These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before use.
With CBD products all around us, women are wondering whether CBD could help them alleviate pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, discomfort, and insomnia.
Most people who take CBD do so hoping to alleviate their depression and anxiety, manage their pain, and help them lead happier lives. Could the same be true for pregnant women?
Because cannabis in general was forbidden for a long time, relatively little scientific research has been conducted until recently. Now that CBD has become legal and more light is shed on the potential of cannabis, more trials are underway.
Unfortunately, research on the effects of CBD on pregnant and breastfeeding women is still scant. There is anecdotal evidence from women who took CBD during their pregnancy, but FDA and physicians do not support the use of CBD during pregnancy because of the lack of evidence about its potential and risks.
What is CBD?
CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in Hemp. It is the most abundant cannabinoid and has attracted attention for its potential to help our body and mind with conditions as diverse as anxiety, depression, appetite, mood disorders, pain management, and inflammation.
CBD products in the US are produced from industrial Hemp, which must contain less than 0.3% of THC. THC is the other common cannabinoid, best known for its hallucinogenic and intoxicating effect. THC is still illegal at the federal level and categorized as a Schedule 1 drug, although some states have legalized its use for recreational purposes, medical ones, or both.
CBD's Effect on the Body
Our body is equipped with an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which functions with two cannabinoids and two receptors.
Our ECS is tasked with keeping our body in balance and making sure all organs are functioning properly and efficiently. When something goes wrong, our ECS sends its two cannabinoids, CB1 and CB2, to bind with their respective receptors and alert cells that there is a problem that needs fixing.
Research has shown that our ECS is involved in many bodily functions, including our appetite, mood, motor perception, reproduction, inflammation, pain management, temperature perception, and memory. Whenever one of these functions goes awry, our ECS alerts the human cannabinoids to start mending the problem.
CBD has been shown to be closely related to one of our own cannabinoids and appears to interact with our ECS. That is why researchers first theorized it may help with so many different ailments and conditions.
While scientists originally thought that CBD might increase the amount of cannabinoids in the body and interact with the cannabinoid receptors, further research suggests a different function. CBD appears to gently nudge the body to increase its own production of cannabinoids and make better use of them. In that sense, CBD has an indirect, yet potentially profound, effect on our ECS, helping it restore its own balance and improve its efficiency.
What Pregnancy Symptoms Could CBD Help with?
Many women suffer from a variety of unpleasant symptoms during their pregnancy.
Most women mention morning sickness and a general feeling of nausea. Some women also suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), which is a condition characterized by severe and constant vomiting. In some unfortunate cases, this lasts until the end of the pregnancy.
Many women also suffer from discomfort and pain. As a result, quite a few experience insomnia and problems with their sleep patterns.
The prospect of a new being coming to life can also stress mothers-to-be, making them feel tense, anxious, and even depressed.
CBD users often claim that all these symptoms could be alleviated with CBD, thus helping mothers feel better during their pregnancy.
But what about the fetus? Does CBD affect it and how?
What Do We Know About CBD During Pregnancy?
When discussing research on pregnancy, a crucial aspect to remember is that most of the research done involves cannabis with THC. Therefore, there is sparse research about the possibilities of Hemp Oil products that lack THC.
Clinical trials have shown that THC crosses the placenta and reaches the fetus. The brain and major organs are formed at very early stages and are highly susceptible to environmental factors and external substances. This is why doctors are strict about smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol during pregnancy. These are chemical substances that can affect the brain and physical development of the fetus.
Because the ECS is formed at an early stage, it is found even in fetuses. Any substance that interacts with the fetus’ ECS could affect it. It is possible that CBD could harm neuron development at this early stage and impact cell growth.
Evidence suggests that THC may negatively impact the size and weight of babies at birth. Further findings suggest that THC may also adversely affect the fetus’ brain development. THC use during pregnancy has been linked to impaired intelligence and slower emotional development in children.
What About Lactating Women?
Research suggests that cannabinoids cross into breast milk. Women who are breastfeeding and taking CBD at the same time should remember that CBD will transfer to breast milk. Again, we do not have concrete evidence about the effect of CBD on the newborn. This is precisely why the FDA and ob-gyns are extremely reluctant to approve the consumption of CBD while breastfeeding.
Again, it should be stressed that most of the research done to date has been on cannabis that contains THC. THC has several important side effects and can be addictive. The most common side effects are anxiety, psychosis, heart problems and irregularities, nausea, paranoia, and vomiting.
However, there is still very little research about the effects of THC-free products like Hemp Oil. With more research underway, we should have in the next years more definitive and clear answers regarding the use of CBD during pregnancy. Until then, the medical community is rightly cautious.
The Problem of the Unregulated CBD Market
Another important aspect of the CBD market is that it remains relatively unregulated.
Although CBD products are legally sold across all 50 states, there is no federal official body that oversees or tests these products. It is up to each manufacturer to test their product and control all the stages of production, from hemp growth to bottling.
This means that CBD products commonly found on shelves could include substances that are not properly tested or mentioned on the label. The FDA has not even issued any recommended daily allowance guidelines, which makes dosage complicated and inconsistent.
That is why it is crucial to purchase your Hemp Oil from trusted sources.
In studies, many CBD products turned out to be mislabeled when tested by labs. Several were found to contain THC even though they stated on the label they were THC-free. Others had different quantities of CBD than what the label claimed. And, amazingly enough, some were even found to be CBD-free!
While the latter only hurt your pocket, some of the products analyzed contained heavy metals and pesticides. Hemp is a bio-remediation plant whose roots have an uncanny ability to clean up soils from heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides. This is highly desirable when growers want to clean up soils and land but much less acceptable when this Hemp is going to be used in Hemp Oil.
With such an unmonitored market, finding and buying quality CBD products requires research at the best of times. But even with the most thorough exploration, women buying from unscrupulous manufacturers could inadvertently risk taking something that could harm their child.
Childbirth: Can CBD Help?
Childbirth can be painful. Women who choose a natural birth often ponder on the possibility of taking CBD to help with the discomfort and pain.
CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities. There is preliminary evidence that CBD could be beneficial for people suffering from chronic pain and arthritis.
However, there is no concrete scientific proof about the benefits and safety of CBD during childbirth.
Based on what we already know about CBD, it could be a very helpful natural remedy for alleviating pain and discomfort during childbirth. But until we know more, it may be best to choose other pain-relieving methods.
Trying to Get Pregnant: Get Rid of Your Anxiety
Trying to get pregnant can be stressful. Physicians have observed that the more a woman stresses, the less likely she is to get pregnant. Relaxing could greatly help in getting pregnant.
Many people take CBD for its perceived relaxing and calming properties. They find that CBD helps them slow down and find inner peace. Getting rid of your anxiety and stress about the possibility of a pregnancy could be exactly what you need to get pregnant.
However, there are no studies yet that explore any long-term effects on children conceived while their mothers consume CBD products. Studies in laboratory animals showed male reproductive toxicity, including in the male offspring of CBD-treated pregnant females.
These findings were only seen in animals, so it is yet unclear what they might mean for human patients and the impact CBD could have on men (or the male children of pregnant women) who take Hemp Oil. Could CBD negatively affect a man’s fertility? Further testing and evaluation are needed to better understand this potential risk.
CBD and Pregnancy: a Topic that Requires Further Research
Research into CBD is only now attracting the attention it deserves. There are so many different fields to explore: CBD for inflammation, chronic diseases, neurodegenerative conditions, and mood disorders to name but a few.
We also need to answer many questions before we can use CBD to fight specific diseases or conditions. What happens if you take CBD daily for sustained periods of time? Do the different methods of consumption affect this? What is the long-term effect of CBD on developing brains (such as on children who take CBD)? What are the effects of CBD on a developing fetus or breastfed newborn? How does CBD interact with herbs or medications?
Unfortunately, most of the scant research has so far focused on the effects of consuming THC during pregnancy. Results show that THC crosses into the placenta and could cause physical and emotional development issues.
As studies expand, there will be increasing interest in understanding how CBD can help with pregnancy. From vomiting to nausea, pain management, and anxiety, CBD might in the future provide welcome relief to expectant women.
While CBD could potentially alleviate several of the discomforts associated with pregnancy, there is still too little literature on the effects of CBD on pregnancy and whether it affects the fetus. The FDA is actively working to learn more about the safety of CBD and CBD products. Until we know more, it is safest for women to abstain from CBD during their pregnancy and when breastfeeding in case CBD negatively impacts the baby and its growth.
To ensure your safety, Synchronicity makes Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil by pressing whole hemp plants and infusing them with an MCT oil to maintain all the cannabinoid nutrients of the plant. Like CBD, our Hemp Oil comes in many forms, from oils to tinctures to topicals. Unlike CBD, it’s not made by using harsh CO2 extraction processes. So, in the end, you get a cleaner, purer, more potent product. Synchronicity—the Hemp Oil producers you can trust.