Whether you are currently expecting, or are trying for a baby, you may wonder 'can you drink CBD when you are pregnant?', or wonder about the effects of continued CBD usage on an unborn baby. In this article, we explore current advice on CBD use during pregnancy and find out if using CBD is safe during pregnancy.
The effects of CBD during pregnancy
Effects of CBD on a baby
The main effects of CBD on mother and baby, whether used by topical application, oral ingestion or other, are still being researched. CBD isolate is still in its infancy, relatively speaking, and as such, studies are still taking place to understand the effects it has on our bodies, especially when pregnant.
Because of the myriad benefits of CBD, including how it is commonly associated with pain relief, relief from anxiety and also its powers as a sleep aid, it makes sense than pregnant women are curious about it. All of these issues can face women in all stages of pregnancy, from growing pains and fatigue to potential anxiety about the future and problems sleeping.
An American study titled 'Marijuana Use and the Developing Brain', strongly advises against marijuana use among pregnant women. It discusses how marijuana has an almost 50% chance of affecting a baby’s birth weight, and it can also stunt brain development. However, it is important to note that this is because of the cannabinoid called THC, which is the psychoactive element of the plant.
When discussing CBD, the study says: "While CBD is not intoxicating and does not lead to addiction, its long-term effects are largely unknown” in regard to being consumed during pregnancy.
The study also claims that: “most CBD products are untested and of uncertain purity.” Although an American study, this can be true of products in the UK and because of that, most medical advice is against the use of CBD oil while pregnant. This is because not only can THC, if included in the product, have a detrimental effect, but medical professionals are still unsure whether pure CBD oil is safe for pregnant women. Until conclusive studies come out, which will take some many years, the risks outweigh the benefits.
Effects of CBD on morning sickness
A 2011 study by the British Journal of Pharmacology found that, because of how CBD works with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies, it can help to ease vomiting and nausea. However, although there is evidence that CBD can help those who are experiencing sickness, it is unknown how it may affect morning sickness specifically. Because of this, many pregnant women may be (rightly) curious about using it to alleviate their symptoms.
What to do if you accidentally take CBD whilst pregnant?
If you have continued taking CBD whilst unknowingly pregnant, you should consult your doctor and discuss this with them. There are many cases of people being unaware they are pregnant and continuing with life as normal until realising they are with child. Doctors are well equipped for this situation and are able to advise you on the best route forward.
Can you take CBD whilst breastfeeding?
For those who are frequent CBD users, once pregnancy is over you may wish to go back to your regular CBD routine. But if you are breastfeeding, will this have any effects? When it comes to breastfeeding, women still have to be strict about what goes into their bodies to ensure their breast milk is healthy. So, should CBD still be on the 'no' list?
The FDA explains the known negative effects of THC on breast milk and child development, the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant: "While breastfeeding, it is important to know that breast milk can contain THC for up to six days after use. This THC may affect a new-born’s brain development and result in hyperactivity, poor cognitive function, and other long-term consequences."
Although UK CBD products should not include any more than a trace amount of THC, studies have shown that there are illegal CBD products on the UK market. Therefore, steering clear of CBD whilst breastfeeding is a safe choice.
What to do if you do wish to take CBD during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding
If you find that CBD is an essential part of your routine, whether for helping reduce anxiety and depression or to help you sleep, and wish to continue taking CBD during pregnancy we recommend you speak to your doctor as soon as possible about this decision.
As well as that, we advise that you take your time when choosing a CBD product to make sure it doesn't contain anything you may not want to ingest, like THC. To do this, try to stick with a reputable CBD company, check certification and look at reviews for other users’ judgements.
As with everything during pregnancy, erring on the side of caution is a must and ensuring that yourself and baby are as safe as possible is very important. For this reason, we are unable to advise anyone that they should use CBD products like CBD oil during pregnancy.
Please be wary of any CBD drink companies who are promoting their products as ‘pregnancy-safe’, as the science just isn’t there yet. And, with a lack of research and detrimental potential side effects, it seems that pregnant women would be wise to avoid all CBD products whilst carrying a child. Until there are more conclusive studies and experts say about CBD usage whilst pregnant being a viable option, we have to take the safest route, and that is currently not using CBD products.
For pregnant people who would like something more exciting to drink than the pub-standard lemonade, our alcohol-free botanical drinks come in a range of delicious flavours and can allow you to add as much, or as little, sugar as you want. Perfect for those who want to watch what they consume whilst pregnant.
About the author:
Kamila is a bestselling author of “Bespoke. How to radically grow your bar and restaurant business through personalisation”, and passionate trend-spotter for the UK Eating Out market with thousands of followers on her widely popular blog kamilasitwell.co.uk.
With a decade of hands-on experience collaborating with hospitality influencers and insight experts and a background in setting strategies for leading brands, Kamila has become the industry champion for truly bespoke and guest-centric experiences.