CBD or cannabidiol is a popular non-psychoactive compound with many therapeutic properties. This compound can provide relief from a whole range of medical conditions, including anxiety, nausea, vomiting’s, lack of sleep, and lack of appetite.
Naturally, pregnant women may find this helpful product to provide relief from various pregnancy-related symptoms.
But can pregnant women safely consume CBD? Does it leave any unwanted effects on the mother and the unborn child?
Let us understand how CBD works and if it is safe for pregnant women.
What is CBD?
CBD is obtained from the extract of the hemp plant. Hemp and its extracts have been an essential part of ancient therapeutic medicine in many countries worldwide.
The hemp plant extract contains different compounds such as CBD, THC, terpenes, and flavonoids. Each of these compounds renders medicinal properties to the hemp extract. Among them, CBD is well-known for its medicinal properties.
Research has proven that CBD may have properties that are beneficial to the human body.
The human body consists of a messaging and regulating mechanism known as the Endocannabinoid System or the ECS. This system manages and controls various systems and complex functions of the human body.
The therapeutic effects can be attributed to its ability to influence the body’s Endocannabinoid system to relieve various symptoms.
The ECS system controls the pain, sleep, and appetite centers in the brain. It also plays a vital role in maintaining and coordinating the body’s systems such as the skeletal system, motor system, digestive system, etc.
CBD yields an antagonistic effect on the ECS receptors. This action modulates the functioning of the ECS system and helps control symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
CBD for Pregnancy:
During pregnancy, women experience nausea and vomiting and often go through periods of sleeplessness. Some women may also have insomnia.
CBD can effectively counter these symptoms. For this reason, there is a growing interest in CBD as an effective relief from pregnancy symptoms.
The common symptoms that women go through during pregnancy include:
- Nausea and Vomitings
- Lack of appetite/aversion to food
Most of these symptoms occur due to hormonal imbalances. Pregnant women often are not allowed to take any medications to counter these symptoms.
Consequently, they are turning to CBD in its various forms, such as CBD oils, tinctures, and CBD Edibles, to help naturally relieve these symptoms.
CBD for nausea and vomiting:
An experimental study conducted on animals shows that the manipulation of the ECS system regulates nausea and vomiting. CBD displays antiemetic effects in different animals, exhibiting a capability to provide relief during difficult to control nausea and anticipatory nausea.
This study shows that CBD can effectively cure nausea associated with cancer-related chemotherapies and other treatment protocols.
Women facing severe nausea and vomiting during pregnancy may find relief with the use of CBD.
CBD for lack of appetite and food aversions:
Consequent to nausea, many pregnant women may experience a reduction in appetite. They also may tend to develop an aversion to certain foods. Nausea and vomiting coupled with a lack of appetite can lead to nutritional imbalances, often affecting fetal growth.
Research proves that CBD can regulate appetite. In addition, animal studies show that CBD can treat conditions that involve reduced appetite and weight loss. As a result, CBD can improve appetite in pregnant women.
CBD for insomnia:
Lack of sleep is a prevalent condition in pregnant women. Insomnia can occur due to hormonal imbalances, increased bathroom breaks, and even acidity. Restful sleep is essential for a healthy pregnancy. CBD can promote restful sleep and be of great relief for those who have insomnia.
As we have seen, research can provide significant relief from various pregnancy symptoms. But is CBD safe in pregnancy?
Safety of CBD in Pregnancy:
There is not enough research to prove the safety of CBD during pregnancy. CBD is derived from hemp
extract, which also contains THC, the psychoactive compound responsible for causing the recreational high. Most countries across the world are legalizing the use of CBD, as research proves the safety and efficacy of this compound. Most states have legalized the use of CBD that contains 0.3% THC or less within the US.
The use of cannabis causes a severe adverse impact on neonatal development. According to an article published in the journal “Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, ” cannabis use in pregnancy can cause miscarriage and growth and brain development problems. However, effects on the other systems are yet to be studied.
A study conducted in mice showed that CBD quickly transferred from the mother to the fetus and reached the fetus’ brain, liver, and GI tract. This may cause problems in the fetus post-birth.
Cannabis and its products have been classified as Schedule 1 drug, which means that it cannot receive federal funding for research activities. Apart from this, CBD can be contaminated with higher amounts of THC, pesticides, and unwanted chemicals. These factors can pose a risk to the mother and the unborn fetus as well.
Consequently, experts and health professionals suggest pregnant women stay away from CBD due to insufficient research on its effects – both short-term and long-term.
To sum up, CBD is capable of providing relief from many symptoms related to pregnancy. But obstetricians and gynecologists are expressing concerns over CBD and pregnancy. Current research isn’t enough to study the effects of CBD on the pregnant woman and her fetus.
Women who plan to use CBD during pregnancy must take the advice of a registered medical practitioner and make an informed decision regarding the use.