Everyone has an opinion on children; when to have them, how to raise them, what to feed them… It can be overwhelming sifting through the information online, in books, and through podcasts and settling on a method that works best for you. Adding to this is the new legislation and research on CBD and its mainstream coverage. Is CBD safe during pregnancy? How about during breastfeeding? Let’s break it down and see what the science says.
Why Use CBD Oil Tinctures While Pregnant?
Pregnancy is not an easy process for the body to go through. While the body changes to accommodate baby, there are some unpleasant side effects such as:
- Morning sickness/ Vomiting
- Increased anxiety and stress
- Mood disorders
Not every pregnancy will present with these symptoms, however the majority of pregnancies will experience at least one or more throughout the course of nine months Treating these symptoms can be difficult at the best of times, however due to the connection s via the umbilical cord, treating illnesses and symptoms such as these during a pregnancy poses a much higher risk. It is important to keep in mind that anything consumed or absorbed into the body will also reach the foetus, including medication.
Lovers of CBD are quick to draw the connection between CBD use and symptoms of pregnancy. There is plenty of data to suggest CBD’s effectiveness for treating nausea, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety and other mood disorders, as well as inflammation and pain. Not only do CBD tinctures provide relief from these side effects, it does so with minimal to no side effects of its own. This would appear to be a naturally great fit for pregnancy symptoms, however there is one small problem: Scientific research has been so greatly hindered by the governmental policies that rose mostly out of racism and xenophobia that there is very little research on the use of CBD and pregnancy because it was illegal for so long.
Is CBD Safe During Pregnancy?
This is where things get complicated. There is plenty of research and anecdotal data to support the safe use of CBD for a large variety of illnesses and diseases. To date, there is no research to conclude that ingesting or using CBD is unsafe, even in large doses. That being said, there is also no long-term research completed on pregnancy and CBD. It’s not surprising that so little research has been done to date. Not only has CBD and THC been classified as an illegal substance, meaning doctors and researchers have historically been unable to secure funding to research it, it is also difficult to obtain permission from ethics boards to test on pregnant populations without sufficient backing research that demonstrates the safety of the substance.
Additionally, pregnancy is such a varied process that it can be exceptionally difficult to determine if something is working or not as a result. Just like each person’s endocannabinoid system is uniquely theirs, so too is their pregnancy. So while CBD may be shown to work for one person’s stress, for example, it may not be working on another’s due to other variables that make it difficult to measure whether it’s the CBD not working or something else interfering with its efficacy.
Lastly, in order for a substance to be measured for efficacy as a medical supplement, long-term studies need to be conducted to truly understand the results and safety of the substance. Unfortunately, while pregnancy is a common condition, there isn’t enough interest from the scientific field at the moment to spend the amount of money required to engage in a long-term scientific study. Currently, the majority of research funds are being explored with regards to CBD and mood disorders such as anxiety, depression, and mental illness, as well as diseases like dementia, seizures, and multiple sclerosis. While these studies will help build research showing how safe CBD is for non-pregnant populations, they will still lack specific data on pregnant people.
Should I Use It Then?
Using anything during pregnancy really is a personal choice that should be discussed between you and your doctor. There is absolutely no evidence that CBD poses any threat during pregnancy, however due to the lack of solid clinical evidence (for reasons described above) proving it is safe, some physicians may choose to err on the side of caution. CBD can be an excellent choice in order to avoid more worrisome pharmaceuticals to treat common pregnancy ailments, providing that it is of high quality and properly sourced. With this in mind, always ensure you are purchasing CBD tinctures from a company that provides third-party testing and follows the USFDA regulations. For an in-depth look at how to best choose a CBD tincture, check out this CBD Tincture Buyer’s Guide. One additional tip on purchasing CBD while pregnant: Be sure to only purchase CBD isolate and not CBD full-spectrum. CBD Isolates are free from the cannabinoid THC, the chemical responsible for making you high. There is research to support that THC during pregnancy is harmful and should be avoided.
Can I Use CBD Tinctures While Breastfeeding?
Just like with the umbilical cord, anything consumed post-pregnancy can be transmitted to the baby via breastmilk. Breastfeeding is a popular option for feeding babies as it passes all of the nutrients, immunities, and proteins directly to the child. FOr this reason, it is important for those who are breastfeeding to remain cautious about their medication, alcohol consumption, etc. Cannabinoids are a natural occurrence in breastmilk, regardless of the ingestion of CBD. Because our bodies naturally produce them through the endocannabinoid system, they are an integral part of child development. Just like with pregnancy, there is no research to demonstrate any harm will come to your baby if you ingest CBD. THC, however, should once again be avoided as it has been linked to significant childhood developmental delays. Also important to note is that consuming CBD is not a new or modern habit. CBD has existed for centuries and has long been part of other cultures where it is less taboo than in North America. So while there is little clinical data on breastfeeding and CBD use, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the claims that it remains safe, providing that it is free from THC.
Another benefit of CBD tincture use postpartum is the effects it can have to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, which can peak after birth. Postpartum depression is a serious disorder and if you feel you are suffering from the symptoms, please reach out to your doctor immediately to seek help. You can also discuss the use of CBD with your doctor as part of a treatment plan as the side effects are minimal, especially considering those of the common antidepressants/ SSRIs that are available pharmaceutically.
As mentioned above, the most important thing to consider is the brand and quality of CBD you purchase. Always make sure you’re buying from a trusted source with third-party testing and talk to your doctor about your use. This will ensure there are no reactions with any current medication you are taking and that you and baby remain happy and healthy.
Final Thoughts on Early Childhood and CBD Use
Although the clinical research falls short on CBD and pregnancy, there is still plenty of anecdotal and adjacent research that demonstrates CBD can be safe and effective as treatment for many ailments, including those that are suffered during pregnancy. There is a long history of using CBD’s healing properties throughout pregnancies and no evidence that it is harmful. It is a personal choice whether you wish to use CBD tinctures or other products throughout your pregnancy and breastfeeding. Regardless of what you choose, always speak to your doctor so that they are aware of your decisions and can monitor your health.