CBD products have taken the spotlight – the market is expanding because of ever-increasing demand by the masses. Every other consumer good has a CBD-infused version of itself in 2021.
It has been proven through research that CBD has many benefits with minimal side effects. So it is safe to say it does have the potential to replace conventional medicines as a safer option. However, where do we draw the line?
Pregnancy is a draining phase that affects women physically and mentally. The issues they face are, by nature, the ones that CBD oil for anxiety targets and works on effectively. However, again, you are carrying around a life form developing gradually inside your own body, which is thoroughly dependent on what you consume. In such a case, one cannot help but wonder, is CBD oil safe for use during pregnancy?
What is CBD Oil?
CBD or Cannabidiol oil is obtained through extraction, whereby CBD is extricated from the Cannabis plant and then diluted with a neutral oil.
CBD has a therapeutic effect on the brain, unlike THC, which is psychoactive and puts you into a trance-like state. CBD will calm the mind minus the ‘high’ that THC gives. It has many medicinal properties that make it a valid candidate as a treatment alternative.
What are the Benefits of CBD Oil?
CBD has many benefits and is used to treat several ailments and ease symptoms. Nevertheless, let us look at the ones that women are most likely to encounter during pregnancy:
- Anxiety: Because of its calming effect CBD oil can treat various anxiety disorders like Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, OCD, and PTSD. Using CBD oil for anxiety has become a common thing these days.
- Depression: Since anxiety and depression go hand in hand, treating anxiety can effectively alleviate symptoms of depressive disorders as well.
- Stress and Blood Pressure: Since stress and elevated blood pressure are directly related, CBD’s ability to lower stress by inducing a calming effect can promote better heart health.
- Enhanced Airflow: Taking CBD oil promotes better airflow of oxygen in and out of the lungs and ensures well-functioning lungs.
- Acne: CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and can actively reduce acne and give you acne-free, healthy skin. It also lowers sebum production, which is the leading cause of acne.
- Pain Relieving: CBD oil can relieve pain because it is anti-inflammatory – it does so by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity. It can treat neuropathic pain, chronic pain, arthritic pain, etc. These days people are using CBD wax which is applied directly on the surface to ease the pain.
- Lastly, sleep disorders: CBD oil can promote a good night’s sleep and treat sleep disorders like insomnia, which many women face during pregnancy.
These are some of the popularly known benefits of CBD as of now, but still, there is much scope for research in this domain, so we can use CBD to its full potential without triggering any adverse side effects.
Can CBD oil be used during pregnancy?
If you are a mother-to-be who is facing the above listed medical conditions (because all of these are likely to happen at some point during pregnancy), CBD seems to be a good option. Still, whether it is safe to consume during the pregnancy period is an ongoing debate.
That is why there is no direct answer to this question. The lack of research on CBD oil usage by healthy pregnant women makes this question a tricky one.
Research does show that when one consumes marijuana or CBD during pregnancy, the chemicals penetrate the placenta and reach the fetus.
Some moms have used CBD oil effectively and tout for its benefits.
For instance, Maggie Frank, the National Educator at one of the leading companies, told a Magazine that she has seen many women use CBD products during their pregnancy. They use it to treat numerous issues during pregnancy, like stress, anxiety, morning sickness, insomnia, food aversions alongside the cramps, pains, and aches that the period brings with it.
She has used 3mg of CBD Oil spray to ease symptoms of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), a condition exclusive to the pregnancy period where one gets severe morning sickness to the point of getting hospitalized.
After much personal research and consultation with her doctor, she took this step, who had a neutral opinion. The side effects of the pharmaceuticals were worse than those of the CBD oil, so it seemed like a better option.
It helped her a lot and provided relief on the first day of use.
Like Frank, Jennifer Farris, a health instructor and a yoga coach, also informed other magazines of her experience with CBD during pregnancy. She states that using CBD oils reduced her anxiety and made it easier to fall asleep.
James Lozada, an OB/GYN anesthesiologist at Northwestern University, talked about his concern regarding the fetus’s brain development when asked about CBD use for pregnancy.
As receptors play an integral role in neonatal development, he advises pregnant women not to go for CBD despite its many benefits because it could harm the fetus.
Felice Gersh, MD, a trained ob-gyn and director of the Integrative Medical Practice of Irvine, says that the lack of clinical evidence and the poorly regulated CBD market is a big red flag in this context.
Dr. Talitha L. Bruney shares the same opinion and deplores the whole idea due to the absence of standardized formulations and regulations on the delivery form of CBD oil.
Research done on pregnant test animals with high doses of CBD found that it caused issues with the reproductive systems of animals with male fetuses.
Moreover, the FDA has not approved the use of CBD products except for one prescription drug, which makes it all the riskier to use during pregnancy. Here, the sole risk factor is not knowing what could happen, which is scary enough when a fetus is involved.
All in all, CBD oil has proved to be a good candidate as an alternative treatment for various conditions. However, due to the lack of clinical data, it is still disputed as a medical treatment for pregnant women facing various pregnancy-related issues.