The FDA strongly advises against taking cannabidiol (CBD) while pregnant or breastfeeding, as there is not enough research to support its safety.
When a woman becomes pregnant, everything she comes into contact with can potentially affect her fetus. While there are several beneficial products that women can take, such as prenatal vitamins, other substances negatively impact the fetus. These can include certain types of foods, prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and illegal substances.
IS CBD Safe for Pregnant Women?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a compound found within the cannabis plant. Although there is not enough research outlining the beneficial or negative effects of CBD, many people around the world use it for therapeutic purposes. Unlike another common compound found in cannabis (THC), CBD does not provide mind-altering effects.
If you are wondering if you can take CBD oil while pregnant, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly advises against taking CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding. There does not yet exist a strong body of research around CBD during pregnancy. Taking CBD while pregnant can pose some harmful risks for babies in the womb. Until the FDA can study more data and answer questions surrounding CBD products and their effects on pregnant and nursing mothers, taking CBD is not recommended.
While using CBD is thought to be safer than smoking cannabis itself or THC-rich products, this does not mean it is safe for pregnant women.
The Effects of CBD on a Fetus
There is a lack of conclusive data to determine the effects of CBD hemp oil on a fetus. To avoid the potential risks on human babies, the few studies conducted on this subject have been on animals.
In one study, CBD exposure in the womb has neurobehavioral consequences. A growing fetus is equipped with an endocannabinoid system (all humans are). Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors and seem to help with early neuron development and cell survival. Artificially manipulating that system early in development had a long-lasting impact on the animal subjects’ brains.
In another study conducted on pregnant mice, CBD doses led to reproductive problems for male fetuses throughout their lives. It is important to note that the results of animal studies may not be transferable to human subjects, so more research is needed.
If you have any questions about using substances or medications while pregnant, including CBD, you should always speak with your doctor before trying anything new. Your doctor can determine if the potential benefits of a particular medication outweigh the risks of using the product during pregnancy.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, seek professional help right away. The Recovery Village has several treatment options for those who are looking to live healthier, substance-free lives. You can find treatment programs in your specific area here.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “What You Should Know About Using Cannabis, Including CBD, When Pregnant or Breastfeeding.” October 16, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2020.
Schneider, Miriam. “Cannabis use in pregnancy and early life and its consequences: animal models.” European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, July 2, 2009. Accessed June 25, 2020.
Dalterio, SL; deRooij, DG. “Maternal Cannabinoid Exposure. Effects on Spermatogenesis in Male Offspring.” International Journal of Andrology, August 1986. Accessed June 25, 2020.
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