Food & DrinkWhat you should know about using cannabis, including CBD,...

What you should know about using cannabis, including CBD, while you are pregnant or nursing your baby

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Cannabis and cannabis-derived products are becoming more accessible, with new and different types of products appearing all the time. These products raise questions and concerns for many consumers. And if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you may have even more questions as to whether these products are safe for you. 

The FDA strongly advises against the use of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana, of any kind, during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. 

What is cannabis, marijuana, hashish, THC and CBD?

Cannabis is a plant in the Cannabaceae family that contains more than eighty biologically active chemical compounds. The best known compounds are THC and CBD. One type of cannabis plant is marijuana, which contains various levels of THC, the compound that provides the “high” often associated with marijuana. Another type of cannabis plant is hashish. Hash plants contain an extremely low level of THC. CBD, which does not produce a “wave”, can be derived from marijuana or hashish.  

Today we see products containing CBD everywhere. CBD can be found in many different products, such as medicines, foods, products marketed as dietary supplements, and cosmetics. These products frequently make questionable health promises regarding CBD.  

The FDA wants you to know that there can be serious risks in using cannabis products, including those that contain CBD, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.  

What do we know about the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding your baby?

There are many potentially negative health effects from using marijuana and other THC-containing products while pregnant or while nursing a baby. In fact, the US Surgeon General recently warned consumers that marijuana use during pregnancy can affect fetal brain development, because THC can enter the fetal brain from current mother’s blood The Surgeon General also warned that marijuana may increase the risk of having a low birth weight baby. Research also suggests an increased risk of preterm birth or potentially stillbirth. 

While you are breastfeeding, it is important to know that breast milk can contain THC for up to six days after use. This THC can affect newborn brain development and result in hyperactivity, poor cognitive functioning, and other long-term consequences. Additionally, marijuana smoke contains many of the same harmful components as cigarette smoke. Marijuana or tobacco products should not be smoked near a newborn or children.

 What do we know about the effects of using CBD during pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding your baby?

There is no comprehensive research that has looked at the effects of CBD on the developing fetus, pregnant mom, or breastfed baby. The FDA continues to collect and study data regarding the possible harmful effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. However, based on what we know, there is significant cause for concern.  

High doses of CBD in pregnant test animals have resulted in problems with the reproductive system of developing male fetuses. Also, based on what we already know about CBD, it is expected that a portion of the CBD will be transferred to the baby through breast milk.  

We also know that there is a possibility that CBD products may be contaminated with substances that may pose a risk to the fetus or breastfed infant, including THC. We have also heard of reports where the CBD possibly contained other contaminants, such as pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria and fungi); We are investigating those cases. 

Also, CBD has known risks for people in general. Based on human clinical studies, risks may include the following: 

  • liver toxicity (damage)
  • extreme sleepiness 
  • Harmful interactions with other medications

The FDA is studying the effects of CBD use from different perspectives, such as (1) the use of CBD-containing products, such as foods, cosmetics, or supplements, throughout a person’s lifetime; and (2) the effects of using multiple products at once. There are many unanswered questions regarding the science, safety, and quality of CBD-containing products.  

We especially want to learn more about the effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, including, for example, whether and to what extent the presence of CBD in breast milk, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, is harmful to the breastfed baby. or the mother’s milk production.   

Has the FDA approved any CBD products? Do they have any benefits?

The FDA has not approved any CBD products with the exception of a prescription medication to treat rare and serious types of seizure disorders in children. It is not yet clear if CBD has any other benefits. 

Other than this approved prescription drug, CBD products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for use as a drug product. This means that we do not know:

  • whether they are safe and effective for the treatment of a particular disease
  • which, if any, dose can be considered safe
  • how they may interact with other medications or foods
  • if they have harmful side effects or any other safety concerns 

The clinical studies that supported the approval of the only available CBD medication identified risks associated with the use of CBD, including liver toxicity (damage), extreme drowsiness, and harmful interactions with other medications. 

And what about the hash seeds?

The FDA recently completed an evaluation of some food ingredients derived from hashish seeds, and there were no objections to the use of these ingredients in food. THC and CBD are mainly found in the flowers, leaves and stems of hashish, and not in the seeds. Hashish seeds may acquire trace amounts of THC and CBD through contact with the other parts of the plant, but these amounts are low enough not to raise concerns for any group, including pregnant or nursing mothers. 

What should you remember regarding the use of cannabis or cannabis-derived products?

If you are considering using cannabis, or any product that contains THC or CBD, you should keep the following in mind:

  • The FDA strongly advises against the use of CBD, THC, and marijuana, of any kind, during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. 
  • Although many of these products are available for sale, the FDA has not approved these products for use, with the exception of one prescription drug containing CBD and two prescription drugs containing dronabinol, a synthetic version of THC (which have been approved to treat certain side effects of HIV-AIDS or chemotherapy). All three of these prescription drugs have associated risks and side effects.
  • Always talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking any medicine, vitamin, or herbal medicine while you are pregnant or nursing your baby. 

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