CBD (cannabidiol) can help you relax, soothe anxiety and stress, and provide pain relief.
So you may want to use it to get through pregnancy.
But is CBD oil safe during pregnancy?
The short answer:
But what exactly are the risks?
Let’s explore CBD oil and pregnancy and the possible consequences in detail.
Also Check Out
- Can You Use CBD Oil During Pregnancy?
- Why It’s Risky to Use CBD Oil When Pregnant?
- 4 Interesting FAQs about CBD and Pregnancy
Ideally, you shouldn’t.
The limited research on marijuana use hasn’t shown any conclusive pros or cons to using CBD while pregnant.
But some results concerning prenatal cannabis exposure and cannabis use are alarming.
Experts believe CBD could follow the same path as THC in cannabis and potentially harm a developing fetus while pregnant or breastfeeding your baby.
So how does the foetus (or baby) get THC exposure?
And what are its implications?
- Studies suggest the THC in marijuana crosses the placenta and can also be found in breast milk.
- Ingesting THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) from cannabis use produces intoxicating psychoactive effects, which may interfere with your baby’s brain development — leading to developmental issues.
The FSA and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advise against marijuana and CBD exposure while pregnant.
|Read more: Want to know how CBD and THC differ? We cover these cannabinoids in detail in our CBD vs THC article.|
Still not convinced about avoiding CBD when pregnant or nursing?
Pregnancy can be very stressful.
So an expectant mother may want CBD’s relaxation and pain relief benefits. Not to mention you’d do anything to get rid of that horrid pregnancy-induced nausea (Hyperemesis gravidarum).
But it simply isn’t worth risking your or your baby’s health.
Using CBD products (even topical CBD) as a pregnant woman is too risky regardless of your trimester — and here’s why.
Using CBD as a pregnant mother is a big no-no because of several factors:
The CBD industry is largely unregulated (both within and outside the UK).
Why does that matter?
Since CBD products aren’t regulated, the FSA and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) can’t hold them to a high standard.
The quality of a CBD product you buy can vary from excellent to glorified hemp oil.
P.S. CBD oil is different from hemp seed oil (aka hemp oil). Unlike CBD oils, hemp seed oil contains almost no beneficial cannabinoids.
If your CBD doesn’t come from a reputable source, there’s a risk it may contain contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, and even THC.
These could harm your and your baby’s health (think: birth defects).
|Did you know? Medical cannabis is legal in the UK, but only when prescribed by healthcare providers for specific ailments. Epidiolex is one such prescription cannabis product used to treat severe forms of epilepsy.
Any other cannabis product and marijuana use are illegal and considered detrimental to public health.
Curious about the legal situation of medicinal cannabis?
Read our detailed breakdown of the Legality of CBD in the UK.
Experts believe prenatal cannabis exposure could have adverse neonatal outcomes.
In addition to the developmental issues, cannabinoids may also affect immune system development, and they could cause a host of immunodeficient disorders. These birth defects could lead to a lifelong struggle with illness.
Some of these disorders include:
- Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID): It’s characterised by low levels of serum immunoglobulins and antibodies, which makes a person more susceptible to infection.
- Selective immunoglobulin A deficiency (IgA): An immune system condition where you don’t have enough immunoglobulin A (IgA) in your system. IgA is a protein that fights infection by producing antibodies.
- Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD): CGD occurs when white blood cells called phagocytes cannot kill certain bacteria and fungi. This, in turn, makes you highly susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.
But do cannabinoids also lead to smaller babies?
Not really. A study on cannabis use and low birth weight found regular amounts of cannabis used by mothers didn’t affect birth weight.
How cannabis affects a foetus at a gestational age wasn’t tested, but a low birth weight doesn’t seem to be a concern.
Using a 95% CI (confidence interval), they found the most significant reduction in birth weight to be 48g, and overall the babies were born a bit heavier.
Although cannabis use won’t affect your baby’s weight, it can lead to other developmental issues – that are far more serious.
So all-in-all, it’s best to stay away from CBD in pregnancy and until after you’re breastfeeding.
Below are some common questions about CBD and pregnancy:
1. What Are Alternatives to CBD to Ease Pregnancy Side-effects?
Don’t want to risk your baby’s health but still want natural remedies for pregnancy side effects?
We’ve got you covered:
- Ginger: If you struggle with morning sickness, this home remedy may be for you. Ginger reduces nausea; you can take it candied, pickled, or as tea.
- Magnesium: A mineral supplement that can block pain receptors, promotes good sleep, and may even reduce anxiety and depression.
- Vitamin B: Taking Vitamin B6 orally can help reduce pregnancy-induced nausea or that horrid morning sickness.
- Hemp seed oil: Hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the same cannabis plant but has almost no cannabinoid content. That means there’s nearly zero risk of cannabis exposure when using hemp seed oil.
On the bright side…
Hemp oil contains various vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
Pop some hemp seed oil in a smoothie, sprinkle a bit over your salad or even apply some hemp oil lotion to your skin to enjoy its benefits.
- Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy: Therapy can help you deal with pregnancy-related anxiety by helping you identify stressors and how to deal with them. Ultimately, this will help improve your mental health and quality of life.
|Side Note: Before starting any treatment or over-the-counter medication when pregnant, consult your doctor or OB-GYN to ensure you’re doing what’s best for you and your baby.|
2. Can CBD Cause Miscarriages?
Animal studies suggest an increased risk of miscarriage when using CBD oil during early pregnancy.
Your endocannabinoid system plays a pivotal part in your reproductive system, and any abnormalities could lead to miscarriages.
3. Does CBD Oil Help with Fertility?
Not much evidence exists for or against using CBD and how it affects fertility.
But animal studies have shown no evidence of CBD usage affecting fertility in pregnant mice who ingested CBD.
The use of CBD caused some birth defects in the mice’s offspring — the male offspring were found to have lower sperm counts.
So what’s the mechanism?
Excessive CBD use may affect the sperm’s ability to fertilise the egg and damage sperm DNA.
But remember: Results from animal studies don’t always translate into similar effects in humans.
However, as an expectant mother, it’s best to play safe and avoid any CBD exposure during pregnancy.
|Hot Tip: If you want to have a baby but think your CBD use may be excessive and affect your sperm, don’t sweat!
Your body produces fresh sperm every day, and your sperm is entirely replenished every 64 days. Only use light amounts of CBD for a couple of months, and you’ll be golden!
4. How Soon After Pregnancy is CBD Safe to Use Again?
As soon as you stop breastfeeding! (Or choose not to.)
When you stop breastfeeding, you no longer expose your baby to any CBD in your system. So you can experience CBD’s relaxing and mental health benefits.
You might be wondering…
How does CBD oil help?
CBD can reduce chronic pain, ease anxiety, aid sleep, and even reduce nausea.
Ready to (re)start your CBD wellness journey?
Try these high-quality products:
- Vitality CBD 2400mg Berry Spray & Dropper (£29.99): A high-strength, THC-free option excellent for helping you relax. It’s a deliciously flavoured CBD product and comes with a dropper and a spray for ease of use.
- CERIOUS Muscle Relief Balm (£43.00): Ease your aching muscles with this medium-strength, broad-spectrum CBD cream that’s mildly scented and has a silky smooth finish.
- Mission C Lavender Bath Bomb (£8.00): Let the heavenly notes of lavender and rosehip transport you to a stress-free zone. The added low-strength CBD goodness rounds off the bath bomb for the ultimate calming experience.
- Wicked Gummy Co 600mg CBD Gummy (£29.99): Ranked as the best CBD gummies in the UK, this lime-infused edible is packed with vitamins and flavour to enjoy on the go.
|Read more: Are you considering CBD as an alternative to antidepressants for postpartum depression? Then you wouldn’t want to miss reading about CBD Oil for Depression.|
Try CBD Oil After Pregnancy to Improve Your Well-Being
As a pregnant woman, it’s recommended you steer clear of any CBD products.
But all is not lost!
When you stop breastfeeding (or decide not to breastfeed your baby at all), you can hop back on the CBD train and enjoy all the benefits.
Wondering where you can find the best CBD products in the UK?