In basic terms — THC makes you high, CBD makes you feel better.
This lack of pregnancy-specific research is common when it comes to health supplements. Many supplements thought to be safe and effective are generally avoided anyway simply due to the lack of research.
The most common reasons pregnant women may want to consider using CBD supplements:
With that said, this form of administration will only provide relief for symptoms involving the skin and muscles. It won’t do much for any of the systemic effects CBD is suggested to support.
With all of that said, there really isn’t any clear reasons why CBD would pose any danger to yourself or your baby. There have been dozens of studies on the supplement with populations including small children — all of which have concluded that CBD is both a safe and effective supplement for a wide range of symptoms — even at high doses.
Hemp plants, for example, produce almost no THC but will contain high levels of CBD instead.
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.
CBD products aren’t well regulated. They can be contaminated with substances that aren’t safe for a fetus, including THC, pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus.
CBD may interact with other medications, such as blood thinners, and potentially cause serious side effects. Other possible side effects of using CBD include:
Is CBD oil safe to use while breastfeeding?
Lack of reassuring safety studies
Most CBD oil is made from hemp plants. (While it’s sometimes labeled hemp oil or CBD hemp oil, CBD oil not the same thing as hemp seed oil.) Oil made from marijuana varieties of the cannabis plant is called cannabis oil, and it’ll contain some THC as well as CBD and other compounds.
The truth is, there are far more questions than answers when it comes to CBD, especially for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
"The concern with phytocannabinoid/CBD supplementation and pregnancy is due to the unknown," Frank notes. "We currently don't have long-term research as to what happens years down the road as a result of utilizing hemp extracts in utero. Any woman using phytocannabinoids products should be aware of this and make her decision accordingly, preferably with her doctor."
What the Experts Say
Like Frank, Jennifer Farris, a health coach, yoga instructor, and mom who gave birth to her son just this past September, attests to the benefit of CBD use during pregnancy. "CBD oils noticeably reduced my anxiety during pregnancy and made it easy to fall asleep," she tells Parents.com. "They also helped lessen joint pain with all the changes in my body during pregnancy. I used Sunday Scaries CBD Gummies, and their products are third-party lab tested to ensure there are zero traces of THC."
When Frank herself was expecting in 2015, prior to joining the company, she says she suffered from hypermesis gravitum (HG), a condition marked by chronic, severe morning sickness. "I was getting sick 20-30 times a day, was unable to nourish myself or my baby, and was constantly flirting with dehydration," she tells Parents.com. "The medicine typically prescribed for this has a slew of potential side effects, so I refused it. My symptoms actually got worse with each passing month, to a point where my doctor was recommending bed rest in the fourth month."
That said, Congress is poised to lift a federal hemp ban this month, that, according to The Hill, "will for the first time allow lawmakers to develop and impose best manufacturing practices and standards for this nascent industry—policies that will ultimately lead to a safer and better-quality product for consumers."
Touted for offering a bevy of benefits, from pain relief to stress management, CBD, or cannabidiol, is having a real moment. The component of either a marijuana or hemp plant is non-psychoactive, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)—which only comes from marijuana—and is popping up in therapeutic products all over the internet and country. From drinking CBD mocktails as an alternative to wine to caring for sore muscles with a CBD salve or soaking in a tub with a CBD-lace bath bomb, moms everywhere are loving its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-psychotic, anti-convulsant, and antidepressant properties.
Felice Gersh, MD, ob-gyn and founder/director of the Integrative Medical Practice of Irvine in Irvine, California corroborates that experts' concern is related to lacking data and "the fact that production is poorly regulated in most states." While that remains to be the case, she advises her pregnant patients to avoid using CBD.