Over the last couple of years, CDB use seems to have gone viral. Businesses galore tout signs saying “CBD Products Sold Here,” and for what seems like every possible physical or mental condition, at least someone in your circle will be heard saying, “Have you tried CBD?”
If you feel like you’re out of the loop, know this: according to Gallup stats, only 14% of Americans actually use products containing CBD, and 50% of the population still doesn’t really know anything about it. So if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, take heart; you’re among friends.
Let’s get you caught up.
Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is a compound in a group called cannabinoids, comes from the cannabis plant— yes, the same one you’re thinking of. CBD can indeed come from the same plant as marijuana. But it can also come from the hemp plant. In either case, CBD often does NOT contain the ingredient, THC, that would get you high.
Common uses for CBD oil and products are for:
- Chronic pain
- Nausea in pregnant women
The problem: CBD may not be safe to use during pregnancy.
While it’s commonly thought to be safer than THC (the compound that causes the mind-altering effects of marijuana), there is not enough scientific data out there to come to sound conclusions regarding CBD and pregnancy. What data there IS suggests that it’s risky.
In studies of mouse embryos, a cannabinoid called anandamide stopped the embryos from developing. CBD can increase levels of that anandamide, so, while not confirmed, it’s a logical assumption that CBD could stunt/halt embryo development.
Mouse embryos + ↑ anandamide=
CBD slows enzymatic breakdown of anandamide=
The question marks are there for good reason. Because of the fragile nature of pregnancy, very little scientific and medical testing can be done on pregnant women or on embryos and fetuses. It’s difficult to get enough data to be convincing. Our take? Always better safe than sorry when it comes to unnecessary risks during pregnancy.
And the FDA agrees, strongly advising against “the use of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.” They reference studies of CBD in pregnant test animals, where male fetuses wound up with problems in their reproductive systems. Further, based on current knowledge, it’s expected that CBD transfers to babies through breast milk, though likely in small amounts. What’s more, according to the FDA, there’s potential for CBD to be laced with THC, pesticides, and other harmful substances.
So does this mean you can’t use ANYTHING with CBD in it?
Now that CBD is available in topical forms— hair products, lotions, salves, and the like— you there may be safer options, but these are really just for skin/hair/mild pain conditions. Edibles (like CBD fruit chews), vaping, ingested drops–anything that goes IN your body–may adversely affect your baby.
First and foremost: talk to your doctor. Whatever symptom you’re trying to address with CBD, your doctor may be able to recommend a clinically safe solution. It takes a village, remember, so for extra support during pregnancy and after, keep a 360° lookout.
Read our previous blog post about trusting the internet for pregnancy advice, you’ll get an even better sense of why it’s always recommended to seek and heed the advice of trained medical professionals.