Is CBD (Cannabidiols) Safe for Pregnant Women?
No doubt CBD has been growing in popularity for the past few years. All thanks to the supposedly medical benefits therein. Everyone wants to be in on the action, both users and retailers. For those not in the know, CBD is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant, but without the psychoactive constituents as seen in THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol).
As CBD is not entirely regulated by the U.S. government, anyone searching to enjoy the benefits of CBD-infused products can easily get them from retailers. Users purports that the substance can help with various medical ailments like stress management, pain relief, anxiety, etc., and contains such properties as antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-psychotic.
According to Dr. Dipak Patel, the owner of The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, Pennsylvania, “Obviously the research is ongoing, the main thing is that nobody regulates CBD products.”
This lack of Federal regulation on the use of CBD oils has led to many unanswered questions, one of which is, the safety of using CBD-infused products on pregnant women. As of this writing, there has been no clinical verifiable research on CBD and pregnant women.
CBD on Pregnant Women – Use or Not to Use
Dr. Patel continues that, “When it comes to pregnancy, there is no yes-or-no answer. There's no real research done on humans. Where marijuana is not safe to use in pregnancy and breastfeeding, studies have not ruled out CBD as a negative. On the other hand, they haven't said it's safe, either.”
However, as a pharmacist, Patel opines that it’ probably safer for pregnant woman not to use CBD at all. He recommends that the best thing will be to consult with an obstetrician.
Patel’s advice resonates with The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as they advise fellows against recommending CBD product for pregnant women.
In line with this, Dr. Junella Chin of MedLeafRx, White Plains, New York has this to say: “When you are pregnant, you should be abstaining from as much extraneous chemicals and toxins as possible.”
An OB-GYN specialist in Rhinebeck, New York, Dr. Ira Jaffe, said: “There's not a lot of strong evidence to show safety or harm”, and “With proper lab studies and clinical trials, my assumption would be that there are going to be a lot of uses found, and that it's going to be helpful. But it's going to require patience.”
Dr. Jaffe continues, “There's a paucity of evidence at the moment directly related to CBD use and pregnancy. There are some animal studies and observational studies that don't say much.”
Patel agrees as well as and said: “There just aren't any human trials yet to make an evidence-based decision.” and “In-vitro and animal studies on CBD were not associated with negative outcomes in pregnancy.”
It’s important that FDA (Food and Drug Administration) supervises all human trials, with a view to regulating good clinical practices.
Dr. Chin of MedLeafRx posits that, “Because there are no long-term studies on pregnant women, or women trying to get pregnant, we just don't know what happens.”
According to Derek Bell, co-founder of BonaVibe, a manufacturer of CBD oils in Carmel, Calif, “There's very little research that is available.” He continues that: “There's a lot of misleading articles and documentation online. You'll find a lot of opinion-based articles.”
It’s pertinent to note that most CBD oils does not include THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana. Still, a lot of online publications tend to link CBD claims to actual studies on cannabis together with THC.
Various studies from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on THC have indicated that this compound can harm the unborn babies in pregnant women.
Dr. Jaffe said: “When you are talking about pregnancy, you are talking about two people in one,” “What is the effect on the mother and what is the effect on the fetus? Any time you give a medication, the primary concern is how much of that medication gets passed through the placenta.”
He maintains that it’s worthy to note there are many unverifiable concerns in addition with miscommunication of facts as regards the use of CBD and THC. This is the reason why many medical professionals warn against using THC when pregnant.
Patel said that, “CBDs help stimulate your endocannabinoid system. That system consists of cell receptors located throughout the body,” and that “These are the receptors that regulate anxiety, depression, pain and more.”
Note that cannabinoids are a category of compounds derived from plants. This compound can both be chemically manufactured and produced naturally within the human body. Hence, when cannabinoids are introduced into the body, they stimulate the endocannabinoids receptors.
According to Dr. China, “Our own internal endocannabinoid system plays a really critical role in modulating female and male reproductive systems,” and “There is really a whole galaxy of endocannabinoid receptors in the uterus, the ovaries and the fallopian tube.”
Testimonials on CBD for Pregnant Women
Some advocates of CBD products such as Maggie Frank have testified to the positive effects of CBD during pregnancy. Frank is now a national educator for a CBD brand from CV Sciences, San Diego, Calif, having used CBD to fight extreme vomiting and nausea during pregnancy. She suffered from a condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum when pregnant and CBD helped her immensely.
Frank said: “The drug alternative I was offered was not something I thought was a very good risk-reward ratio… on just 3 milligrams a day of CBD, I was able to start eating and drinking and I was able to start working and moving. For me, CBDs literally saved my pregnancy.”
She never regrets using CBD during pregnancy. However, she still advises pregnant women to be careful when using CBD as there is not enough verifiable clinical research available on CBD usage during pregnancy. She maintains that CBD was preferable to her as the drug alternatives was not helpful at all.
Although there are many uncertainties about CBD, research has shown that CBD interacts with coumadin, an anticoagulant.
According to Patel, “CBD does interact with enzyme activity.” However, he continues that this enzyme interaction is clinically insignificant, especially when CBD is taken on regular doses. The interaction could be more significant on higher doses though, he said.