While pregnancy can be one of the most beautiful times in a woman’s life, it can also be one of the most stressful. Most women are elated when they become pregnant, but the elation may wear off sooner rather than later when morning sickness sets in during the first trimester. Their appetite can be affected as well as energy levels. During the second and third trimester, other annoying things come along like headaches, backaches, fatigue, insomnia, and other physical changes that can be hard to deal with.
The sad thing about having to deal with these ailments while pregnant is that there is not very much you can do about them. Taking medications while pregnant is taboo unless your doctor advises it. Sometimes even using natural products come under scrutiny. This is not only true while pregnant. If a woman is breastfeeding after birth, the same rules apply concerning medications. Many pregnant women are asking about using CBD products during pregnancy since it has been suggested that it can help alleviate many of the ailments that are common during pregnancy.
What Is CBD?
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of many active chemical compounds called cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are found naturally in both marijuana and hemp plants. THC is one of the most famous cannabinoids found in marijuana because it is the one that makes you high. CBD does not produce any kind of psychedelic effects the way that THC does.
Endocannabinoids are hormones produced internally in the body and it happens they are very similar to CBD. When CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body, it can deliver a host of medical and therapeutic effects according to what many researchers believe. This interaction is the reason CBD products have become so popular in recent years. It is said to help treat and relieve numerous common ailments as well as some chronic conditions.
One of the most beneficial effects that medical studies have revealed is the ability CBD has for blocking pain transmission. It is also thought CBD reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, enhances sexual health, and reduces stress and anxiety.
Is CBD Legal?
While CBD products derived from the hemp plant are legal in all US states because they contain less than 0.3 percent THC, CBD products that are derived from the marijuana plant can contain much more THC and is federally illegal. However, some states have legalized it and these states are generally the states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.
Should CBD Be Taken During Pregnancy?
While the use of CBD products during pregnancy needs to be studied more, some women would like to use it to help reduce many of the conditions pregnancy creates such as morning sickness, cramps, pain, and insomnia, but they are not sure if it’s safe for them and their unborn baby.
Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. Even though a review by the WHO appears to suggest CBD is likely effective and safe for certain conditions, the safety of its use during pregnancy has not been decided or studied sufficiently. There is no long-term clinical data in existence to show whether it is safe or not during pregnancy. Some medical literature does show CBD and THC can cross the placenta and make their way to the unborn baby. This is a major issue if CBD products can adversely affect the fetus and could have long-lasting consequences.
One thing that is known for sure is that using marijuana during pregnancy is never a good idea. So that would also indicate using CBD derived from marijuana would not be recommended either. The THC it contains can cause many health complications for newborns including stillbirth or low birth weight. This is according to the CDC. They recommend that even if you are trying to get pregnant, you should avoid marijuana use and THC. Other organizations like the U.S. Surgeon General Office, American Acadamy of Pediatrics, and the FDA also support this.
CBD Claims From Pregnant Women
Even though CBD products have not yet been cleared for use in pregnant women, that has not stopped many pregnant ladies from trying it. Some of these ladies had symptoms so severe, they thought it was worth trying since the CBD without THC is thought to be harmless with no side effects by many researchers. Many of these pregnant ladies stated that it helped them tremendously with extreme nausea and vomiting associated with morning sickness. Others stated that it helped with sleeplessness, stress, anxiety, pain, and food issues.
While talking with Parents magazine, Maggie Frank stated that it helped her severe morning sickness. She said that she was vomiting 20-30 per day and that CBD relieved her instantly. Another pregnant lady, Jennifer Farris, while talking to Parents.com said that it helped with her anxiety and helped her to sleep better. Even though these ladies and many more praise the use of CBD and how it helped them, the question of its safety is still up for debate.
It should be said that a pregnant woman should never use any product that is not first approved by her doctor. You never want to put yourself or your unborn baby at risk by using a product that could prove to be harmful.
What Some Doctors Say About CBD And Pregnancy
Even though there is little research that has been conducted on pregnancy and CBD to date, that does not mean that some studies have not been done. There are some. In a study that was conducted in 2016 that was published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, scientists discovered that CBD-rich cannabis used to treat acute and chronic symptoms during pregnancy did not result in any significant “neonatal outcomes.”
One physician, Dr. Stuart Titus, Ph.D., says that CBD helps with brain cell growth and development in a process called neurogenesis. He attested that he has seen pregnant women do well when on CBD-rich diets and gave birth to healthy babies.
However, other physicians do not agree with Dr. Titus. According to Dr. James Lozada, an OB/GYN, he admits that CBD interacts differently with receptors than THC, he is still concerned because the receptors play a big role in the fetus brain development. Another example is Dr. Felice Gersh, M.D., a trained OB/GYN and a director of Integrative Medical Practice of Irvine, states while talking with Parents.com, the lack of clinical data and studies is a big red flag, especially when combined with a poorly regulated industry like the CBD market.
So, it is obvious that doctors do not agree at all thus far as to the safety of using CBD products while pregnant. Some think it can have a positive outcome for fetal brain development, while others believe it could be potentially harmful to fetal brain development. Of course, this is if you are talking about taking CBD internally during pregnancy. It is thought that a CBD topical cream could be a safer method for pregnant women if you only want to relieve pain in an area of the body such as the lower back, swollen feet or ankles, which are common painful issues while pregnant. The only way you might feel better about choosing to use or not use CBD products while pregnant is by discussing it all with your doctor and following their recommendations.