We understand that it is natural for expecting mothers to become very cautious about anything they consume that could have a negative effect on the growth of the fetus. CBD has become an increasingly popular addition to a more holistic approach to wellness to help with relief from pain, insomnia and nausea to name a few; all symptoms that can be experienced during pregnancy. However, as it stems from the cannabis plant, is it safe for pregnant women to use?
Every woman’s experience of pregnancy is very different. Some sail through with little to no symptoms while some have an extremely testing nine months. CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, a system that helps to promote homeostasis in the body by regulating the nervous system’s response to stress, sleep and metabolism as well as sending signals to the brain to help manage pain, inflammation and anxiety.
There is research that shows that high levels of THC consumed while pregnant reaches the fetus and can disrupt normal brain development and increase the risk of the fetus being under a healthy weight. However, there is a lack of conclusive data to determine the effects of CBD hemp oil on a fetus.
Women’s health expert, Joanna Weaver-Pélissier, from Be Cann, a diversified French holding company that creates, develops and invests in companies exploiting the many qualities and benefits of hemp, across Europe says that when it comes to CBD:
“The TDLo (lowest published toxic dose) is 5.63 mg/kg of body weight. So say for a 50kg woman, up to 250mg daily would not have any toxic effects on her. That said, the amount of CBD reaching the fetus is really unknown, as are the effects of any amount of CBD on the fetus. Professionally speaking, we could not recommend CBD for pregnant women.”
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recently announced that they advise those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any medication not to consume CBD. Professor Alan Boobis, chairman of the Committee on Toxicity which advises the FSA and Department of Health, said that while the risk from CBD was not certain, the agency’s approach was a “sensible and pragmatic” one. He said:
“My committee has reviewed the evidence on CBD food products and found evidence there are potential adverse health effects from the consumption of these products. We are particularly concerned about pregnant or breastfeeding women and people on medication.”
“We don’t know enough to be sure about such a risk but I am pleased with the sensible and pragmatic approach the FSA is taking. The committee will continue to keep these products under review in the months ahead”.
This shows that the lack of research conducted on the effects of CBD on pregnant women is not necessarily enough to conclude that there is risk involved, however, it may be best to play it safe.
There is also the risk that if you do not buy from trusted sources, then there is the possibility that products labelled as ‘pure’ CBD may have been contaminated with THC, pesticides, bacteria and toxic metal, all substances that could be extremely harmful to a growing baby.
While we would love to be able to give you a straightforward answer, unfortunately, the lack of studies means that this is not possible. We strongly advise speaking with your doctor before using CBD while you are pregnant, as they will best inform you whether it will be safe for you to do so and they will also be able to talk you through all of the side effects oil and potential risks of CBD to both you and your baby.
Disclaimer: While a Women’s health expert, it should be noted that Joanna Weaver-Pélissier did not receive personal medical training, nor is a medical doctor.