This article was vetted for scientific accuracy by:
Adam Ravalia

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What Is CBD?

Before we get to CBD oil, it’s important to know what CBD is and what it does to the body.

CBD or cannabidiol is one of the many naturally occurring cannabinoids in hemp and marijuana plants. Unlike THC, the psychoactive compound that creates that “high” experienced by marijuana users, it isn’t likely to produce any psychoactive effects.

CBD is similar to endogenous cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, which are naturally produced by your body. CBD’s interaction with your endocannabinoid system allows it to produce therapeutic effects in part by modulating neuronal and immune cell function, both of which play key roles in pain.

Although there are a number of studies that suggest how CBD use can be beneficial for a wide range of health issues, there’s still a lack of solid proof in some cases.

That said, there is tons of anecdotal evidence, and some preliminary clinical evidence as well, for CBD’s efficacy in treating a number of different ailments and conditions – notably anxiety and inflammation, among others.

People react differently to CBD oil, as well. Some people experience relief while others don’t. Some people may need to take a stronger dose while others only need a little to experience relief. Genetically, some people are born with more endocannabinoid receptors than others, affecting the way they may react to CBD.

Furthermore, CBD oil and other CBD products aren’t currently regulated. That means it can be difficult for people to know what dose you should take to manage your health issues, or even if CBD is the right choice for you. For this reason, we always recommend speaking to a doctor before beginning a CBD regiment – especially if you are pregnant.

Can You Take CBD Oil During Pregnancy?

Can You Take CBD Oil During Pregnancy?

There’s no conclusive evidence that suggests how CBD can benefit or harm a pregnant woman. Moreover, there’s no concrete evidence that shows how CBD can affect an unborn child if their mother chose to take CBD while pregnant.

Although not clearly understood in its mechanism of action, CBD contains potent anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperalgesia, and analgesic qualities. CBD is being used by numerous people, including pregnant women who use CBD as an antiemetic.

There is no scientific evidence that tells whether it’s safe for a developing fetus or not.

Healthcare experts, however, aren’t willing to take the risk. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists doesn’t fully support the consumption of marijuana during pregnancy, even for therapeutic purposes. Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strongly advised against the use of CBD in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

One reason for these recommendations is the ability of THC to cross the placental barrier. THC is the compound that produces the psychoactive effects of marijuana. It can affect your baby’s brain development. It’s linked to stillbirth as well.

By now, you’re probably thinking: THC isn’t CBD.

However, CBD still has side effects, among them diarrhea and lethargy. If you are already dealing with the effects of pregnancy and the changes it causes your body, these side effects may be an undesirable addition. What’s more, many CBD products contain trace amounts of THC as well.

Considering all mentioned above, make sure to consult with your doctor before adding CBD and CBD products to your routine.

Which Is The Safest Way To Use CBD?

The most popular way of using CBD is taking it orally. You can buy CBD oil and put a few drops  under your tongue. Wait for about a minute before swallowing.

If you are pregnant, oral application is likely not the safest way to consume CBD oil.

Remember, as mentioned above, CBD has the ability to cross the placental barrier and affect fetal development. Instead of oral ingestion, you may want to consider applying CBD topically. You can get creams and lotions and apply the products to the affected areas.

Since they are only applied on the surface of your skin, the chances of CBD getting into your bloodstream isn’t that high. The effects are more localized.

Of course, topical application doesn’t work for some symptoms. Nausea, for example, won’t be relieved by applying a CBD product on your arms or legs.

If you decide to take CBD while pregnant, it’s imperative to talk to your doctor and ask for ways you can experience relief from those symptoms before trying anything yourself.

The Downsides of Using CBD Oil During Pregnancy

To date, no comprehensive research has been completed on healthy pregnant women and CBD products. The lack of solid research, however, doesn’t imply that there’s no risk in taking CBD oil while you’re pregnant.

In fact, there’s always a risk.

There are studies that show the effects of pregnant women consuming cannabis and cannabis products during pregnancy. Some of the effects observed included low birth weight, disruption in the fetal neural development, increased rate of premature birth, and shorter birth length.

Notably, these effects are associated with THC consumption and thus the same conclusions cannot be drawn about CBD and CBD oil.

Can You Take CBD While Breastfeeding?

Can You Take CBD While Breastfeeding?

Even if there are currently few studies highlighting the dangers or benefits of using CBD oil while breastfeeding, it’s still best if you avoid taking it.

There is some emerging evidence indicating some reduced growth and development in babies who have been exposed to cannabis via breastfeeding. However one challenge posed to these studies is that mothers who are moderate to heavy users typically use cannabis during both pregnancy and breastfeeding, making it difficult to assess the additive effect of using cannabis during breastfeeding.

A number of organizations have recommended, in absence of good data to support safety of cannabis use during pregnancy, that abstaining from any cannabis use during breastfeeding is  advisable.

Managing Pregnancy Symptoms: The Alternatives to CBD Oil

If the cascade of uncomfortable symptoms that come along with pregnancy are making your daily life difficult, turning to CBD oil may not be the best therapeutic alternative right now. Believe it or not, there are natural remedies that can help you experience relief without endangering your life or that of your baby.

For example, if you are struggling with nausea, you may need to eat smaller and more frequent snacks, rather than large meals. Make sure that your stomach doesn’t get completely empty because that’s the time you’re more likely to start feeling nauseous.

Try to keep plain crackers and soups in your kitchen. As much as possible, avoid spicy and greasy foods as they can seriously upset your stomach.

Ginger works well in managing nausea, too. You can take it as tea or as candies.

To manage insomnia, on the other hand, consider more traditional relaxation techniques like drinking a soothing herbal tea or meditating. Soaking in bubble baths or getting foot massages can also work like a charm in helping you get to sleep easier.

Try your best to avoid taking over-the-counter medications for insomnia. No matter how tired you feel, skip sleep aids if you don’t have your doctor’s approval.

Final Thoughts

Is CBD oil safe to take during pregnancy?

Well, it certainly comes with risks. And if you don’t want to endanger your baby’s life and yours, it’s best to wait until you’ve given birth and successfully finished the breastfeeding stage before you give it a try.

CBD oil isn’t the only solution you can try to manage nausea, sleepless nights, and anxiety during pregnancy. There’s a long list of natural remedies you can try to obtain relief.

Of course, as a pregnant woman, you shouldn’t test out remedies without consulting your doctor. If no natural remedies work, then you can ask your physician if there’s any medication you can safely take for your condition.