In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) oil has gained popularity as a natural remedy for various ailments 1, including anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. But is CBD oil safe in pregnancy? Can it be used to treat morning sickness or other pregnancy-related symptoms? What does the research say? This article will explore the current evidence on CBD oil and pregnancy.
CBD is one of many compounds found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its more famous relative, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD oil is not psychoactive and will not get you "high." CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil. CBD oil is widely touted as a natural remedy for various health issues. Some of the claimed benefits of CBD oil include reducing anxiety, improving sleep, and relieving pain.
The mechanism by which CBD exerts its effects is not fully understood. However, it is thought that CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system 2 (ECS), which is involved in regulating mood, memory, appetite, and pain. The ECS is made up of cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body.
ECS dysfunction is thought to play a role in various conditions, including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and addiction. CBD is believed to help regulate the ECS, accounting for its purported benefits. For example, suppose someone is struggling with anxiety. CBD may help increase the availability of serotonin 3, a neurotransmitter that is often low in people with anxiety disorders.
There is limited scientific evidence on the safety of CBD oil in pregnancy and breastfeeding, but the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "strongly advises against" 4 its use in these populations.
The main concern with CBD oil and pregnancy is its potential to cause harm to the developing fetus. "There is no comprehensive research studying the effects of CBD on the developing fetus, pregnant mother, or breastfed baby," wrote FDA in a 2019 statement. 5
"FDA is continuing to collect and study the data on the possible harmful effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. However, based on what we do know, there is a significant cause for concern," it added.
The FDA statement cited a 1986 research paper 6 on the impact of CBD on the reproductive system of male offspring of mice. The study concluded that "the present studies indicate that the long-term effects of maternal cannabinoid exposure include effects on testicular weight, plasma levels of testosterone and gonadotropins, spermatogenesis and fertility in their adult male offspring. These findings are consistent with previous observations that cannabinoids can disrupt testicular function in laboratory animals and in man."
But a medically reviewed article 7 in Healthline questioned the study's finding that "exposure to CBD during gestation or the day after birth affected sperm count and testicular function in male rats."
"There isn't any recent data to back up this claim," the article wrote.
Furthermore, a 2019 study 8 found that fetal cannabis exposure might weaken the body's immune system to fight cancer and infections.
"Profound effects of cannabinoids on the immune system as discussed in this review, suggest that maternal exposure during pregnancy could lead to dysregulation of the innate and adaptive immune system of developing fetus and offspring potentially leading to weakening of immune defenses against infections and cancer later in life," the study's authors wrote.
"Emerging evidence also indicates the underlying role of epigenetic mechanisms causing long-lasting impact following cannabinoid exposure in utero," they added.
FDA says there is also evidence suggesting that "some amount of CBD will be transferred to babies through breast milk."
The US health agency has not approved CBD oil as a safe or effective treatment for any medical condition apart from two rare forms 9 of childhood epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
So is CBD oil safe in pregnancy? Though there is not enough evidence to say for certain, the FDA advises against using CBD oil during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to avoid using CBD oil or any other cannabis products until more is known about their safety.
CBD is generally well tolerated with few reported side effects. The most common side effects 10 include drowsiness, dry mouth, and low blood pressure. CBD may also cause changes in appetite and weight.
When buying CBD oil, there are a few things you should consider:
1) Organic: Make sure the CBD oil is organic and free from pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. 11 Pesticides and herbicides can be harmful to your health and the environment. EuphoriumX only carries the highest quality CBD oil products that are organic and tested for purity.
2) Type of CBD oil: CBD oil can be taken in many forms, including tinctures, capsules, edibles, topicals, and more. You should consider what form of CBD oil is best for you and your needs. Tinctures are a great way to get started with CBD oil since they are easy to take and have a fast onset of action.
3) Potency: CBD oil is available in different potencies ranging from low to high. You should consider what potency is best for you. If you are new to CBD oil, it is best to start with a low potency and increase as needed. Most people use full-spectrum CBD oil because it contains all the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the cannabis plant.
In conclusion, if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, it is best to avoid using CBD oil or any other cannabis products until more is known about their safety. CBD oil is generally well tolerated with few reported side effects. Be sure to purchase CBD oil from a reputable source such as EuphoriumX. Consult your healthcare provider before taking CBD oil because it may interact with certain medications.