One of the most common questions our team at ECHO is asked by those interested in the healing properties of cannabidiol (CBD) is whether it is safe to take CBD oil while pregnant.
In short, there’s not been enough research yet to determine the full safety of taking CBD while pregnant.
It’s not surprising that expectant mothers would be interested in taking CBD. The natural, non-psychoactive cannabinoid interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to encourage homeostasis. In healthy, non-pregnant adults, studies suggest that CBD can be beneficial for addressing symptoms that often affect those expecting by reducing inflammation, nausea, pain, and anxiety, and managing depression and hormonal imbalances.
Earlier this year, researchers studied the safety and side effects of CBD and concluded that evidence indicates that for healthy adults, CBD has a “favorable safety profile.” However, when it comes to research on CBD during pregnancy, studies are severely lacking. While it might be safe, there have been no clinical studies to prove its safety.
Most investigations on cannabinoids and pregnancy focus on cannabis products containing the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), rather than CBD. Exposure to THC in utero has shown to potentially have adverse effects on birth weight and increases the risk a baby will be admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Other studies, however, including one from last fall, found cannabis use to pose no significant risks during pregnancy. Earlier this month, scientists conducting a review on THC in pregnant women concluded that more information is needed before a conclusion on the safety of THC can be made.
Studies investigating CBD consumption during pregnancy are nearly non-existent. Findings in one study suggest that cannabinoids like CBD may reduce uterine contractions. Two separate 2013 preclinical studies did find evidence that the placental permeability in pregnant women who consume CBD might be influenced, meaning that foreign compounds could more likely to cross the placental barrier and into the fetus.
Everything a pregnant mother consumes could have a possible impact on a developing baby. There are CBD oil products that are completely free of THC available now in most major markets for for those interested in avoiding the unknown risks of THC. However, still at this point much more research on CBD is needed.
While we are not aware of any serious adverse effects that have been observed from taking CBD during pregnancy, we recommend that those pregnant first discuss taking CBD with a prenatal care physician.
You can learn more about CBD and the research on its therapeutic potential by visiting our education page.
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