Pregnancy sure has its hurdles to overcome, including morning sickness, fatigue, anxiety, moodiness, body aches, acne and well, so much more. All of this anguish is worthwhile, with the delivery of a healthy child. While some expectant mothers are relishing the benefits of CBD to alleviate most of these symptoms, others are wondering if this is an adequate treatment for them and their unborn children.
The researched and anecdotal benefits of CBD keep gaining momentum, and this supplement can be found in so many products including oils, edibles and skincare products. While it’s not the new snake oil, CBD proponents claim it helps with anxiety, pain relief, acne, sex, and for more important purposes, such as epilepsy and cancer.
It may seem that CBD is the latest supplement in town, but it has been around for centuries. It is even reported that Queen Victoria used CBD to help manage menstrual cramps. Even celebrities swear by this treatment. Kim Kardashian had a CBD-themed baby shower and claims the supplement changed her life.
The medical community is undecided about using CBD during pregnancy, largely because there aren’t many clinical studies proving if it is benign or not for human fetuses. Some researchers have looked at THC’s effect on lactating women, but CBD and THC affect the body in different ways.
CBD, or cannabidiol, comes from the cannabis plant. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the other ingredient in cannabis that produces psychoactive effects, and this all has to do with how our bodies handle numerous cannabis compounds. The endocannabinoid system is a naturally occurring pathway in our bodies that process the plant in different ways through several receptors, CB1, and CB2 receptor cells.
CB1 receptor cells are primarily in the brain and handle functions such as time sensing, memory, cognition, and other mental processes. THC is recognized by CB1 cells, and when cannabis containing THC presents itself to the body, it affects the brain and could produce an elated feeling, or a ‘high’.
CBD does not render a euphoric feeling once consumed because of how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. CB2 receptors interact with our skin, muscles, nerves and peripheral functions. This is why the effects of CBD include relief from issues such as pain, anxiety, nausea, sleep disorders, and sex.
Hemp and marijuana are the two main sources of CBD today, however, most CBD that is sold here in the U.S. is from the hemp and not the marijuana plant. This is because of the 2018 Hemp Growers Act, which legalized hemp cultivation and its production, including CBD oil. According to this bill, CBD that is from hemp, not marijuana plant is legal. The supplement must also contain 0.3 percent or less of THC, for it to be covered under this law.
Hemp oil and CBD oil are not the same product, even though many companies use them interchangeably. Hemp oil is a cold-pressed product from the seeds of the hemp plant, while CBD oil is an extraction from the flowers, leaves and plant matter of the hemp plant, which is then infused with carrier oils including hemp, jojoba, coconut and olive oils.
Marijuana and pregnancy
Marijuana is used by about 1 in 20 pregnant women in the U.S, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Studies have shown that if cannabis is consumed during and after pregnancy, it enters the bloodstream and breast milk and could affect the fetus or baby.
A study followed 27 mothers who reported that they smoked marijuana during breastfeeding. The results showed that THC was excreted into breast milk in small quantities, and the duration ranged from 6 days to greater than 6 weeks.
The medical community has been concerned that cannabis could have an effect on neurotransmitters, nervous system development and other endocannabinoid-related functions. The report said that daily or near-daily use might slow down the breastfed infant’s motor development, but not its growth or intellectual development.
CBD affects the endocannabinoid quite differently than THC, as it does not affect cognition and mental processes. Nausea is perhaps one of the biggest issues with pregnancy, and some women suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, severe morning sickness that may lead to vomiting anywhere from 20 to 30 times a day.
This research review demonstrated that CBD was shown to be effective in suppressing vomiting, through the endocannabinoid system, which regulates nausea and vomiting in humans and other animals.
One of the prominent uses of hemp-derived CBD for pregnancy is for pain management. Pain on any level deserves treatment, however, pregnancy pain can be debilitating at all stages, especially during labor. According to CBD Kryo, experts have suggested that CBD could help with labor pains, and make it easier and shorter, however, most of this is based on anecdotal evidence.
During pregnancy, many women avoid taking medications because it may enter the bloodstream, with random and unknown effects on the fetus. Some women say that they use CBD on their skin, especially for pain, claiming that less of the supplement enters the vascular circulation.
CBD patches, creams, and salves, or transdermal CBD is a delivery method that could have almost immediate pain-relieving effects. According to CoolThingsChicago Mag, CBD-rich topicals are created this way to provide quick, long-lasting and effective pain relief when applied to the skin surrounding the affected area.
Whether it is feeling anxious about life during and after pregnancy, or hormones causing extreme mood swings; the see-saw of emotions during pregnancy is real and to be expected. When it feels like its getting out of control, moms are looking to CBD to provide some relief, and some are reporting that it works.
According to Cool Things Chicago, CBD potentially increases the body’s neuroreceptors, therefore it may help with depression, as well as with stress and anxiety management.
Breakouts are common during pregnancy. From acne to psoriasis, CBD oil has been proven to alleviate many skin conditions. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation showed that CBD oil was effective in managing over-activity in glands responsible for the production of acne inflammation.
Another clinical study researched if CBD oil could help psoriasis symptoms. Patients in the study were asked to use CBD oil twice a day for three months. The results showed that not only did the CBD ointment improve symptoms, but it also did so without irritants or allergic reactions.
Ask your Doctor
A research review looked at the clinical and anecdotal evidence for CBD’s proven uses. Accordingly, CBD has shown to help adults with pain, nausea and more severe issues.
Many doctors are aware of the benefits of CBD and may recommend it depending on how your pregnancy is affecting you. This supplement is largely unregulated, so using quality CBD that won’t affect your pregnancy is important. Research is essential, and CBD companies are starting to offer products for pregnant women.