CBD capsules are a great easy option for anybody looking to try add CBD oil to their diet.
Interest in CBD oil has risen in recent years, with many people keen to try the product to see what it does for them.
But what if you are a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding, is it safe?
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is oil derived from the hemp plant and eaten as a food supplement. Many people confuse it with cannabis, but it doesn’t contain THC which is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis so doesn’t cause the psychological effects recreational cannabis use can.
It comes in a range of forms including bottles of oils, capsules and other methods of delivery.
Is it safe to use while pregnant?
While CBD oil should contain no THC, it is not recommended that CBD oil is used while pregnant. Rather than any specific risks to the foetus, the issue is lack of research on the subject.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) recommends that women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should not use marijuana or any of its byproducts, including medical marijuana. CBD oil is a byproduct so should be avoided.
Don’t panic if you did continue to take your CBD oil supplement before you got pregnant though. It contains none of the active ingredients that are known to cause harm during pregnancy, and studies that have shown that marijuana can cause harm to unborn babies were done on women who were regular cannabis users.
If you do use a CBD oil while pregnant it is important to use an oil who’s provenance you trust. It is a fairly unregulated market at some oils could contain THC or pesticides, for example.
Is it safe to use while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding mothers are doing a great job of feeding their babies milk that contains natural, human cannabinoids that are thought to be highly beneficial to infants. Keep it up!
What there is no evidence for, however, is any benefit to babies of any other cannabinoids, such as those found in CBD oil.
Again, there is little evidence at all in this area, but there is one pharmokinetic study of marijuana in breast milk that showed THC and other cannabinoids were detectable in breast milk after it was used by the mother. However, the presence of THC followed a metabolic curve, meaning that the amount of THC in the breastmilk decreased over time.
This means that women could potentially wait until any THC had metabolised out of the breast milk, but as you don’t know how much there was or how you metabolise it it is very difficult to do.
Though CBD oil should not contain THC, there is a risk that it does. The study shows that this can be passed through, into the breastmilk. The question it does not answer is whether there is any negative effect to the baby.
Again, the jury is out on this as it is so difficult to ethically measure the impact of cannabis on infants. This means there is not sufficient data to suggest that CBD oil is safe for lactating infants.