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Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become quite popular in the health and wellness industry. It is just one of the more than 120 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not make you "high" or cause other mind-altering effects linked with cannabis.
CBD is primarily used to relieve pain, nausea, and other health conditions.
Since many people are now beginning to take CBD to ensure some of its therapeutic benefits, it is only natural to ask, "Is CBD safe to take while pregnant?" After all, it is a natural compound that is derived from a plant.
However, experts advise you not to take CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because insufficient research shows its positive or negative effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid cannabis products, including CBD, as they could cause serious problems to the unborn or nursing baby.
READ: Best CBD Brands of 2022
Although more research is ongoing to discover CBD's benefits and potential side effects, there are still several other things to understand. Some medically proven benefits could convince people to continue taking CBD even while pregnant. Some of these benefits include:
Several women experience pain at different points of their pregnancy. The ligaments stretch and become soft as the body prepares for labor. Therefore, they feel pain in their back and pelvic regions, especially during the earlier stages.
It is also common to find pregnant women with cramps, headaches, swollen ankles, and constipation. All of these are usually very painful.
While other people can take painkillers anytime they suffer from these conditions, this is not an option for pregnant women since some painkillers are dangerous to use during pregnancy.
So pregnant women are left to manage the pain because of the health of their babies. But CBD could be a great option to offer relief from these conditions.
Evidence from research into CBD has shown a couple of pain-relieving properties. Besides the fact that CBD is very effective for treating inflammatory and neuropathic pain, the best part of this study is that people will not build up a tolerance to CBD effects. This means that pregnant women will potentially need to take only around 5–10 mg of CBD for pain relief.
Generally, it is estimated that one in five women experience nausea after conception. It usually starts around week 5 and might continue until the 20-week mark.
Although only a few people become physically sick as a result of morning sickness, they can usually manage it, but for others, it can be quite severe. This is the case for people who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). HG is a severe sickness that occurs during pregnancy and makes it difficult to remain nourished and hydrated.
Several studies have shown that using CBD can reduce nausea in humans and animals. This is because CBD interacts with the serotonin receptors and reduces the release of chemicals, which means lower stimulation of the part of the brain that causes vomiting.
Significant hormonal changes during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy can lead to severe fatigue. While this can be taken care of with regular rest, many people find it increasingly difficult to fall asleep as their pregnancy progresses.
This is due to many reasons, including the baby’s weight, discomfort, or fear of the birth. Although your fatigue will not affect the baby directly, it can become difficult for you to manage your emotions, so it is important to get high-quality sleep whenever possible.
Various studies have shown that CBD can help improve sleep quality. CBD is still an effective medication even if you suffer from insomnia and other significant sleep issues before pregnancy. It has been shown to work better than THC, which was previously believed to be the most effective cannabinoid for treating sleep issues.
During pregnancy, it is very difficult to control anxiety and depression because regular antianxiety and antidepressant medications are unsafe to use while pregnant.
So women are usually left to choose between taking care of their health or thinking about that of their babies.
CBD is a natural anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication so it can help effectively manage these conditions. Additional CBD research has also shown CBD works quite well as an anti-stress and anti-depressant.
This is due to the interaction of CBD with the endocannabinoid system, which triggers the production of dopamine and cortisol. These chemicals reduce the stress levels in individuals and increase their happiness levels so that they can fight against these conditions.
While smoking rates worldwide have continued to reduce drastically, many women still struggle with addiction during pregnancy. Pregnant women are recommended to quit smoking to benefit the fetus, but the thought of this can be quite stressful.
Studies have shown that the use of CBD can significantly reduce smoking. Even taking CBD for a short period can prove to be very effective. Also, this is not the case of swapping one addiction for another because CBD is not addictive so you can stop anytime.
While the above benefits may be exciting news, there is little research into how CBD affects pregnancy and the fetus. As a result, not all experts recommend using CBD during pregnancy.
One of the major concerns is that there are no regulations on the appropriate dosage or the right form of CBD for pregnant women. So, people can take different forms and dosages.
Still, they accept that CBD could effectively treat specific conditions during pregnancy. But they cannot recommend its use since it is not regulated. However, there are no studies that suggest that CBD is not safe for a fetus.
Therefore, while this article can assist you in discovering the potential benefits of CBD, it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to use it.
There are a few steps that you can follow to minimize the risk that comes with the use of CBD during pregnancy.
If you are considering using CBD during your pregnancy, it is important to talk to your doctor. They can advise you on whether it is safe for your use based on individual factors. This may be due to any medical conditions or medications you are taking.
When it comes to the use of CBD and other cannabinoids, you must start low and slow. This means that you should always start with the lowest possible dose and gradually increase it until you get to the recommended dosage.
While using any new medication or supplement, you should note the dose and how your body responds to it. This will help you and your doctor understand whether it is working.
CBD products come in two major types: full-spectrum extracts and CBD isolates. Full-spectrum extracts also contain other cannabinoids, while CBD isolate comprises just CBD.
Although both types have their advantages, it is advisable to stick with CBD isolate during pregnancy to know exactly what you are taking and to prevent the use of chemicals that could harm your fetus.
Because the CBD industry is unregulated, several low-quality products are on the market. You can carry out some research before you choose any product. Check for third-party test results, as they prove the quality of the company’s products.
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There are several reasons why pregnant women may decide to use CBD products. It has been proven effective for many symptoms experienced during pregnancy, including pain, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, cramps, headaches, and depression.
However, using CBD during pregnancy is cautiously advised, as there are no reliable studies to confirm its effects on the fetus. So, it has not been proven safe or unsafe.
Still, there is no reason why CBD should be dangerous for you or your baby. The studies carried out so far have shown that it is safe and effective for several conditions.
The best thing is to ensure that you use it safely. Also, pay attention to how your body responds, and ensure you inform your doctor about everything you are taking or plan to take while pregnant.