Dear Is This Normal,

I’ve been hearing a lot about CBD lately, but I’m not sure what it’s all about! I’m currently pregnant, and am having a hard time with nausea and back pain. A friend recommended CBD oil, but I’m really unclear about whether or not I can take it during pregnancy. I’m not even sure I feel comfortable talking to my doctor about it! Can you break it down for me? What do I need to know about it? Is it safe during pregnancy?

CBD Curious 

Dear CBD Curious,

I totally understand your curiosity! CBD is everywhere right now. It’s the hot “new” thing, being used to help alleviate a range of ailments from nausea and anxiety to sore muscles and chronic pain. Personally, I’m a fan, and have found it helps with my general anxiety and stress.

CBD isn’t really new—cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years. But as more and more states hop on the legalization train, we’re seeing a huge uptick in the promotion and use of CBD as an alternative therapy or supplement. BUT, and it’s a big but: there’s a lot we don’t know about cannabis-derived CBD, especially when it comes to the effects of CBD on pregnancy and a developing fetus. 

CBD is short for cannabidiol, an oil made from extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and diluting it with a neutral oil. It is a chemical compound of the cannabis plant, but it’s not the part of plant that gets you high. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it’s not psychoactive. Which is why it’s so popular as a medicinal supplement! You can take it regularly without worrying about mood changes, decreased motor movement, or addiction. 

If you smoke or ingest weed to get high, that’s the THC at work, not the CBD. CBD has been used in clinical trials to treat everything from epilepsy to PTSD. Nowadays, you can get CBD in pretty much any form: oils, tinctures, gummies, lotions, food, and beverages. Your friend uses it, celebrities use it, it’s everywhere! 

But, you’re not just anyone. You’re pregnant! And that changes things. You can google CBD and pregnancy and you will, no doubt, find a bunch of articles telling you it’s natural and non-psychoactive so it’s totally fine to use during pregnancy. But while I am a big proponent of CBD and weed (generally speaking), I’m going to be the Debbie Downer here. The problem is, when it comes to CBD and pregnancy, we have next to no research or data on whether or not CBD is safe to use during pregnancy. 

There is no conclusive evidence in the scientific community that states it’s safe. Now, there’s no evidence that says it’s unsafe, either! But most experts almost universally agree: without research, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Avoid ingesting CBD during pregnancy. This is one of those times you want to be EXTRA careful, and if you don’t know how something may affect your pregnancy and developing fetus, don’t take the chance.

Listen, I would still advise you to talk about it with your doctor! You should feel comfortable enough with your OB to talk about anything. While ingesting CBD is not recommended during pregnancy, some experts say that topical creams can be safely used to treat sore muscles and inflammation, since the compound doesn’t enter your bloodstream. Some doulas and midwives actually use CBD-infused creams and lotions on their clients during labor. Talk to your doc about it, but my advice as it stands today? Skip ingesting the CBD oils/gummies/teas/sprays during your pregnancy until there’s more we know.

Best to CBDon’t for Now,

Is This Normal

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