CBD and Pregnancy

The question on the table is, “I’m pregnant and wondering if I can still take CBD or start taking CBD to help with my symptoms.”

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Expert opinions generally seem to be split mostly due to a lack of specific research. And without conclusive, longitudinal human studies to provide guidance, most physicians and medical organizations are still firmly in the “no” category. While the World Health Organization has stated that CBD is largely tolerated by and generally considered safe for adults and children, this does not address the developing fetus.

A lot of concern seems to surround CBD’s association with THC. There is evidence of negative effects of THC on the developing fetus but there has been little research done on CBD itself. We know that THC crosses the blood-brain barrier and enters the bloodstream of the developing fetus and it is widely assumed that CBD and other cannabinoids do as well. What isn’t known are the affects of CBD and the lesser cannabinoids. The one CBD study often cited to uphold the “no” was a study done on pregnant mice. The pregnant mice were given 1 milliliter containing 1,000 milligrams of CBD twice a day. (That’s 2,000 milligrams per day, day after day, for this tiny little one ounce animal.) The offspring were followed after birth and there were negative side effects that showed up in both male and female offspring. While I am not disputing the findings of the study, I just have to point out the insanely large amounts of CBD used. I can’t imagine how much CBD that would translate to for an average 150 pound female but it would be a massive amount!

Another concern is that the CBD industry is largely unregulated at this time. The FDA has not provided any guidelines or best practices that need to be followed by all producers. This has allowed a ton of junk CBD to be put out into the marketplace. Unless consumers are willing to do their due diligence on selecting a quality product, they could put themselves at greater risk. Certificates of analysis and third party testing are not mandatory but should be part of every consumer’s research.

This all sounds very unhelpful and discouraging but the other side of the coin shows a different story. There is no shortage of anecdotal evidence by women who swear by CBD helping them with their pregnancy symptoms and who have gone on to give birth to healthy babies with no adverse side effects. Many women are in search of a more natural solution to the prescribed pharmaceuticals which all have their own detrimental side effects. Moms-to-be are using CBD to tackle nausea, pain, anxiety/depression and sleep issues. (A note on anxiety/depression, most anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications are stopped during pregnancy as they are considered unsafe for the fetus. This often leaves women with the difficult choice of how to take care of their mental health while taking care of their baby.) Another benefit that showed up during my research was with nicotine addiction. Even though cigarette use is continuing its decline worldwide, many women still face this addiction and the negative side effects smoking causes the fetus. CBD has been used to effectively help with the difficulty in quitting smoking.

While I am in no way qualified to give any type of medical advice on the use of CBD during pregnancy, below is a list of best practices I found through my research.

1) Talk with your doctor about your reasons for wanting to try CBD. If your goals for yourself and your pregnancy aren’t in alignment with your doctor’s, finding an OB who can better support you and your baby might be worthwhile. But regardless, be transparent with your doctor on any and all additional supplements you may be taking or thinking of taking. It is important they have a complete picture to be of the most help. 

2) If you decide to try CBD to alleviate some symptoms, start low and go slow. For nausea somewhere in the 2.5-5 milligram per day window seems to work great. For pain, 5-10 milligrams per day is a good place to start. This would be a good dose for help with sleeping also. Your body will not build a tolerance to CBD so finding the smallest dose to offer relief won’t change. 

3) This might be one of the only times when I will steer you towards a CBD isolate. Even though Sunshine Extracts’ THC levels are extremely low, I would recommend going to an isolate so you are just getting the CBD and nothing else. I am happy to help you find a really good product if need be. Just let me know.

4) Start a log and track your usage not only for you but also for your doctor. Keep track of the amount, are symptoms improved, any adverse side effects, etc. Start with the lowest dose and move slowly. Sometimes it takes awhile.

5) Do your research. Do your research. Do your research. Make sure you know what’s in your CBD. Whatever is in your CBD you will be sharing with your baby. Insist on that Certificate of Analysis and read it. There shouldn’t be anything else in it besides CBD. Insist on third party testing. Insist on organic. Make these three things non-negotiable when you are purchasing any CBD products.

I hope this information helps. In the end, taking CBD during pregnancy and even after birth, will be a personal decision. Do your own research so you are comfortable with your decision. As always, I am here to help any way I can.