CBD & Pregnancy — What to Take & What to Expect
Pregnancy will prove to be one of the most delicate periods of your life. If you’ve had children before, you know what you’re in for, but if this is your first time, you might be curious about what is safe and what is not.
Let’s be clear from the very beginning — we agree with medical experts that there is no evidence using CBD while pregnant is safe or advisable. If you are currently using CBD and just discovered you are pregnant, you should stop using it now, but don’t leap to panicked conclusions about the status of your baby.
Learn more about what CBD is, how it might interact with your pregnant body, and when it will be safe to use this non-intoxicating hemp cannabinoid again.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is naturally found in the Cannabis sativa plant, and strains of hemp have recently been bred to contain high concentrations of CBD and low concentrations of THC. As a result, a vast legal CBD economy has emerged in the United States despite an ongoing lack of regulatory clarity.
Unlike THC, the primary component of conventional forms of cannabis, CBD does not get you high. Scientists have also been unable to identify any habit-forming properties of CBD, but all this doesn’t necessarily mean CBD is safe to take while pregnant.
Why might you take CBD while pregnant?
Either you’re already using CBD and you just became pregnant or you somehow got the idea that pregnancy was a good milestone at which to start ingesting hemp products. The internet is rife with rumor and superstition, so we wouldn’t blame you either way.
What we’re sure of is that you’ve come into the question of whether or not you should use CBD while pregnant with the best intentions. You just want what’s best for your baby — as any responsible parent would.
Is it safe to use CBD during pregnancy?
Whichever reason you’re taking CBD while pregnant, now is the perfect time to stop. We simply don’t know enough about CBD yet to be certain if it is safe for developing fetuses, and the benefits CBD provides to expecting mothers are unlikely to outweigh the inherent risks posed by any unknown.
The one exception is if your authorized medical provider recommended you take CBD even though you’re pregnant. Without a doctor’s recommendation, CBD use during pregnancy is both unreasonably risky and perfectly avoidable.
What does CBD do to babies?
That’s exactly the point — we don’t know. Certain cannabis compounds, including THC, appear to have the potential to be harmful to developing infants, leading to at least a reasonable degree of skepticism regarding the impact of other cannabinoids on fetal development.
Just to be clear, there’s no direct evidence that CBD harms developing children in utero. Even if it did, that wouldn’t necessarily be any indication CBD is harmful otherwise — developing babies are extremely delicate, and many substances that usually aren’t harmful can become so while pregnant.
Can CBD cause a false pregnancy test?
No, the hemp cannabinoid CBD is not capable of interfering with a pregnancy test in any way. When you hear about CBD products causing a “false positive,” what’s being talked about is a false positive for THC, not pregnancy. If you consume full-spectrum CBD products in high enough concentrations, it’s certainly possible to test positive for THC, but taking CBD has no potential to make you pregnant or make a pregnancy test think you might be.
Why you probably shouldn’t use CBD while pregnant
We can think of quite a few reasons you should avoid CBD while you have a baby in your belly. Let’s summarize:
- You should generally be very careful about what you consume while pregnant (even when it comes to food)
- Research indicates certain cannabis compounds could be harmful to developing babies
- We don’t know enough about CBD yet to determine one way or another whether this cannabinoid is safe to take while pregnant
That’s the long and short of the matter. If you want our honest opinion, moderate CBD use while pregnant is extremely unlikely to harm your baby, but we are not in the business of giving medical advice. What you consume while you are pregnant is between you and your doctor, and it’s safe to assume any competent physician would land on the most conservative side of this particular issue.
What should you take during pregnancy?
Even though you should probably skip the CBD while you have a baby inside you, there are plenty of other things you can — and should — consume while pregnant. Let’s run down the list:
- Be extra-diligent with your daily hydration
- Cut processed foods, move toward a raw diet
- Consume plenty of essential vitamins and minerals
- Prefer whole food sources of micronutrients instead of prenatal supplements, which are highly processed and contain additives
Just to be on the safe side, let’s list things you shouldn’t take while pregnant as well:
- Any drugs (licit or illicit) aside from those prescribed by your doctor
- Most OTC drugs and medications
- Certain herbal remedies & wellness products (check label)
- Nicotine products
- Cannabis products
- Anything else that could interfere with your baby’s delicate development
When is it safe to use CBD?
Experts differ regarding at which point after your baby has been born it is safe to start consuming substances that are dangerous while pregnant. If you are breastfeeding, it may be prudent to wait until breast-feeding has naturally concluded before you start taking CBD or other hemp or cannabis products again.
Mothers who are not breastfeeding may be able to consume CBD immediately after childbirth, but remember that the latest science indicates breastfeeding is essential to childhood development when possible.
CBD does not interfere with your ability to focus. It can make you sleepy, though, so new parents getting 3-4 hours of sleep per night may want to proceed cautiously to avoid (entirely situationally based) hemp-induced narcolepsy. You won’t be accused of “Stoned Parenting” if you use CBD to unwind once your tiny blessing has finally decided to bless itself to sleep.
Used correctly, CBD has the potential to make the early years of parenting both less stressful and more rewarding. The more you can be in the moment, the more you can truly experience the power of watching over a new life. Use CBD to let it all go every once in a while and enjoy these stressful, fleeting, and beautiful years while they last.