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According to the FDA, medical research, and some international bodies, CBD usage while pregnant may be unsafe. The reason for that is not CBD itself -but rather additives, ingredients, and contaminants that may be passed to the fetus. 

What risk does using CBD and cannabinoids pose to fetuses? And is the chemical safe when breastfeeding or for infants? Below is what every mother should know.

Quick take: Is CBD safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers? 

  • A lack of adequate research on the effects of CBD on fetuses and infants is why the FDA discourages its use.
  • Post pregnancy and post breastfeeding -you may use CBD to repair and tighten skin, as pain medicine, or recreationally. 
  • Child protective services may cause problems if you expose a minor to CBD without a prescription. 
  • CBD can be used to halt the development of epilepsy in minors. 
  • You need a written recommendation from a medical doctor to get a medical marijuana card for yourself or your child. 
  • Each state has its qualifying conditions, check yours before you apply. 

Can you use CBD while trying to conceive?

The FDA’s position on CBD usage when trying to conceive is that the chemical could pose a risk of the transfer of potentially harmful substances and chemicals to the fetus. There are also studies that claim that CBD can impact sperm health. 

Why does the FDA recommend not using CBD while pregnant?

CBD’s growing popularity in athletic and medical circles has led to a flux of manufacturers putting products on the market that lack proper testing. Today, consumers have access to pills, consumables, oils, and dietary supplements, many of which have questionable origins and may thus contain harmful constituents. 

There is also the fact that there is no comprehensive research on the effects of CBD on developing fetuses. 

What we do know is:

  • At high doses, CBD can interfere with the developing reproductive systems of growing male fetuses, based on animal studies. 
  • CBD and contaminants may be transferred to infants through breast milk. 
  • THC use while pregnant may cause developmental problems, hyperactivity disorders, and premature birth. 
  • There are no human studies that show marijuana use can cause miscarriage. But animal studies show that marijuana use during early pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage (the evidence is mixed. Thus, more research is needed).
  • Mothers who use marijuana during early pregnancy have a 2.3 greater probability of stillbirth. 
  • Vaping while pregnant may cause adverse side effects.

How safe is the CBD product you are consuming?

Your baby’s health is dependent on what goes into your body. As mentioned, some contaminants may reach the fetus or baby through breastfeeding. The contaminants that should worry mothers the most include:

  • THC. According to the CDC, THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis may go through the mother’s system and potentially harm fetus development. More research is needed to verify these claims because there are conflicting studies. The risks include lower birth weight and neurological development abnormalities. There is also the issue of second-hand smoke while smoking or vaping. What you need to remember is THC is not safe for the developing mind, nor is it safe for teens. It is thus recommended that you start using it when you are at least 20 years of age. 
  • Pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, fungus. The contaminant determines the effect you or your baby may suffer. So, it is advisable to avoid back-alley products. 

The effect of consuming contaminated products includes liver toxicity or damage, interactions with other drugs, and fatigue. 

The question that remains unanswered, according to the FDA is, quote: “to what extent the presence of CBD in human milk harms the breastfed baby or the mother’s milk production?”

CBD basics: what pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should know
  • The FDA has not approved any CBD product as pregnancy-related medicine.
  • Hemp seed oil/CBD poses little risk of containing THC. Thus, products extracted from hemp pose little risk to breastfeeding mothers or pregnant women.
  • The FDA’s position on the usage of cannabis and all its products while pregnant is that you avoid using it. 
  • Talk to a physician before using CBD or other supplements while pregnant.
  • Fetal exposure to cannabinoids may affect immune system development and sperm count. 

Can you use CBD when breastfeeding?

If you are breastfeeding, you should be aware that CBD is fat-soluble. That means it can be expelled through breast milk. That raises the question;

Is CBD safe for infants?

Research on CBD’s effect on infants is ongoing. Currently, there is no evidence to prove that CBD is safe for infants. What mothers need to remember is:

  • CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it will not cause a high, but at high doses, it can cause sleepiness and fatigue. 
  • If the child is in the early stages of epilepsy, CBD can prevent brain damage and lower seizures. A synthetic version of the chemical is already in use as medicine for epilepsy. However, you may need a medical marijuana card and physician approval before giving CBD to a minor. It can also be easier to move to a state that has favorable CBD laws. 
  • The approved age for using CBD in the US is 18. 
  • Child protective services may cause problems in states where CBD usage is not legal. Consequently, check state laws before you import or export CBD products. 
  • CBD can be beneficial to minors who suffer conditions, including anxiety, depression, autism, seizures, and ADHD.

Should you use CBD while pregnant?

No. We recommend against using CBD products while pregnant. However, post-pregnancy and breastfeeding, CBD offers mothers the following benefits. 

Pain relief 

Some mothers suffer chronic pain post pregnancy, it could be surgery related, the result of injury, or infections. Animal studies show that CBD injections can lower pain associated with not only surgical incisions, but also injuries and conditions that cause chronic pain.

You should consider taking it if you have nerve damage, suffer migraines, or are in pain for whatever reason. 

There is also evidence that CBD can relieve chronic pain caused by cancer, chemotherapy, and nervous system disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and fibromyalgia. 

Saggy skin and stretch marks 

While pregnant, you will put on weight. Post pregnancy, losing that weight will result in stretch marks, saggy skin, dry skin, and other problems. CBD can solve these issues in the following ways. 

  • Stress and anxiety relief. Stress and anxiety can trigger wrinkles, may cause fatigue, and it will impact your mood and behavior. CBD’s anxiolytic properties can prevent and alleviate stress and anxiety. 
  • Medical research proves that CBD can prevent and relieve inflammation, including rashes, swellings, and patches on the skin. It can also prevent acne breakouts triggered by hormonal changes during pregnancy. 
  • Tighten and improve skin elasticity. CBD may help your skin recover its elasticity after long periods of stretching. You should thus use it if you have saggy, leathery, or wrinkled skin related to pregnancy. 
Better sleep 

By alleviating pain and reducing stress and anxiety, CBD can help users get better sleep. The more you sleep, the better your health. 

What are the side effects of using CBD?

CBD’s effect on the human body is dose-dependent. At high doses, the chemical has a sedative effect, and in low doses, it has stimulating effects. Post-pregnancy, using CBD products at high doses may cause fatigue, diarrhea, and appetite changes.

Another reason to avoid CBD products while pregnant is that the chemical may interact with some medications. Consequently, consult with a physician before you consider using CBD products while pregnant. 

Can child protective services take away your child for using CBD?

It depends on state law. The issue is contaminated CBD products may cause the user to test positive for marijuana. Marijuana in the states is a schedule 1 drug, and some states consider it harmful to minors. Consequently, before you give CBD to a minor, it is recommended that you do the following:

Qualifying conditions in most states include:

  • Immune system disorders such as HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Mental problems, including ADHD, PTSD, and schizophrenia.
  • Chronic pain 
  • Wasting syndrome
  • Eating disorder. 

We recommend consulting with a physician before you apply.