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topical cbd while pregnant

We are now seeing CBD-containing products everywhere. CBD can be found in many different products, like drugs, foods, products marketed as dietary supplements, and cosmetics. These products often make questionable health promises about CBD.

While breastfeeding, it is important to know that breastmilk can contain THC for up to six days after use. This THC may affect a newborn’s brain development and result in hyperactivity, poor cognitive function, and other long-term consequences.

What do we know about the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding?

Other than the one approved prescription drug, CBD products have not been evaluated or approved by FDA for use as drug products. This means that we do not know:

We also know that there is a potential for CBD products to be contaminated with substances that may pose a risk to the fetus or breastfed baby, including THC. We have also heard reports of CBD potentially containing other contaminants (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus); we are investigating this.

FDA strongly advises against the use of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

We don’t know if CBD oil is safe to use when you’re breastfeeding. Based on what we know so far, experts expect that some CBD is transferred through breast milk to nursing babies. (We know that breast milk can contain THC for up to six days after use.) That means that any contaminants in the CBD might also be transferred to your baby.

Most experts recommend avoiding CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding. We don’t know enough about CBD oil to conclude that it’s safe or effective for a pregnant mom and her developing baby – or for a breastfeeding mom and her nursing baby. Because CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA, there are serious questions about product quality, too. CBD products may be contaminated with THC and other substances, and there are no good guidelines for dosing.

CBD oil is extracted from cannabidiol (CBD), one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant.

What is CBD oil used for?

Stohs SJ et al. 2020. Is cannabidiol hepatotoxic or hepatoprotective: A review. Sage Journal. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2397847320922944 [Accessed May 2021]

In addition to using CBD to alleviate stress, anxiety, pain, and insomnia, some pregnant women take it to treat morning sickness. But there’s no proof that CBD is effective in treating these conditions, and there’s no consensus on what doses are appropriate.

While there have been some studies on marijuana use and pregnancy, there’s no comprehensive body of research yet about the safety of CBD during pregnancy. The studies we do have don’t support CBD use during pregnancy. For example:

Huestis M et al. 2019. Cannabidiol adverse effects and toxicity. Current Neuropharmacology 17(10): 974-989. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7052834/ [Accessed May 2021]

But is CBD safe during pregnancy?
Some pregnant women have been curious about using CBD oils, lotions, creams or other topical products to alleviate pregnancy-related issues like moodiness, anxiety and muscle pain. These women theorize that applying CBD on top of your skin—instead of digesting it—means that it won’t end up in their bloodstream. In fact, in California, the number of pregnant women using cannabis almost doubled between 2009 and 2016, according to a study out of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, the only U.S. healthcare system that screens all pregnant women for prenatal marijuana use.

CBD is sold in various strengths and forms including oils, capsules, edibles and topicals at health food stores, smoke shops and pharmacies (if it’s legal in your state). You might dab CBD lotion on problematic areas or drizzle CBD oil into your coffee. Or maybe you munch on CBD edibles like chocolates or gummies.

Little research is out there on CBD use during pregnancy. We take a closer look.

Still, little research is out there on CBD use during pregnancy. No conclusive evidence shows that taking CBD during pregnancy is or isn’t safe. So, it’s wise not to use CBD to soothe your ailments. It’s not proven how it impacts your body and developing fetus. No long-term research exists as to what happens years down the road after taking CBD during pregnancy.

It’s hard to turn on the TV or hop on social media without hearing mention of CBD. It’s on everyone’s minds lately. CBD—cannabidiol—is a chemical derived from cannabis. CBD is non-psychoactive and contains no tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. So, it doesn’t produce the high associated with marijuana. Since this therapeutic agent is legal in some states, it’s enticing to those who want relief minus mind-altering effects.

Countless products containing CBD have popped up, touted as natural remedies for ailments ranging from joint pain and seizures to anxiety and insomnia. CBD is thought to alleviate conditions like inflammation, migraines, nausea and sleep disorders. And women are getting in on it, too, using it for issues like hormone regulation, beauty benefits, menopause and premenstrual syndrome symptom alleviation, and sex life enhancer.