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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

What you need to know about using marijuana, including CBD, while pregnant or breastfeeding

Cannabis and cannabis-derived products have become increasingly available in recent years, with new and different types of products continuing to enter the market. These products raise questions and concerns among many consumers. In marijuana, including CBD, while pregnant or breastfeeding, you may have more questions about whether this product is safe for you.

FDA (Food And Drug Administration) strongly recommends against using cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana of any kind while pregnant or breastfeeding.

What are marijuana, marijuana, hemp, THC, and the Benefits of CBD?

Cannabis is a plant from the Cannabaceae family that contains more than eighty biologically active chemical compounds. The most well-known compounds are THC and CBD. One type of cannabis plant is marijuana, which contains varying amounts of THC, the compound that creates the “high” often associated with marijuana. Another type of cannabis plant is hemp. The hemp plant contains very low levels of THC. Non-high CBD can be obtained from marijuana or hemp.

Now we see CBD products everywhere. CBD is found in many different products such as medicines, foods, products sold as dietary supplements, and cosmetics. These products often make dubious health claims about CBD. The FDA wants you to know that consuming marijuana products, including those containing CBD, can pose serious risks if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What do we know about the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

The use of marijuana and other products containing THC during pregnancy and breastfeeding has many potential negative health effects. The United States Surgeon General recently warned consumers that marijuana use during pregnancy could harm fetal brain development because THC can enter the fetal brain from the fetal mother’s bloodstream. The surgeon general also notes that marijuana can increase the risk of newborns having low birth weight. Research has also shown an increased risk of preterm birth and the possibility of stillbirth1.

When breastfeeding, it is important to know that breast milk can contain THC for up to six days after use. This THC can affect a newborn’s brain development, causing hyperactivity, cognitive decline, and other long-term effects. In addition, marijuana smoke contains many of the same harmful ingredients as tobacco smoke. Neither marijuana nor tobacco products should be smoked in the presence of infants or children.

What do we know about the effects of using CBD during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

There are no extensive studies examining the effects of CBD on the developing fetus, pregnant woman, or breastfed child. The FDA continues to collect and study data on the possible harmful effects of CBD during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, from what we know, there is reason to be concerned. High doses of CBD in pregnant laboratory animals have caused reproductive problems in developing male fetuses2. In addition, based on what we already know about CBD, we expect some CBD to be passed on to babies through breast milk.

We also know that CBD products can be contaminated with substances that can harm a fetus or nursing infant, including THC. We have also heard reports that CBD may contain other contaminants (such as pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungi); we’re studying it. In addition, CBD has recognized the risks for people in general. According to human clinical studies, the following risks may exist:

  • Liver toxicity (damage)
  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Dangerous interactions with other drugs

The FDA is investigating the effects of using CBD from different angles, such as:

(1) use of products containing CBD, such as food, cosmetics, or nutritional supplements, throughout a person’s life.

(2) the consequences of using these different products in combination. There are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of CBD products.

In particular, we wanted to know more about the effects of CBD during pregnancy and breastfeeding, including, for example, whether the presence of CBD in breast milk is harmful to a nursing infant or breast milk production, and to what extent.

Does the FDA approve CBD products and are there any benefits?

The FDA has not approved any CBD products except for prescription drugs used to treat a rare and severe form of seizure disorder in children. It remains unclear whether CBD has any other benefits. Except for approved prescription drugs, CBD products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for medicinal use. This means that we do not know:

  • Are they safe and effective for treating certain conditions?
  • What dosage is considered safe?
  • How they may interact with other drugs or foods?
  • If they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns.

Clinical studies supporting the approval of affordable CBD drugs reveal risks associated with CBD use, including liver toxicity (damage), severe drowsiness, and harmful drug interactions.

What about flaxseed?

The FDA recently completed an evaluation of several food ingredients derived from flaxseed and has no objection to the use of these ingredients in food. THC and CBD are found primarily in the flowers, leaves, and stems of hemp, not in the seeds. Flaxseeds can absorb small amounts of THC and CBD when in contact with other parts of the plant, but these levels are low enough to be of concern to any group, including pregnant or nursing women.

What should be considered when using cannabis or cannabis-derived products?

If you are considering using marijuana or other products that contain THC or CBD, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The FDA strongly recommends avoiding the use of CBD, THC, or marijuana in any form during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Although many of these products are sold, the FDA has not approved these products, except for one prescription drug CBD and two prescription drugs that contain dronabinol, a synthetic version of THC (which is approved to treat certain side effects of HIV/AIDS). or chemotherapy). All three prescription products have risks and side effects.
  • Always check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking any medications, vitamins, or herbs while pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Do not harm yourself or your baby by using marijuana products while pregnant or breastfeeding. Follow these links to learn more about marijuana, marijuana, CBD, and THC, and how to take them during pregnancy.

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