Best CBD Oil For Morning Sickness

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Research suggests that CBD could relieve nausea, but is it effective and safe for morning sickness? Here's our complete guide. Aside from medications, CBD oil is also recommended to give remedy to morning sickness. Find out how it works for this condition. CBD Oil and Pregnancy: Safety & Efficacy For Maternity Pregnancy can be both a beautiful and uncomfortable experience. Many expecting mothers experience cramping, insomnia, anxiety, morning

Is CBD Oil Good for Morning Sickness? [Is It Safe?]

Morning sickness has become one of the most dreaded side effects of pregnancy. It’s unpredictability, yet constant prevalence, has led many women to seek relief from its discomfort. But most importantly, every expectant mother’s first concern is for the safety and wellbeing of their unborn child.

So, is CBD oil a viable option for easing morning sickness symptoms? And what are the risks associated with using it? Find out in this overview.

What Is Morning Sickness?

According to recent studies, between 70 – 80% of women experience morning sickness during pregnancy. This equates to between 4,000,000 and 350,000 women each year in Canada and the United States alone. So it’s surprising that its cause still remains contentious within the medical community.

Many medical professionals believe that morning sickness is the body’s reaction to excess amounts of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). During the first trimester of pregnancy, the placenta forms and produces hCG in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy. However, by doing so, hCG also stimulates the maternal ovaries to secrete estrogen. And it is this which can cause feelings of nausea.

Morning sickness typically occurs from the 6th week of pregnancy until the 12th week, when high levels of hCG are produced in the body. Despite the name, morning sickness has no temporal preference and can actually happen during any time of the day.

Morning Sickness Symptoms

For most pregnant women, morning sickness can be described as feelings of nausea, which may or may not result in physical vomiting. However, other less-known symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea

What’s most curious about morning sickness is that women can develop triggers to these symptoms. From smelling cat food to the sound of traffic, these triggers can be unusual and unique. Some of the most common triggers include;

  • Spicy foods
  • Variations in heat
  • Particular smells
  • Physical and mental fatigue
  • Vitamin or mineral deficiencies

Many of these factors are impossible to avoid in day to day life. In addition, lots of women experience no triggers at all, making morning sickness feel largely uncontrollable.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Symptoms

In worst-case scenarios, pregnant women can experience an extreme form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Pregnant women with HG may find themselves experiencing severe symptoms of morning sickness. For instance, they might feel dizzy, confused, and lightheaded. Other symptoms may include:

Similar to morning sickness, many studies highlight that a rapid increase in the hormone hCG contributes to HG. Factors such as estrogen levels and progesterone early in pregnancy may also contribute to the condition. However, much like morning sickness, the exact cause remains ambiguous.

Severe HG may result in hospitalization. So, individuals experiencing any extreme morning sickness symptoms should visit a doctor immediately.

Traditional Remedies for Morning Sickness

Unfortunately, there are no steadfast remedies for combating morning sickness. This is mostly due to differing hormone levels, symptoms, and triggers in pregnant women. However, there are a variety of lifestyle changes pregnant women often use to dispel symptoms. These include:

  • Avoid nausea triggers
  • Eat food high in carbohydrates and low in fat
  • Get lots of rest
  • Stay hydrated
  • Anti-sickness medicine (an antiemetic)
  • Ginger

It’s worth noting that antiemetic or ginger supplements should always come at the recommendation of a doctor.

With so many suggested remedies, naturally, CBD has become a discussed alternative. But how could it help?

Could CBD Be Beneficial for Morning Sickness?

Despite the long list of symptoms associated with morning sickness, the most prevalent continues to be nausea. It’s common for pregnant women to be prescribed medication such as prochlorperazine to combat this. However, prochlorperazine can result in its own list of symptoms, which may include anxiety and insomnia.

Could CBD be an alternative? Well, cannabidiol has long been considered as a possible antiemetic. Some studies have found that nausea and vomiting can be suppressed through the manipulation of the endocannabinoid system. This biological system is made up of cannabinoid receptors that interact with different chemical compounds, including CBD. One group of receptors, in the somatodendritic region, may be the key to minimizing feels of nausea.

There’s no denying that experiencing severe morning sickness symptoms can induce a lot of stress for an expecting mother. This is never a good combination. However, some medical research demonstrates CBD decreasing levels of anxiety.

Studies like this one show a promising correlation between CBD and anxiety disorders, not just by improving short-term anti-compulsive actions but long-term anxiogenic effects of stress. This could be due to cannabidiol preventing the overstimulation of receptors within the endocannabinoid system. However, this is still based on theory.

CBD seems like it could be beneficial for many morning sickness symptoms. But it’s worth noting that there are very few studies that look at the relationship between the two directly.

Is It Safe to Use CBD Oil for Morning Sickness?

To make a long answer short, nobody knows yet. While CBD is considered a safe and effective remedy for many conditions and symptoms, it remains a contentious choice for pregnant women. You’ll find that many medical professionals, including physicians and gynecologists, will advise against using CBD. This is in large due to a lack of research, rather than any known dangers.

You may also find a conservative approach from CBD distributors themselves, with pregnancy warnings on oil and topical labels. If you do want to use CBD, it’s essential to consider where you are buying it. Whether you want oils or topicals, always buy from a transparent and trusted brand. Similarly, it’s a good idea for you to check full ingredient lists before purchasing a product, to ensure you aren’t consuming any harmful or unnecessary chemicals.

Final Thoughts on CBD Oil and Morning Sickness

While often a happy process, pregnancy can create a lot of physical and emotional stress for an expecting mother. And morning sickness is just one example of this.

In theory, CBD could be used as an antiemetic to prevent or subdue morning sickness symptoms, specifically nausea. However, there is simply not enough long-term data to determine accurate benefits and risks. Understandably medical professionals are taking a strict stance on CBD, especially with an unborn life involved.

If you remain curious about using CBD while pregnant, it’s essential to consult with your physician or doctor first.

CBD Oil for Morning Sickness: Is It Safe & Effective?

Are you pregnant and find yourself throwing up every morning?

You might be going through some classic morning sickness.

This condition makes a pregnant woman feel sick and uncomfortable. There are different remedies recommended for treating morning sickness during pregnancy, and CBD oil is one of them.

So, how can you use CBD oil to relieve morning sickness?

Follow me in this article to find out.

What Exactly is Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness is a condition affecting pregnant women, where nausea and vomiting occur.

It usually happens during the first trimester of pregnancy, but it can also continue throughout the whole term.

Women who go through this condition may experience different symptoms that can affect their daily productivity.

You know you are having morning sickness when you vomit within an hour of waking up, have nausea and vomiting for more than three days a week, cannot keep any food or liquids down, and experience weight loss.

Fortunately, you can use natural remedies like CBD oil to make this period less pesky.

But before I elaborate on this, let’s shed more light on the potential triggers of morning sickness.

Common Causes of Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is associated with a wide range of changes that occur throughout a woman’s body during pregnancy. Common causes of this condition include:

Hormonal Changes

Some hormones, such as estrogen, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), and progesterone trigger nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. These hormones increase during the first trimester and may contribute to morning sickness.

Food Cravings and Aversions

Another common trigger for morning sickness is food cravings or aversions. When you are pregnant, your sense of smell and taste becomes more sensitive. You might start to dislike certain smells or foods that you used to like before you got pregnant.

The Smell and Taste of Certain Foods

Foods that have strong smells or tastes can trigger morning sickness. This includes foods like seafood, meat, vegetables, and aromatic spices.

Stress

Stress can also trigger morning sickness. When you’re stressed, it can increase the production of certain hormones that can signal nausea and vomiting.

Symptoms of Morning Sickness

As mentioned, nausea and vomiting are the two most common symptoms. Other signs of morning sickness include:

  • Having a metallic taste in the mouth. Especially when the stomach is empty.
  • Feeling bloated. This can be due to the accumulation of gas in the intestines.
  • Hunger and cravings for specific foods. Some women crave salty or sweet food, while others develop an aversion to certain types of food.
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness. This may be caused by the lack of nutrients and minerals in the body, which can lead to dehydration.
  • Fatigue. It’s quite common during pregnancy due to the hormonal changes that occur. Fatigue can also be a symptom of morning sickness because it makes you feel weak and exhausted after vomiting or having nausea.
  • Acidic feeling in the stomach. Caused by the stomach acids that come up to the throat.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Symptoms

A small percentage of pregnant women will experience more severe symptoms of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). This condition involves extreme nausea and vomiting, which can lead to weight loss, dehydration, and nutrient deficiencies. Some signs that you might be experiencing HG are:

  • Vomiting more than three times a day. This can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous for both the mother and baby.
  • Weight loss. If you’re losing weight while pregnant, it could be due to HG. This is serious and should be treated immediately.
  • Not being able to keep down liquids or food. If you’re vomiting so much that you can’t keep anything down, this is a sign of HG and should be treated right away.
  • Low urine output. Frequent urination causes dehydration. It also means that your body isn’t getting enough fluid from what you are drinking.
  • Feeling faint or dizzy. This is due to the lack of nutrients in your body because they are being expelled through vomiting. It can also cause you to feel weak and tired.
  • Needing medication to stop vomiting. If you’re not able to keep any food or liquids down, your doctor might prescribe medication to stop the vomiting.
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Traditional Remedies and Treatments for Morning Sickness

Mild to moderate morning sickness may not require medical attention. Many pregnant women who struggle with this problem use natural remedies — and with a decent success rate.

Here’s how you can leverage the natural ingredients to relieve morning sickness:

Use Ginger

Ginger has been used in Asia for many centuries as a treatment for various types of sickness due to its antiemetic properties (1). You can drink ginger tea, chew on fresh ginger slices, or take ginger supplements.

Acupressure

This is an ancient Chinese practice that uses pressure to specific points in the body to relieve pain and other symptoms. It can be effective for morning sickness due to its ability to regulate neural communication through the said pressure (2).

Avoid Smells that Trigger Nausea

If certain smells make you feel nauseous, try to avoid them. This may not be possible at all times, but try to minimize the exposure whenever possible.

Hydrate Yourself

Vomiting deprives you of fluids, so this point is paramount if you don’t want to suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Even if you don’t feel sick at a particular time, make sure to drink plenty of water. It’s just good for your body — and the baby.

Can CBD Oil Be a Remedy With Morning Sickness?

There is some anecdotal evidence that suggests CBD oil can help with morning sickness. However, we don’t have enough research and significant scientific proof yet to support this claim. CBD oil is known to have anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties, so it might be beneficial for pregnant women who are experiencing morning sickness.

CBD’s anti-nausea and anti-vomiting properties result from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system and serotonin receptors. Scientists have found that cannabinoids and these receptors can modulate brain activity in the areas responsible for sensations of nausea (3).

Why People Are Turning to CBD for Morning Sickness

There are many traditional remedies for morning sickness. Some of them can be effective while others may not work at all. Since CBD oil is known to have anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties, people believe that it could help with morning sickness symptoms.

Aside from this, taking CBD oil is safe and non-addictive, so it’s a better option compared to traditional medications that are known for their dangerous side effects. That being said, always consult your OB-Gyne first before taking CBD oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Is CBD Safe for Morning Sickness?

CBD has a very good safety profile. Humans tolerate doses as high as 1,500 mg administered daily for several weeks without any dangerous side effects (4).

However, CBD can cause a few mild reactions if you take too much at a time, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Changes in appetite
  • Diarrhea

CBD also interacts with a lot of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications (5). If you’re taking any medication for your morning sickness, tell your doctor about it so that you can gauge the timing and avoid interactions.

CBD vs THC: Which One Is Better and Safer for Morning Sickness?

CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the many active ingredients in cannabis plants. It has no psychoactive effects and doesn’t make you feel “high” like marijuana does.

On the other hand, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a naturally occurring compound found in marijuana that gives you a feeling of being high. Both CBD and THC are approved to treat certain medical conditions, but there is still no evidence that they can be used for morning sickness during pregnancy.

Speaking about safety, CBD is a better option for pregnant women as it is non-addictive, non-psychoactive, and doesn’t give severe side effects. The effects of THC might not be a safe option for pregnant women as there’s not enough research to recommend it as an alternative treatment. Besides, pregnant women should avoid all intoxicating substances while they’re carrying a child.

CBD Dosage: How Much Should You Take for Morning Sickness

CBD dosage doesn’t follow a one-size-fits-all idea. Doses can vary from one person to another. Some people can feel effects on the lowest dose while others need higher amounts of CBD before they can feel the results. Women who experience morning sickness can take a low dose of 1 to 5mg for every 10 pounds. Monitor the effects and determine if there is a need for an increase or decrease in dosage.

How to Take CBD for Morning Sickness

There are a few ways to take CBD for morning sickness:

  • Capsule – You can buy CBD capsules from online or storefront retailers. They’re easy to take and most capsules come in small sizes, making it easier to swallow without having any chalky taste. A lot of women prefer taking CBD oil capsules because they don’t have a strong taste.
  • Tinctures – CBD oil tinctures are liquid forms of CBD that you can take sublingually (under the tongue) using a dropper. It’s usually the optimal way to take CBD for morning sickness, but it does have a bitter taste. You can also add it into food or drinks, but remember that doing so will delay its onset and compromise absorption.
  • Vape oil – CBD vape oils are the fastest way to experience the therapeutic effects of CBD for morning sickness. You can also take CBD via vaping if you don’t like the earthy taste of CBD oil. Vapes have pleasant flavors and aromas because they feature a CBD distillate and terpenes without the waxes that occur in raw CBD extracts.
  • Gummies – If you’re looking for something that tastes like candy, then gummies are the best option. CBD-rich candy and gummies come in different flavors and colors so expect a kid-friendly treat.

Another way of using Hemp is applying CBD cream to deal with pregnancy dilemmas but either way, you can choose the method that appeals the most to you. You’re already going through a lot of discomfort from your morning sickness, so your choice of CBD intake should be something that you find tasty and hassle-free.

Things to Consider when Buying CBD Oil for Morning Sickness

When buying CBD oil, you should make sure that you are getting the best possible choice to avoid below-par quality products that can cause negative effects on you or your baby. Keep these things in mind when shopping for CBD oil products to relieve morning sickness:

  • Quality – Make sure the CBD oil you choose is of good quality. A reputable brand will be transparent about its products, including how they are grown and extracted. They’ll also provide laboratory results that show levels of CBD and THC in addition to other cannabinoids. You can also verify the product’s purity by checking its label, where it should clearly show that CBD content is free from synthetics and chemicals.
  • Reliability – Only purchase from established companies that offer high-quality products. If you want to avoid scams, choose a brand that focuses strictly on CBD oils. You can also check online reviews and testimonials for a manufacturer’s reputation and dependability.
  • Dosage – Choose a product that you think will be effective based on your specific needs without going beyond the recommended dosage of CBD oil. This will make your supplementation cost-effective
  • Ingredients – Some CBD oils include other supportive ingredients that may be useful in treating morning sickness. That being said, make sure that your product doesn’t contain any potentially dangerous ingredients. If you have allergies, double-check the list of ingredients to confirm your product doesn’t contain any allergens.
  • Cost – CBD oils are usually more expensive than conventional health supplements due to high production costs influenced by expensive extraction technology and laboratory testing. If you see a product that looks suspiciously cheap for the promised quality, think twice before giving such vendors your money; no company will sell CBD oil at a loss, so if your manufacturer offers such cheap CBD oils, some corners must’ve been cut on the way.
  • Third-party Testing – the CBD market lacks regulation regarding product potency and purity, so third-party testing ensures that you’re getting exactly what you’ve paid for. With a legitimate certificate of analysis (CoA), there’s no room for fluff. You can see how much CBD is in the bottle, what other cannabinoids and terpenes have been included, and whether the product is free from pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents.

Key Takeaways on Using CBD to Deal with Morning Sickness

CBD oil is a novel option for morning sickness. Although it is anti-nausea and anti-vomiting benefits are quite well-documented, we still don’t know how it affects pregnant women and their children.

Therefore, if you want to use CBD oil to naturally relieve the symptoms of your morning sickness, consult your gynecologist to receive professional advice. Just make sure that your doctor knows what the endocannabinoid system is because it’s essential for weighing the benefits and risks of using CBD to target this condition.

Lastly, since pregnancy is a very sensitive period, pay attention to the quality of your CBD oil. There are a lot of mislabeled and contaminated products out there, so research is paramount if you want to reap the benefits without putting your health at risk.

Sources:

  1. Viljoen, E., Visser, J., Koen, N., & Musekiwa, A. (2014). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting. Nutrition Journal, 13, 20. [1]
  2. Dibble, S. L., Chapman, J., Mack, K. A., & Shih, A. S. (2000). Acupressure for nausea: results of a pilot study. Oncology nursing forum, 27(1), 41–47. [2]
  3. Parker, L. A., Rock, E. M., & Limebeer, C. L. (2011). Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1411–1422. [3]
  4. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139–154. [4]
  5. Brown, J. D., & Winterstein, A. G. (2019). Potential Adverse Drug Events and Drug-Drug Interactions with Medical and Consumer Cannabidiol (CBD) Use. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(7), 989. [5]
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Livvy Ashton

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.

CBD Oil and Pregnancy: Safety & Efficacy For Maternity

Pregnancy can be both a beautiful and uncomfortable experience. Many expecting mothers experience cramping, insomnia, anxiety, morning sickness, and many more symptoms throughout the course of their pregnancy.

One of the newer and more exciting health supplements to hit the market recently that’s been shown to support many of these symptoms is CBD Oil. This oil is made from one of the active compounds in the hemp plant known as cannabidiol — CBD.

But exactly what is CBD oil? How do you take it, and what effects can it have on your pregnancy? Read on to learn everything you need to know about taking CBD oil during pregnancy.

What is CBD Oil and Is It Safe During Pregnancy?

CBD stands for cannabidiol — one of over 400 different compounds found in the cannabis plant. The chemical structure of CBD is unique in that it closely resembles some of the hormones produced by our body known as the endocannabinoids.

The similarities in the structure of CBD to these hormones allow CBD to interact with the endocannabinoid system — made up of a series of receptors around the human body. This system has many uses but the most important is its role in regulating homeostasis (balance).

This ability to interact with regulatory systems like the endocannabinoid system is what gives CBD so many health benefits. Instead of working through just one organ, it’s able to interact with organs all around the body.

CBD has been shown to support muscle relaxation (such as cramping or muscle injuries) [4], boost immune function [5], reduce inflammation [6], block excessive pain transmission from reaching the brain [7], and regulate the nausea center in the brain to fight morning sickness and other forms of nausea or vomiting [3].

You can find CBD in many different forms, including capsules, edibles, and oils. Out of all the different types of CBD products, CBD oils are the most popular. They’re easy to use, the dose can be tailored to match your specific needs, and they have a long shelf life.

What’s the Difference Between CBD & THC?

CBD and THC are the two most common compounds in the cannabis plant. Both compounds are similar in structure — they even have the same molecular structure: 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms.

Although similar in structure, CBD and THC each have a very different effect on the body.

THC is the main psychoactive compound in the marijuana plant — it’s what produces the high associated with marijuana use. It works by stimulating the endocannabinoid receptors in the body, activating the release of serotonin, and other neurotransmitters.

CBD, on the other hand, is completely non-psychoactive. It doesn’t activate the endocannabinoid receptors directly, and will instead work indirectly by slowing the breakdown of our naturally occurring endocannabinoids.

It also interacts with other receptors in the body associated with inflammation and the transmission of pain in the spinal cord. Many of the medicinal effects associated with cannabis owe these benefits to the CBD content.

In basic terms — THC makes you high, CBD makes you feel better.

All cannabis plants manufacture both CBD and THC — however, depending on the type of cannabis, the ratios can be radically different. There are big differences between hemp and marijuana plants where CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids are extracted.

Hemp plants, for example, produce almost no THC but will contain high levels of CBD instead.

Marijuana plants (the type people smoke to get high), are the opposite, producing primarily the psychoactive cannabinoid THC and lower levels of CBD.

For the context of this article, the CBD oils we’re talking about are all made from the hemp plant — not marijuana.

Why Are Pregnant Women Taking CBD Oil?

Pregnancy, in all its beauty, places a lot of strain on the body. There are a lot of side-effects pregnant women may experience that can impact daily life — some more severe than others.

For example, a common condition a large number of women experience during pregnancy is hyperemesis gravidarum — excessive morning sickness.

This condition can be debilitating, making it nearly impossible to leave the house when it’s at its worst. Additionally, frequent vomiting can easily result in dehydration — which is dangerous for both the mother and baby.

There are medications available for this condition, but most of them come with their own set of negative side-effects.

One such medication doctors frequently prescribe is called Prochlorperazine. This medication stops the feeling of nausea by acting directly on the nausea center of the brain. The problem is that it also causes side-effects such as insomnia, dizziness, blurred vision, and anxiety. It merely shifts the problem from nausea to something else.

CBD is becoming one of the most popular alternatives to medications like this for expectant mothers. It offers many of the same benefits of reducing nausea symptoms — without the negative side effects.

In fact, CBD actually addresses many of the side-effects anti-nausea medications like Prochlorperazine produce — including anxiety and insomnia.

This is only one example, but there are a number of different reasons why pregnant women are seeking out CBD-infused products to support various symptoms throughout the course of their pregnancy.

The most common reasons pregnant women may want to consider using CBD supplements:

  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Cramping
  • Sleeping problems and insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disorders

Are Cannabinoids Safe During Pregnancy?

There are well over 67 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant — only a small handful of which are psychoactive. This includes THC as the primary psychoactive component.

The first thing we need to make crystal clear here is that THC-containing products, like marijuana, are not safe during pregnancy. There’s evidence that suggests smoking marijuana during pregnancy results in a lowered birth-weight and delays in brain development [1, 2].

When we smoke marijuana or use products that contain THC — we have to remember that this compound is going to pass straight through the placental barrier and interact with our baby’s brain.

This goes for most other supplements we take while pregnant. Everything we put into our body will ultimately reach the baby — everything from the food we eat to the air we breathe.

But What About CBD & Other Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids?

There are experts who are hesitant to recommend CBD during pregnancy — but this isn’t because the compound is inherently dangerous in any way — in fact, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence [9] and preliminary research [10], indicating that CBD is indeed safe during pregnancy.

The hesitation of CBD comes purely from the lack of research available on the topic.

Currently, there’s no long-term research available in the scientific literature exploring whether CBD oil is safe and effective during pregnancy — However, there isn’t anything that proves this compound is dangerous either.. This is a topic that’s been relatively ignored despite the widespread interest in cannabis research in recent decades.

Without the research to prove that CBD is indeed safe and effective during various stages of pregnancy — most experts will err on the side of caution and avoid it.

This lack of pregnancy-specific research is common when it comes to health supplements. Many supplements thought to be safe and effective are generally avoided anyway simply due to the lack of research.

There Are 3 Good Reasons for This Lack of Research:

1. It’s Hard to Get Research Involving Pregnant Patients Approved

In order to conduct any research, especially on humans, a professional ethics board needs to approve the study parameters. These boards are especially strict when it comes to pregnancy and will often deny any research requests if there hasn’t already been enough proof that the substance is safe through other studies.

2. Pregnancy Makes it Hard to Account for All the Variables of the Study

Pregnancy is a complex chemical process and affects women differently. No pregnancy is alike — we all experience the side-effects differently.

This makes it very hard to study the effects of a supplement like CBD because what might work for one person won’t for another — not because the CBD doesn’t work, but because the causes of that particular symptom might be different from one person to the next. This makes interpreting the data into something meaningful very challenging.

3. Research Takes Place Over Long Periods of Time

The last point we’ll touch here is that the research for determining the safety of a health supplement needs to be done over long periods of time — often several years.

Research like this is tedious and very expensive. A single randomized, double-blind clinical trial can cost several million dollars and take a decade or more to complete.

There are institutions that will pay for research like this, but as of yet, no one has stepped up to take it on for this particular question.

There are simply other areas of interest more important to research at the moment (like some of the exciting clinical trials currently underway exploring the use of CBD with anxiety or other common medical conditions).

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On top of that, there simply isn’t any indication that CBD poses any threat to a fetus or pregnant mother as it is. It would be nice to have some rock-solid research behind us to definitively prove it — but there’s a good chance all this time and effort will only prove what we already know — that CBD poses little threat during pregnancy.

There Are Virtually No Indications That CBD is Unsafe During Pregnancy

Despite the lack of research on using CBD during pregnancy, there are virtually no examples of research to draw on that suggest the compound is unsafe.

In an ideal world, you won’t need to take anything during your pregnancy aside from wholesome food and mild herbal teas. However, sometimes you may need relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy.

CBD is an excellent option to try before escalating to some of the more harmful pharmaceutical options doctors may prescribe in its place.

Women around the world are using CBD to manage spikes in uncomfortable symptoms and avoid using pharmaceutical drugs as much as possible during their pregnancy. This has been going on for years, and I have yet to hear of even one case study to suggest CBD has any significant adverse effects on the mother or the baby.

With that said, there are a few important steps you can take to keep your level of risk to a minimum when using CBD, as well as any other supplement while pregnant.

How to Use CBD Safely While Pregnant?

1. Start Low & Go Slow

When it comes to using health supplements during pregnancy, the key is to start low and slow — meaning that you should always start with the lowest possible dose, and build it up gradually until you reach the recommended dosage.

2. Talk to Your Doctor Before Using CBD

It’s also important to remain transparent with your doctor about any health supplement you plan on taking.

Pregnancy is a complex process, and there are a number of individual factors to consider depending on other medical conditions you may have and what medications you may be taking.

Your doctor has the medical know-how to decide whether CBD is appropriate for your individual case.

3. Keep Notes on Your Doses and Progress

One of the best steps you can take when introducing a new supplement or medication in your health regimen is to take notes of your dose and how you respond to it during the course of the treatment. This will help you and your medical practitioner understand how the CBD or other supplement is working (or not).

Keep Track of Things Like:
  • What dose of CBD did you take?
  • How did your symptoms feel today?
  • Were symptoms improved after taking the CBD?
  • Did you experience any side-effects?
  • Which CBD product did you take?

5. Only Use High-Quality Products

Many health supplements are unregulated — meaning that virtually anybody can buy the raw materials and put together health supplements. This leaves a lot of room for low-quality products on the market — some of which contain harmful compounds you wouldn’t want to bring anywhere near your baby.

In the case of CBD oils, the biggest problem is the contamination of heavy metals, pesticides, and organic solvents. All of these things can be harmful to the health of your baby.

Luckily, there’s a solution to this issue — which comes in the form of third-party testing.

This is an optional step CBD manufactures can do to prove the quality of the products they produce. A company will send a sample of its batch of products to an independent lab (not connected to the company). This lab will test the sample and provide a detailed analysis of the heavy metal, pesticide, solvent, and organic contaminant contents.

I recommend doing some research before you buy. Look for these third-party tests and make sure they’ve all passed before you buy that particular product.

You may also want to consider using creams during your pregnancy as they are safer than ingestible forms because the CBD doesn’t pass into the bloodstream.

6. Use CBD Products Made from Isolate Only

There are two main types of CBD product available — full-spectrum extracts and CBD isolate.

Full-spectrum extracts contain all the phytochemicals naturally produced in cannabis, while CBD isolate has had all compounds except the CBD removed.

While both options have their own positives and negatives, for pregnancy it’s recommended that you opt for a CBD isolate. These products have removed the other cannabinoids, including THC — which is considered unsafe during pregnancy.

This way you can rest assured the only compound you’re using is the one you planned for — CBD.

How to Use CBD Products (After Pregnancy)?

There are a few different ways you can use CBD oils. Let’s go over the three most common.

1. Oral Ingestion

Most expectant mothers who take CBD oil choose to orally ingest the oil.

This simply involves applying the dropper directly in the mouth and swallowing the oil. Alternatively, you can mix the oil in with a smoothie or other meal to disguise the naturally bitter flavor.

The bottom line is that CBD oil taken this way ends up in the gut where it’s absorbed over the course of about 2 hours into the bloodstream.

CBD oil products can be purchased online from trusted vendors such as CBDistillery, Royal CBD, Charlotte’s Web. They come in a variety of options (ranging from 250mg, 500mg to 1000mg) in the form of tinctures, beverages, edibles, and capsules, which are all easily consumed.

2. Sublingual Administration

“Sublingual” refers to holding something underneath your tongue where the oil and active ingredients are absorbed by the capillaries beneath the tongue.

This means of administration produces effects relatively quickly (within about 15 minutes). Once done, you can simply swallow what’s left of the oil.

This form of administration is best for symptoms that appear suddenly as it allows you to address them in a shorter window of time.

3. Topical Application

You can also use CBD oils topically for things such as skin irritations, inflammation, wounds, and muscle aches. This form of use has far fewer restrictions than other forms of supplementation and is the safest form of administration.

Only a small fraction of the CBD content actually makes its way into the bloodstream when used topically. So you can use higher doses, and you don’t need to be as cautious about monitoring for side-effects.

With that said, this form of administration will only provide relief for symptoms involving the skin and muscles. It won’t do much for any of the systemic effects CBD is suggested to support.

I know many women that use CBD oil topically in this way on the abdomen for cramping and on the lower back to alleviate pain.

Final Thoughts: Using CBD During Pregnancy

There are many reasons why a pregnant mother may want to give CBD a try. This compound is useful for common side-effects experienced by pregnant women — including muscle cramping, abdominal pain, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea.

The safety of CBD during pregnancy is taken with a lot of caution — and with good reason, we don’t have any reliable studies to prove or disprove the safety of this compound on the developing fetus.

We’re caught in a situation where CBD hasn’t been proven safe, nor has it been proven unsafe.

Therefore, the best course of action is to remain cautious when using CBD oil. This is the case with all supplements while pregnant.

Pay attention to how your body responds and be transparent with your doctor about anything you’re taking or thinking of taking while pregnant.

With all of that said, there really isn’t any clear reasons why CBD would pose any danger to yourself or your baby. There have been dozens of studies on the supplement with populations including small children — all of which have concluded that CBD is both a safe and effective supplement for a wide range of symptoms — even at high doses.

References:

  1. Jaques, S. C., Kingsbury, A., Henschke, P., Chomchai, C., Clews, S., Falconer, J., … & Oei, J. L. (2014). Cannabis, the pregnant woman and her child: weeding out the myths. Journal of Perinatology, 34(6), 417.
  2. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: The current state of evidence and recommendations for research. National Academies Press.
  3. Choukèr, A., Kaufmann, I., Kreth, S., Hauer, D., Feuerecker, M., Thieme, D., … & Schelling, G. (2010). Motion sickness, stress and the endocannabinoid system. PloS one, 5(5), e10752.
  4. Su, J. Y., & Vo, A. C. (2007). 2-Arachidonyl Glyceryl ether and abnormal cannabidiol-induced vascular smooth muscle relaxation in rabbit pulmonary arteries via receptor-pertussis toxin-sensitive G proteins-ERK1/2 signaling. European journal of pharmacology, 559(2-3), 189-195.
  5. Cabral, G. A., Raborn, E. S., Griffin, L., Dennis, J., & Marciano‐Cabral, F. (2008). CB2 receptors in the brain: role in central immune function. British journal of pharmacology, 153(2), 240-251.
  6. Burstein, S. (2015). Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry, 23(7), 1377-1385.
  7. Russo, E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 4(1), 245.
  8. Crippa, J. A., Crippa, A., Hallak, J. E., Martín-Santos, R., & Zuardi, A. W. (2016). Δ9-THC intoxication by cannabidiol-enriched cannabis extract in two children with refractory epilepsy: full remission after switching to purified cannabidiol. Frontiers in pharmacology, 7, 359.
  9. Porter, B. E., & Jacobson, C. (2013). Report of a parent survey of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis use in pediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 29(3), 574-577.

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Livvy Ashton

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.

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