Pregnancy is considered by many women to be one of the most profound of all life experiences – but with many unwanted symptoms, too. What’s interesting is that the symptoms associated with pregnancy, such as headaches, nausea, and abdominal pain, are easily remedied by cannabis. In fact, CBD products are well known for relieving symptoms just like these ones. But is it actually safe to use during pregnancy?
Unfortunately, the body of research with respect to CBD is much smaller than that of THC. Some research exists about the effect of THC consumption on the embryo, fetus and breastfeeding mother. However, there isn’t much out there for CBD. However, based on animal studies, we can speculate as to the safety of CBD oil during pregnancy.
How CBD impacts pregnancy
The most obvious way that CBD could impact pregnancy is that it would reduce many of the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy, nausea being the main culprit. But the degree to which this interacts with the pregnancy itself, such as the fetus, is up for debate.
In a 2010 study conducted using synthetic CBD and cells in a petri dish, scientists concluded that CBD was a muscle relaxant. This quality could assist women through contractions. However, no conclusive result was determined on the effect of this administration on the baby itself. And obviously, cells in a petri dish hardly qualify as sufficient to make a claim for a pregnant woman using CBD.
Interestingly, THC has been associated with some possible prenatal complications. This is due to the fact that THC can pass directly through the placenta to the unborn fetus. While specifically, CBD does not do this, some correlative data has been observed with respect to CBD. For example, this 2013 study concluded that CBD may increase the permeability of the placenta, allowing foreign or dangerous material to be passed from the mother to the child. Another 2013 study supported the results, suggesting that the protective function of the placenta is compromised after CBD ingestion.
This doesn’t mean that CBD is directly harmful to an unborn baby. Rather, it suggests that the protective ability of the placenta is possibly compromised. This could lead to indirect harm to an unborn child, depending on other factors, such as the nature of the environment the woman’s pregnancy is occurring in.
There is nothing “obvious” about the research that has been conducted. This is almost entirely because of the lack of research about CBD use during pregnancy. The only thing that is painfully obvious is that more research is required for the medical industry to understand the effects of CBD on pregnancy.
Quality of CBD products
Whenever a woman is considering using any form of natural medicine during her pregnancy, she must consider the quality of the product she will be using. In fact, the same is true for all products she ingests, including food and pharmaceutical medication. The exact same is true about CBD products.
It is already controversial to use THC during pregnancy for reasons that we have already mentioned. Therefore, care must be taken to ensure that the product being consumed is pure CBD, such as CBD distillate or some other form of pure CBD concentrate. If a full spectrum product is consumed, there is definite exposure to THC.
Method of consumption
It goes without saying that smoking cannabis should not be a pregnant woman’s first point of call for using CBD. Even high CBD strains are likely to contain some THC (although some grown from hemp contain only trace amounts of THC). Plus, the inhalation of burning plant material is not recommended during pregnancy.
The best way to consume CBD during pregnancy is via edibles, tinctures or oils. Again, care needs to be taken as to the quality of the product. It is always advisable to purchase pure CBD, whether it is distillate or another form. From there, any consumable product can be created. Distillate can be dissolved into oil, can be mixed into food or can be mixed with alcohol to create a tincture.
CBD during labor
It is perhaps a safe inference to make that the best time for a woman to use CBD is during labor. The analgesic effects of CBD, along with it being a muscle relaxant, can help a woman deal with uterine contractions. At this point of the pregnancy, there is no real threat of nasty things passing through the placenta due to increased permeability. However, this risk potentially exists earlier on in the pregnancy.
Pregnancy is an extremely sensitive time, both for mother and for the child. Utmost care should be taken to ensure the health of mother and baby. The research does not conclude, nor does it even suggest, that CBD consumption during pregnancy is directly dangerous. It is always advised for a pregnant woman to consult a non-biased doctor if she has any doubt. However, the most important thing is to ensure the purity of the product before using it during pregnancy.