CBD oil and Breastfeeding
Is CBD safe to use while pregnant?
The most common question mothers ask is whether they can continue to take or begin to use CBD oil while they are pregnant.
There are a bunch of articles that talk about how CBD’s therapeutic benefits may be beneficial to mothers while they are pregnant, but the experts are very weary with recommending CBD oil while pregnant.
CBD oil can help to reduce symptoms associated with early signs of pregnancy such as nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, experts say that there is not enough evidence to conclude that CBD is safe for a growing fetus during the most crucial times of their development.
Therefore, it is very important to not read recommendations on the internet and to first speak to your physician before trying CBD oil while you are pregnant.
Introduction to CBD oil and Breastfeeding
Pregnancy can be a delicate process in which your body goes through many changes to prepare for the growth of a new life. Once the baby is born, another phase of body changes occurs, and this can be associated with postpartum. Postpartum life comes with numerous mental and physical challenges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least one in five women will suffer from postpartum depression. Other issues which a new mother will experience can be anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia which is all associated with the lack of sleep and hormonal shifts that are happening post-labor and delivery. After hearing the positive therapeutic effects that CBD has to offer, many new parents are gravitating to this compound in hopes that it may help to alleviate the postpartum symptoms they are experiencing.
CBD is a chemical compound found in the hemp and cannabis plant that does not have psychoactive effects (does not make you feel high) but is being praised for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-convulsant, and antidepressant properties. However, is CBD safe to use while breastfeeding? This is what nursing parents need to know about CBD.
What Science says about using CBD while breastfeeding
Scientists are currently focusing primarily on THC as opposed to CBD in breast milk and the initial conclusion is that it is possible to transfer low levels of the psychoactive ingredient to the baby while nursing. There was a study that was published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology looked at different samples of breast milk from eight anonymous participants who use cannabis regularly and found that babies who were three to five months old and breastfeed exclusively ingested an estimated 2.5 percent of the maternal dose of THC.
“Pumping and dumping” does not work for cannabis products because the chemicals from cannabis enter the body days or weeks prior to breastfeeding can make their way into the breast milk. Another research paper that was published in the journal Pediatrics found that low levels of THC can be found in breast milk for up to six days after smoking cannabis or eating an edible. Just to be clear, the above-mentioned research was done on marijuana and THC, not hemp or CBD. Experts are more concerned about the effect of any cannabinoid on the development of an infant’s brain.
Is it safe to use CBD while breastfeeding?
There is very limited data on the safety of using CBD or cannabis products because it will pass into breast milk. This factor makes it very difficult for experts to advise using CBD or cannabis products while they are nursing.
Mary Clifton, M.D., an internal medicine doctor in New York City also agrees and states, “If a new parent is breastfeeding, it’s probably not wise to use CBD. The medical community doesn’t support the use of CBD in these settings, because proper studies can’t be completed on the effect on the baby or infant.”
Besides the lack of research and expert recommendations, nursing parents have been using cannabinoids for thousands of years. Nursing parents are using these products at their own risk and want to try these types of products, there should be some type of medical advice given prior.
Many medical professionals do not feel comfortable advising that CBD or cannabis products are safe to use and that should be a factor when considering these products before using.
Risks vs. Benefits of using CBD while breastfeeding
It is always important to weigh the risk versus benefits for using CBD while breastfeeding for the nursing parent or infant. Some medical professionals do identify that CBD has been shown to be little risk to both adults and children and therefore, may not pose a problem.
However, on the other hand, if a mother is suffering from postpartum depression, anxiety, fatigue, mood swings and detachment from the infant, many medical professionals will begin treatment with antidepressants.
Once a mother begins their journey with antidepressants, they may not be able to continue breastfeeding because of the medication being transferrable to the infant. Starting CBD, however, may still allow the parent to breastfeed because of the low risk of health problems it poses for the parent and child. This can prolong the bonding time with an infant and can help to reduce the symptoms associated with postpartum.
Again, it is always important to speak to a medical professional before diving into using CBD products while breastfeeding.
To sum up what has been discussed, the medical professional does not recommend the use of CBD or cannabis products while pregnant to reduce any risk to a fetus during the crucial growth stages. One in five women suffer from postpartum depression and can experience numerous symptoms such as anxiety and fatigue while adjusting to becoming a new mother. Breastfeeding while using cannabis products is not recommended because there are traces of THC which can be transferred to the baby through the breast milk. The same goes for CBD. CBD does not contain any psychoactive effects as THC does and because it does not pose any health risks to children or adults it could be safe for use. At the end of the day, medical professionals do not feel comfortable in recommending CBD to nursing mothers because there is still that risk of transferring the compound to the baby and causing development defects.
Always speak to a health professional before trying any new medications while nursing because it can pose a risk to your growing infant.