Is CBD Harmful During Pregnancy?

CBD during pregnancy

CBD oil seems to be all the rage these days in treating a whole range of ailments, including stress and pain. The growing acceptance and legality of marijuana in many states has resulted in a deluge of CBD oil products triggered in the market. Almost everywhere you can find CBD-riddled lattes, chewing gum, candies, lotions and beauty products whose fans extol their healing powers.

However, none of these products have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or regulated for dosage, formulation, or method of administration. And while CBD oil made from the cannabis plant doesn't appear to be addicting, it hasn't been shown to be safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

What is CBD oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is made by Extraction of CBD made from the cannabis plant and then diluting the essence with a neutral, usually edible oil. Unlike THC, the most active ingredient in weed - and the one that gets you high - CBD is touted for its medicinal properties, but it doesn't get you high.

CBD oil is used by placing a few drops under the tongue, applying it to the skin, or inhaling a vapor made from the oil. Proponents say it has a calming effect that helps with stress and sleep.

What is CBD oil used for?

Most people who use CBD oil seek relief from insomnia, Pain, anxiety, Depression or nausea. While there is research into the use of CBD oil to treat a number of more serious conditions, including epilepsy, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and even traumatic brain injuries, doctors warn that CBD oil interferes with other drugs and has side effects how depression can cause.

Is CBD Oil Safe To Use During Pregnancy?

While there is little research into using CBD oil during pregnancy, experts advise against it.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should not use marijuana or any of its by-products, including medical marijuana. 

Studies show that marijuana use during pregnancy can lead to smaller babies with lower birth weights and other undesirable consequences, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the ACOG, and the US Surgeon General warn all pregnant women not to smoke or use marijuana to vaporize or use by-products.

However, don't be alarmed if you drank a CBD-infused lemonade before finding out you are pregnant (but do mention it to your doctor). While there is evidence that the active ingredients in marijuana can harm the developing baby, research to date has focused primarily on repeated, regular use of marijuana in pregnant women.

If you are pregnant and want to try CBD oil, it is best to discuss this with your doctor. He or she can offer you other pregnancy-safe ways to improve your symptoms, and educate you about all the possible risks and side effects of CBD oil - both for you and your baby.

What Are the Potential Risks or Cons of Taking CBD Oil During Pregnancy?

There is still no extensive research into healthy pregnant women and CBD. But even the lowest dosages are not considered safe during pregnancy.

Research shows chemicals that cross the placenta and reach the fetus when mothers smoke or eat marijuana. Exposure to marijuana could disrupt normal fetal brain development and increase the risk of having a smaller child or even a stillbirth, although there is no data to suggest that CBD oil alone carries the same risks.

Still, CBD oil is a new and largely unregulated market. There are numerous case reports of products marketed as "pure" CBD that are contaminated with substances that should never be allowed near a growing baby, including THC, pesticides, toxic metals and bacteria.

Is CBD Oil Safe to Use While Breastfeeding? What are some of the risks?

While there are no studies on the use of CBD oil while breastfeeding, experts also advise against it. Studies show that chemicals ingested while using marijuana can pass into breast milk, potentially affecting your child (however, there are no studies that directly show how CBD oil could affect a nursing baby).

Another reason not to use CBD oil while breastfeeding: ingesting CBD oil could make you drowsy or easily intoxicated, so you run the risk of compromising your judgment while caring for your child.

What are the alternatives to CBD oil if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

During pregnancy, your body creates a warm, nourishing environment for your baby - and a cascade of uncomfortable symptoms for you.

The surge in hormones, fluid displacement, and growing belly can cause nausea (in the morning and anytime, especially during the first trimester), insomnia, bad mood, and anxiety. However, there are a number of ways you can manage your symptoms and feel better:


A surprising strategy to nip nausea in the bud is to eat even if the thought of food turns your stomach upside down. Try to have smaller snacks and meals more often, and make sure your stomach never empties completely (this increases the chance of vomiting).

Have plenty of food ready. Ask someone who isn't nauseated to go to the store and fill their kitchen with stomach-relieving foods like simple crackers, bananas, and soups.

Avoid spicy, fried, or fatty foods as these can irritate your stomach even if you are not pregnant. Some expectant mothers swear by ginger - poured in candy or as tea and drunk. Others say crushing ice or sucking fresh lemon juice helps calm the stomach.

If these and other drug-free nausea medications don't help, ask your doctor about prescription drugs for severe nausea. And remember: there is no evidence that marijuana in any form will help with morning sickness.


If you've tried warm milk, bubble baths, and foot massages to lull yourself to sleep during pregnancy, you can ask your doctor about over-the-counter or even prescription medications that you can safely take.

No matter how exhausted you feel, do not take sleeping pills - including herbal teas or "natural" dietary supplements - without consulting your doctor.

Anxiety and depression

Mood swings, irrational fears, and crying spells can occur when you least expect it, even when excited about your pregnancy. The surge in hormones, changes in your body, social isolation, and lack of sleep can all make you feel worried, stressed, or depressed.

What should I do? Studies show that talk therapy, light therapy, and self-care can help ease your feelings. Let your doctor know how you are feeling and do not take any medication without their consent. Some antidepressants are safe to use during pregnancy. 

Carrying out a baby and caring for a newborn is an intense experience, both emotionally and physically. But don't succumb to the urge to try CBD oil. There is evidence that it is not safe for you or your baby, and there are many other ways to manage the less pleasant side effects of pregnancy and the puerperium. 

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