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Can You Take CBD Oil While Pregnant?

As CBD becomes a popular remedy for many different physical and mental ailments, questions arise as to how safe it is for use during pregnancy. There are tons of CBD products on the market, from oils to gummies to lotions — but none of them are FDA approved. Yet, since these products contain very little THC and are not addictive, you may wonder, “Can you take CBD oil while pregnant?”

Is it Safe to Use CBD Oil During Pregnancy?

There has been a lot of research around the use of CBD to treat and prevent various ailments including pain, anxiety, acne, and even epilepsy. But there is still little research on the use of CBD during pregnancy. For this reason, experts advise pregnant women to avoid taking CBD oil or using any CBD products.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should avoid marijuana and all its byproducts, including CBD oil. Several studies have shown that marijuana can inhibit the growth of the baby. It’s safe to say, however, that an accidental sip of a CBD-spiked soda may not have a detrimental effect on your child, but repeated and extensive marijuana use may.

Risks of Using CBD Oil while Pregnant

Comprehensive research of the use of marijuana in healthy pregnant women is lacking. But even the lowest doses of the compounds found in marijuana and hemp plants are considered unsafe during pregnancy. There’s extensive evidence demonstrating that mothers who are regular users of marijuana as well as its byproducts and compounds can cross to the fetus through the placenta.

Continued exposure to the over 100 compounds in marijuana (including CBD) can significantly interfere with the normal development of the fetal brain. There is also an increased risk that children born of mothers who are regular marijuana users may give birth to children with a smaller birth weight.

Many benefits have been attributed to CBD products like CBD oil, but the industry largely remains unregulated. For example, although some states require the level of THC in CBD to be lower than 0.3%, it’s still impossible to determine if this condition has been met when you purchase CBD products.

Is CBD Oil Safe for Use when Breastfeeding?

While there’s no research to determine if CBD is safe when breastfeeding, experts warn against it. Like most chemicals, studies have shown that the compounds in marijuana can be passed from mother to child through breast milk. Although there are no direct studies to show how marijuana can affect your child, the risk is still too great to take the chance.

CBD oils can potentially contain a relatively higher level of THC than labeled, which can cause a slight feeling of intoxication or sleepiness. The risk of impaired judgment that this can cause could have an adverse effect on your child’s development and safety.

It is, however, understandable that some women may seek relief from some uncomfortable symptoms that come with some pregnancies. CBD oil can help ease nausea, a common symptom of morning sickness. But given the dangers that you may expose your unborn child to, it is safer to find other alternatives to manage your symptoms. Whether pregnant or not, always consult your doctor before using CBD products.

Can Pregnant Women Have CBD?

Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD oil, is an oil that is  extracted from the cannabis plant. Studies have found CBD oil can be used to treat pain, anxiety, depression, cancer symptoms, acne, high blood pressure, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. Unlike many other treatment methods for these conditions, it has almost no side effects and risk of overdose is minimal to non-existent. Because CBD oil contains very little THC if any, it will not negatively impact your functioning or daily life because you will not get the “high” feeling.

Is CBD Safe for Pregnant Women?

CBD oil therefore seems like a safe alternative treatment to many medical conditions. But is it safe for pregnant women? The short answer is that we do not know yet. While studies do indicate that CBD oil has many positive effects, no risk of overdose or addiction and no side effects, to date there has not been enough research conducted on its potential effects on unborn babies and pregnant mothers. And the research that has been done has produced some conflicting results.

The challenge here is that any research into a new medical treatment must be cautiously interpreted. If a study into the effectiveness of CBD oil on chronic pain management finds it’s not successful, but that study was conducted by a pharmaceutical company that specializes in strong, addictive pain relief medication, you should be careful when taking their results to heart.

The other and most significant challenge in medical research, is that studies cannot conduct tests directly on pregnant women, even with their consent. Within the medical scientific community, it’s deemed unethical to experiment on pregnant women through direct application of a drug because the unborn child cannot consent. This causes a bit of a dilemma in pregnancy research, as many potential treatments like CBD oil are not given the opportunity to prove their effectiveness with this cohort of patients.

Taking CBD While Pregnant

As with any kind of treatment, you should always consult your doctor before taking your health and safety — as well as the health and safety of your baby — into your own hands. If you’re pregnant or even breastfeeding, you should speak with your doctor about whether it’s safe and/or appropriate for you to take CBD oil. But remember that your doctor will be relying on the above, conflicting research in making their decision. The difficulty here is that most of the time, it will simply come down to your doctor’s opinion as to whether CBD oil is right for you, depending on what you are trying to treat and their views on the available research.

CBD oil being used during pregnancy is an exceedingly difficult area to explore. It’s hoped that in the future, more research will allow us to learn about the potential effects of CBD oil on unborn babies. Until then, talk to your doctor. They are best placed to determine whether it’s a good treatment option for you during pregnancy.