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Is CBD Oil Safe To Use During Pregnancy?

When a woman becomes pregnant, everything she comes into contact with can potentially affect her fetus. So, is it okay to take CBD while pregnant?

Alyssha Bal
Aug 16, 2018 · 6 min read

It is often said that one can never be too careful when pregnant. Perhaps this is the major driving force behind the controversy surrounding the use of CBD during pregnancy. While pregnancy is one of the most remarkable experiences in a woman’s lifetime, it comes accompanied by numerous uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms are both physical and psychological, ranging from nausea, migraines, anxiety and even depression.

Can Expecting Mothers Use Cannabis?

Many people often confuse the marijuana and hemp plants. While it is a fact that both plants come from the cannabis family, they do not produce the same effects after consumed. Marijuana plants produce more THC (the component which causes psychoactive effects). In place of THC, the hemp plant has more concentration of cannabinoids that are very helpful to the functioning of the body. Studies have shown that CBD present in the hemp plant is capable of healing many diseases including depression.

The hemp plant contains no more than 0.3% THC. This makes it almost impossible to feel high from consuming hemp. This is the reason hemp is legal in most countries and safe for elderly people, children, and even pets. Uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy can be treated with CBD. Unfortunately, though most people still have their reservations about it.

These reservations may be well grounded. As exciting and beautiful a pregnancy can be, it is also a really vulnerable time both the mother and the unborn child. Most of the people who are against the use of CBD during pregnancy argue that it is too risky. They often say that its benefits have not even been studied extensively yet. On the other hand, CBD users argue that CBD has been used as a safe alternative for pain, anxiety, and depression. They argue that the fact that it is natural with fewer risks than most prescription medications makes it ideal for pregnant women.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has explicitly recommended the discontinuation of Marijuana use in pregnant women and lactating mothers. The main reason behind this recommendation would perhaps be the fact that recent studies have shown that Marijuana adversely affects the endocannabinoid system, which is the system responsible for the creation of neurons and building brain pathways in the fetus’s brain. The medical director for the Comprehensive Family Care Centre at the Montefiore Health System, Dr. Talitha L. Burney admits that while she does recognize the health benefits of CBD, even in pregnant women, the lack of government regulation is a key factor to why ACOG does not recommend its use. With no standardized dosages or formulations in existence, CBD is seen as a rather huge risk to take, she claims.

The Need to Change the Negative Stigma

There definitely is a need to change society’s perception of Cannabis. You may or may not know this, but Cannabis has two main components, each of which plays very different roles. THC, (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most famous of these. It’s the most well-known component because of its psychoactive effects. On the other hand, CBD (Cannabinol) offers a vast array of medicinal and therapeutic benefits, without getting a user high. While it is important that people understand the negative effects of THC, it is wrong to bundle all Cannabis products as being harmful. If this continues to happen, people will, unfortunately, miss out on the numerous health benefits that CBD has to offer.

CBD Is Safe To Use During Pregnancy

Dr. Stuart Titus, a leading researcher and also president of Medical Marijuana, Inc. explains that the safety of CBD can only be determined by taking a closer look at the endocannabinoid system and how it reacts to external cannabinoids. Dr. Titus states that most people, including pregnant women, are cannabinoid deficient, which is a serious health defect that could lead to early onset dementia, chronic fatigue, and even fibromyalgia. Based on this logic, it is clear that a cannabinoid-rich diet would be beneficial for both the mother and the unborn child.

A study shows that the psychoactive nature of THC has the ability to interfere with the endocannabinoid system, and may consequently lead to brain defects in unborn children as it interrupts the formation of neuronal networks.

However, CBD functions in a totally different manner from THC. Both CBD and THC work with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are either activated by natural cannabinoids found in the body or by external cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. THC activates these receptors by binding to them, while CBD works by stimulating the natural cannabinoids found in the body, causing them to consequently activate the receptors. CBD produces no psychoactive effects because it does not bind to these receptors, unlike THC.

How CBD can be Beneficial to Expecting Mothers

A study conducted in 2010 revealed that CBD has the ability to lessen contractions. The study also referred to earlier research showing that THC and natural occurring cannabinoids such as anandamide had similar effects on contractions.

Basically, CBD has the same effect as oxytocin antagonist drugs such as Atosiban, which is used to reduce/stop preterm contractions in pregnant mothers.

Clinical Studies have proven that CBD considerably reduces nausea and vomiting, both of which are common symptoms in pregnant women.

CBD is also known for its anxiolytic and analgesic properties, both of which can help pregnant women combat anxiety and pain during their pregnancy.

Additionally, CBD has been known to counteract some of the harmful effects of THC. Pregnant mothers who have been on THC may, therefore, use CBD to ward off the harmful effects of THC.

The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Pregnancy

Put simply, the Endocannabinoid system is responsible for the creation of neurons and building brain pathways in the fetus’s brain. Despite the important role that endocannabinoid system from embryonic stages to post-birth, research has not successfully identified a single negative in terms of birth outcome. Decades of research have revealed no association between cannabis use during pregnancy and premature birth, miscarriage, or major physical abnormalities.

How can I use CBD During Pregnancy?

Smoking or using vaporizing flowers are not the best ways to ingest CBD, as it can have traces of THC or other harmful substances that could affect your unborn child.

The best and safest way to take CBD is through 100% CBD oil, that comes with a dropper or in the form of a paste, capsules & lotions. Pregnant women with sore bodies and muscles can simply apply CBD creams or oils on affected areas for relief. See our post on how to take CBD oil and our dosage guide.

What is Research Saying About CBD and Pregnancy?

Studies on the use of CBD during pregnancy are far and few between. However, there are several promising ones. One such study has shown that CBD can be beneficial in reducing/stopping preterm contractions in expecting mums.

In 2016, Dr. Shayna Conna conducted several studies aimed at identifying whether cannabis exposure may result in postnatal development complications in babies. Surprisingly, Dr.Shayna and her team found that cannabis, when used in isolation, led to no negative birth complications or development issues.

Additionally, in the 1980s, two longitudinal studies conducted by Dr. Melanie Dreher revealed no significant difference between children who had been exposed to cannabis while in the womb tested at the age of 3 days and later on at the age of 5 years. In some tests, the children who had been exposed to cannabis even performed better than those who hadn’t. This goes to prove that even the existing studies on this matter are rather contradictory.

Dr. Stuart Titus, the president of Medical Marijuana, Inc and an expansive researcher in this field says that he has observed women who have used CBD oil during pregnancy, and contrary to popular opinion, their children have really thrived. While there seems to be no clinical research data on CBD oil use during pregnancy, expectant women should not feel hesitant to explore the numerous benefits that this product has to offer.


The information made available in this article is based on studies and research as well as experiences from CBD users.

For a medical condition always consult with a healthcare professional before consuming CBD. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, ailment or skin condition. Any information contained in or made available on our website is not intended to be used as, or be a substitute for, healthcare advice or information from licensed healthcare practitioners. Please consult a licensed healthcare practitioner regarding any potential interactions or complications before using our products.

Originally published at on August 16, 2018.


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