IS CBD OIL SAFE TO USE WHILE PREGNANT?
Face creams, oils, cookies, daily capsules, you name it – CBD is making its way into all kinds of health and wellness products. Praised for improving sleep, reducing inflammation and managing pain, it’s no wonder that pregnant women are looking to harness its natural properties. But is it safe to do so?
A bundle of joy aside, bringing a baby into the world also comes with health and beauty benefits such as thicker hair, glowing skin and even (amazingly) a bigger brain. Unfortunately though, these pregnancy positives aren’t the ones that you need any support with. It’s the continuous cramps, aches, pains, fatigue, restlessness, insomnia, headaches and mood swings (we could keep going) that hamper your wellbeing. Because of this, there’s an internet’s worth of ways to tackle those that affect you on a daily basis through each trimester. And although prenatal yoga, breathing exercises and a healthy diet will go some way to easing any discomfort, women will always continue their search for a more effective, natural solution. Enter CBD.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive extract of the cannabis plant that, whether you’ve experienced taking it before pregnancy, or have recently discovered through research or a recommendation, seems to tick all the boxes. This cannabinoid reacts uniquely with our body's endocannabinoid system – scientifically proven to help regulate a wide range of cognitive and physiological processes, including mood, appetite, sleep, and pain. Because of this, CBD oil sounds tailor-made to help take on whatever pregnancy throws your way, both mentally and physically.
HOW DOES CBD AFFECT PREGNANCY?
During the life-changing, body-altering journey of pregnancy, a healthy lifestyle is paramount. Anything that a woman’s body comes in contact with (injesting in some way) during these 9 months can have a great effect on the child growing inside her. From the do’s of increased vitamins, rest and a balanced diet, to the don’ts of raw fish, certain medications, and alcohol, it can be a minefield – especially for first-time parents-to-be. That’s why a safe, all-natural approach to pain management, anxiety and other difficult moments during pregnancy is not only preferred, but essential for a healthy birth.
CBD is a completely natural, plant-based compound, however, during the extraction process it must undergo filtration to remove tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the psychoactive element known to give cannabis smokers their ‘high’. And although technically removed, in many instances, trace amounts of this chemical element remain in the final product sold to customers.
While some countries are legal to sell CBD products with 0.03% of THC (as it is very difficult to remove it entirely), these minimal amounts, especially built up over time, could have an adverse effect on your pregnancy – outweighing the positive physiological and psychological effects of CBD for yourself.
A recent study conducted on mice found that THC inhibited the development of the embryos 1, which indicates it could also be harmful to a human baby and their development. THC is also considered by some researchers as a developmental neurotoxin 2, so exposure in the early stages of growth could also potentially lead to issues later in a child’s life.
A valid reason for THC consumption resulting in this potentially serious side effect is the role our endocannabinoid system plays during pregnancy. Through cell regulation and cannabinoid processes, it’s essential in early development of the fetus, as well as helping support the growth of the child throughout pregnancy. 3
As a result, it’s imperative that more research is conducted into how CBD interacts with our internal process during this fundamental stage to absolutely guarantee that there are no negative side effects. However, due to the ethical implications of testing on pregnant women, it’s very unlikely that we will see any evidence to support claims either way any time soon.
YOUR DOCTOR KNOWS BEST
Although CBD could be the all-natural answer to those uncomfortable aches and pains during each trimester, the lack of research around the potential side effects of THC on your baby’s development fails to provide any scientific certaintainty or peace of mind. Some CBD brands do offer products that are third-party lab tested and guarantee 0.0% THC, however we would always recommend speaking with your doctor before taking any form of CBD oil or otherwise during your pregnancy for an effective but, most importantly, safe solution. .
2) Volkow ND, Compton WM, Wargo EM. The risks of marijuana use during pregnancy. JAMA. 2017;317(2):129-130.