The benefits of hemp-based supplements help many people every day—but can you use CBD while pregnant?
The FDA doesn’t seem to think so.
While it’s safe for adults to take CBD regularly, a growing fetus simply isn’t ready to process cannabinoids.
Recently, the FDA discovered that THC—the component in cannabis that gets people high—transfers through breast milk for up to six days after use.
This means that babies could end up being affected by a psychoactive compound long before their brains can handle it.
So, can you use CBD while pregnant?
It’s probably not the best idea if you want to protect your little bun in the oven. Besides, CBD isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Let’s explore the relationship between CBD and pregnancy a bit more.
What the Science Says
As a baby develops, it relies on its mother to provide nutrition and well-being, leading to all kinds of weird cravings (like a jonesing for paper or dirt—a condition known as pica).
All of this happens because a growing fetus has intense and immediate dietary needs. Whatever the mother eats, the fetus ultimately consumes.
Ideally, expecting mothers have access to proper nutrition, vitamins, and minerals so that their growing baby can develop properly.
While CBD may be considered a safe product for adult use, it is not suitable for growing minds and bodies. No, prenatal use of CBD won’t lead to addiction, toxicity, or long-term health risks for the mother, but the same may not be accurate for the baby.
It’s important to note there isn’t enough scientific research available to determine what CBD will do to a fetus. That’s why mothers need to take the safe route and stick to the essentials during pregnancy.
How CBD Affects the Brain
Our bodies contain various systems that interact with each other.
The central nervous system communicates with the muscular system to move your body, and the brain communicates with your vascular system to let you know when it’s time to rest and eat.
One of the recently discovered systems is known as the endocannabinoid system. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system as a result of millions of years of evolution.
In fact, it may be one of Mother Nature’s oldest evolutionary systems.
While scientists aren’t exactly sure why the endocannabinoid system (ECS) exists, they do know a little about how it operates.
When active, the ECS has regenerative effects on muscles, skin, and other organs throughout the body. Plus, the ECS heavily influences our sleep cycles.
Bodily systems are activated when the brain sends out signals to trigger hormone production. Once active, those systems do their work until the brain sends out enzymes to neutralize hormones and put that system to rest.
As you can imagine, a developing brain may not react well to the suppression of enzymes. Young brains are much more impressionable when it comes to being affected by certain chemicals.
As they are much smaller, the impact of other compounds is much more significant than on adult brains.
Possible Consequences of CBD Use While Pregnant
It’s hard to comprehend how much a fetal brain can be affected by a mild wellness supplement like CBD, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth gambling with your baby’s health.
CBD can have all kinds of strange effects on people who take it. Some have reported an increase in appetite, while others experience the opposite.
Some feel more energized while others can feel more relaxed—and whatever the mother experiences during pregnancy, the fetus responds to it.
For example, mothers who have high blood sugar during pregnancy often give birth to babies with low blood sugar, leading to a higher chance of seizures and other birth complications.
It’s easy to see how CBD use during pregnancy could lead to endocannabinoid deficiency in the baby later on.
Risks When Combined with Other Medication
As mentioned earlier, CBD works on the ECS by making it harder for the brain to send out enzymes.
It does this by targeting brain structures known as cytochromes. However, CBD isn’t the only substance that works on the brain through cytochromes—blood-thinning medications do, too.
If there is one predictable side effect of CBD, it’s when blood thinners are involved. Expectant mothers who need to take blood thinners should stay away from CBD at all costs.
When cytochromes are impaired, the medication doesn’t perform properly.
Along with potentially harming the mother through an incorrect release of medication, this impairment on the cytochrome could lead to a large portion of medication getting into the fetus’s system and causing long-term problems.
Again, CBD isn’t appropriate for pregnant mothers, but especially for those taking blood-thinning medications.
The Importance of Buying Quality Products
Pregnant or not, it’s essential to buy high-quality CBD products. Cheap CBD products don’t work as well, leading to larger serving amounts in hopes of the same effect.
In some cases, these products don’t even contain real CBD!
Expectant mothers who purchase low-quality CBD products could end up ingesting toxins or chemicals. Purchasing organically-sourced hemp ensures your produce is free of chemicals and toxins.
Other complications can occur when CBD contains stuff that shouldn’t be in any supplement, such as residual solvents, mycotoxins, and heavy metals.
Again though, if you’re pregnant, this is all the more reason to steer clear of CBD.
How Lab Reports Clear Up Confusion
All good CBD products should come with a lab report containing information about what’s inside.
Lab reports can give you an idea about how much cannabinoid content is in your CBD, but more importantly, they let you know about the presence of chemicals that shouldn’t be there.
Buying organic CBD solves many of these problems (though even some organic products aren’t perfect). However, non-organic supplements are usually grown with synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which aren’t good for you.
To sum everything up, pregnant mothers shouldn’t use CBD. It can have unforeseen consequences, and there’s no reason to gamble with a baby’s health.
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