The CBD retail industry is flourishing. CBD can seemingly be found everywhere — from CBD-infused creams to CBD-infused oils, coffees, teas, gummies, juices, cookies, and lollipops. According to Statista, a leading provider of market and consumer data, it is expected that U.S. consumer sales of cannabidiol (CBD) will reach around 1.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2022. Sales of legal cannabis in the U.S. are projected to hit 23 billion U.S. dollars in 2025.
But if you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, you might have even more questions about whether these products are safe for you.
The short answer is: we don’t know enough about it. Presently, FDA advises against the use of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
WHAT EXACTLY IS CBD OIL AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT THAN THC?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as cannabis or hemp. Over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids, have been found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. CBD is obtained from hemp, a form of the Cannabis sativa plant that only contains traces of THC.
WHAT ARE CBD PRODUCTS USED FOR?
FDA has approved a prescription form of CBD currently used in patients with epilepsy. CBD is also said to help with anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and a range of other disorders, but the scientific evidence isn’t complete.
As stated by FDA, “Laws passed in 2018 made it legal to sell hemp and hemp products in the US. But that doesn't mean that all CBD products made from hemp are legal. Since CBD is an approved prescription drug, it can't be legally included in foods or dietary supplements. CBD can only be included in "cosmetic" products. Because there's no there are still CBD products on the market that are labeled as dietary supplements.
The amount of CBD contained in these products is not always the same as what is stated on the label.” In one study, as reported by the Baby Center, "researchers tested 84 CBD products and found that 26 percent contained substantially less CBD than shown on the label, and 43 percent contained substantially more. THC was detected in 18 of the 84 samples."
IS CBD OIL SAFE TO USE WHILE PREGNANT?
There is no comprehensive research studying the effects of CBD on the developing fetus, pregnant mother, or breastfed baby. FDA and CDC are continuing to collect and study the data on the possible harmful effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Here’s what the scientific community knows:
- High doses of CBD in pregnant test animals have caused problems with the reproductive system of developing male fetuses.
- Some amount of CBD will be transferred to babies through breast milk.
- There is a potential for CBD products to be contaminated with substances that may pose a risk to the fetus or breastfed baby, including THC.
- CBD can potentially contain other contaminants, such as pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus.
Other possible side effects can cause diarrhea, fatigue and sleepiness, day mouth, nausea and vomiting, and liver damage.
IS CBD OIL SAFE TO USE WHILE BREASTFEEDING?
We don't know if CBD oil is safe to use when you're breastfeeding. Based on what we know so far, experts expect that some CBD is transferred through breast milk to nursing babies. We know that breast milk can contain THC for up to six days after use and any contaminants in the CBD might also be transferred to your baby.
Final thoughts — the research on the use of products containing CBD while pregnant and/or breastfeeding isn’t conclusive. The scientists are researching whether and to what extent the presence of CBD in human milk harms the breastfed baby or the mother’s lactation process. Stay on the safe side and avoid CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding, mamas! But if you’re interested in CBD products to help with morning sickness, anxiety, sleep issues, postpartum depression, it’s always best to speak to your doctor about it.