclusive studies that 100% prove the connection between low birth weight and marijuana usage, but enough evidence exists to encourage moms to step away from pot. Low birth weight or preterm birth could be caused by a decreased rate of uterine blood flow to the fetus after marijuana usage. 

Motor Development Issues 

THC goes straight to the brain – of both pregnant women and fetuses. We all know how marijuana can affect adult brains. Pot use may have an effect on memory, concentration, or other cognitive processes. 

Studies suggest that moms may see these effects reflected in their baby as early as age 1. Babies may experience delayed motor development and have a harder time taking in the world around them compared to other babies. 

Neurodevelopmental Issues

Other studies suggest that children could display neurodevelopmental issues later on in childhood that could be due to marijuana usage. Children in one study displayed higher rates of these issues (lack of concentration and ability to hold attention, lack of impulse control, etc.) if their mothers smoked marijuana. 

Is CBD Safe for Pregnant Women? 

But THC is not CBD. You don’t have to smoke CBD to ingest it. 

Fewer studies have been done solely on CBD and pregnancy. We can’t say that CBD is bad for pregnant moms, but it’s not possible to say that CBD has no adverse effects during pregnancy. One study suggests that ingesting CBD can make it easier for THC or other harmful substances to enter the placenta, increasing the risk of adverse effects. While CBD itself may be safe, if it’s used while smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, it could help those substances do more harm. 

Still curious about CBD? Try out CBD oil. This allows you to keep track of how much CBD you are ingesting. When you try a CBD topical or vape CBD, you may not be able to tell how much CBD you have had and when you reach your limit. We definitely would recommend CBD oil over products that contain THC, and also caution pregnant women away from tobacco products or alcoholic beverages. 

If you do choose to use CBD oil or CBD products during pregnancy, be cautious. Buy from a brand that you trust. The rush to get CBD products on the market often means that manufacturers fail to properly label or test for the presence of THC. There have been cases of high THC levels in CBD oil, so be aware. 

Talk to a Medical Professional.

Talk to a Medical Professional.

Using CBD before and after pregnancy should be safe. (Some studies do suggest that general marijuana usage may have an effect on fertility.) But if you are pregnant, or trying to become pregnant, it may be time to put down the CBD treats. 

There are midwives and prenatal specialists who do recommend CBD and even marijuana in small doses. Talk to medical professionals about a plan that will reduce neurodevelopmental risks and help ease the symptoms of pregnancy and hormonal changes. 

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