What is CBD?
CBD products are suddenly everywhere! Many people are jumping on board, touting its health benefits, and recommending it for everything from arthritis, to depression, to pregnancy. CBD is different from marijuana because it does not contain psychoactive compounds and is not habit-forming. CBD stands for cannabidiol and is extracted from hemp. It does not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which its supporters claim makes it safer and healthier than straight-up marijuana. The benefits of CBD are said to be: anti-inflammatory, decreased anxiety, improved sleep, and relief of nausea. It sounds like a perfect remedy for the aches and pains of pregnancy, right? But is CBD safe for pregnancy?
Is it Safe?
Research on CBD is in the beginning stages and not much is known about its effects on pregnancy or breastfeeding. The research that has been done so far suggests that exposure to cannabis can negatively interfere with the development of the fetal nervous system. Other research studies have clearly demonstrated that cannabis increases the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. All these research studies, however, have been based on the use of marijuana (which contains THC), and not CBD. The conclusions based on these research methods may also be impossible to separate from marijuana use and other lifestyle factors such as income level, education, other drug use, and nutritional status. Many doctors and researchers that are more familiar and accustomed to seeing CBD or cannabis use during pregnancy report it has a very individualized effect.
What’s the Conclusion?
While research has clearly pointed to adverse fetal outcomes with the consumption of THC from marijuana, it’s unclear if CBD has the same effects. As more interest grows around the use of CBD, more research will become available as to its safety. The question remains whether CBD is safe for pregnancy. In the meantime, ask your doctor first before consuming or experimenting with CBD while pregnant.
Written by: Leah K., Dietetic Intern
Edited by: Ryann Kipping, RDN, CLEC