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CBD Use During Pregnancy: Safety And Considerations

People who use CBD may want to continue using CBD during different life stages. However, there are times when people become more vulnerable to the side effects of foods and food supplements. One such vulnerable time is pregnancy. Here, we explore everything one needs to know about CBD oil during pregnancy.

Let’s start with the main question, can you take CBD oil when pregnant? Well, in short, the reply is that you must avoid it. This is not because it is toxic or causes some known harm. This is mainly due to a lack of data.

It is vital to understand that doctors recommend against using health supplements during pregnancy. They even say that one should not use medications during pregnancy without doctors’ advice. This is because there are so many substances, and most of them have not been tested to be safe in pregnancy.

It is also pretty easy to guess why most substances and CBD have not been tested in pregnancy. This is due to ethical concerns. It is not possible to carry out clinical studies in pregnant women. Moreover, CBD is not a life-saving or emergency drug. Hence, women can readily live without it.

Nonetheless, we also do not want to instigate unnecessary fears. CBD is very safe since it is recognised as a Novel Food. It means that it is safe for daily use by non-vulnerable population groups. However, the Food and Standards Agency (FSA) says that CBD use must be avoided in vulnerable groups like pregnant women, children, or severely ill individuals. This is mainly as a precaution.(1)

CBD Oil While Pregnant – Diving into Details

In this report, we want to make everything clear. So that users know what the risks are. FSA is against the use of CBD. However, it does not exclude CBD use in pregnancy under medical supervision. Although it is unlikely that any doctor would allow its use. Nonetheless, this statement just shows that this is merely a precautionary step.

Of course, there are some studies suggesting that CBD may be toxic to the foetus, and that is why these recommendations are in place. Researchers have not tested CBD in humans, but they have tested it in lab animals, in mice. Those studies did show some foetal toxicity.(2)

However, these findings must be interpreted with caution. Things are never as simple as they might seem. If something was toxic in animals, this does not mean that it would be toxic to humans. Humans might share some traits with these lab animals, but still, humans are very different.

Yet, another reason for not worrying is the fact that CBD has been tested in mega dosages in animals. Any food may be harmful to pregnant animals and women at mega dosages. However, there is insufficient evidence that the same kind of toxicity would occur at the commonly recommended dosages.

These toxicity tests were considered for getting approval for medical cannabis, which is an entirely different thing. Medical cannabis is used at very high dosages. Generally, each drug dose of medical cannabis contains a few hundred milligrams of CBD along with THC.

However, in health supplements and commonly sold CBD products, CBD is in much lower concentration, and it contains THC only in traces. Thus, there is barely any comparison between medical cannabis and CBD oil food supplements or CBD vape pens.

CBD and Various Pregnancy Stages

Although we do not recommend CBD during pregnancy. And we also strongly recommend people follow FSA guidelines for CBD use in vulnerable groups. But we also want consumers to know everything about CBD, its toxicity, and more.

Understanding various things is important, as some people might accidentally use CBD during pregnancy. Or some may use it due to negligence.

Pregnancy is generally divided into three stages, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester. Foetal formation mainly occurs during the first three months of pregnancy or in the first trimester. During this phase, it is highly important that women are not exposed to toxins even in minute amounts since the risk of foetal malformation is maximum. So, take special precautions to avoid CBD, CBD oil, and vaping during this stage.

That is why a baby is only called foetus till 10 weeks of pregnancy, which is vital to understand.

By the next stage, organs have already formed. However, exposure to toxic substances during this stage may slow down the baby’s growth.

Finally, in the third stage, a baby is relatively mature. Nonetheless, exposure to toxins must be avoided to prevent premature birth or other birth-related complications.

So, once we understand what pregnancy stages are and what a foetus is, we can understand that exposure to CBD must be strictly avoided during the first three months. Of course, one should not use CBD intentionally during any pregnancy stage. Still, special precautions must be used during the first trimester when the risk of foetal toxicity is maximum.

At present, cannabis is not approved for use in pregnancy. There could be some rare exceptions, like the use of medical cannabis to control seizures in some very specific cases. However, such use is improbable due to legal reasons. It is unlikely that any doctor would approve such a use of medical cannabis.

The Bottom Line

For sound health buy quality CBD oil or CBD vape pens, as they are very safe for prolonged use in different age groups. However, there is still insufficient safety data regarding CBD use in vulnerable groups. That is why FSA recommends avoiding CBD use in such population groups, except under medical supervision.

However, here, it is vital to understand that these recommendations are due to a lack of sufficient safety data- mainly as a precaution.

One should not confuse CBD oil and CBD vape pens with medical cannabis, which is quite different due to their high THC content and very high CBD dosage. CBD oil and CBD vape pens are quite mild. However, we still recommend that pregnant women avoid using CBD in pregnancy. Avoiding CBD is especially important during the first trimester due to foetus toxicity risk.

References

  1. Cannabidiol (CBD) | Food Standards Agency [Internet]. [cited 2024 Feb 24]. Available from: https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/cannabidiol-cbd
  2. Towobola A, Towobola B, Nair B, Makwana A. The ethics and management of cannabis use in pregnancy following decriminalisation and licensing for medical use: narrative review. BJPsych Bulletin. 2023 Feb;47(1):28.
Dr Preet Pal Singh Bhinder

This article was authored by: Dr. Preet Pal Singh Bhinder.

This article was peer-reviewed by Dr M Mansoor Siddique (PhD). Dr Siddique has over eight years of experience working with CBD and CBD products.

Disclaimer: All of our products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. It is recommended to check with doctor before starting a new dietary supplement program. All CBD products sold have less than 0.2% THC content and abide by both EU an UK law.

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