Can You Use CBD Oil While Breastfeeding?

Can You Use CBD Oil While Breastfeeding - Facebook

As a new mother, you may be wondering if you can use CBD oil while breastfeeding. After all, the benefits of this all-natural oil is a hot topic these days, and you’ve only heard good things concerning the safety of CBD oil. So can you use CBD oil while breastfeeding?

CBD oil has become extremely popular over the last few years. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that people are starting to ask questions regarding the use of CBD oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Because the answer is quite complex and there is not much information available on cannabis and CBD oil use, I decided to have a well-researched article on this subject.

However, while many people are familiar with this wonderful oil, others are still unaware of what CBD oil is and what it has to offer.

The Use of CBD Oil While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is an important opportunity for forming an everlasting bond with your little one and for providing them with all they need in the days after they are born.

A mother’s breast milk has nutrients that no other source can provide, which makes it extremely valuable. [1]

During the period after childbirth, the use of any substance, even the natural ones, can raise questions.

Mothers who are breastfeeding know all about monitoring their consumption of just about anything and CBD oil is no exception in this regard.

CBD or cannabidiol is one of the most well-known compounds in marijuana.

It is especially known for being non-intoxicating.

In other words, it will not make you feel high.

One of the biggest issues is that another compound found in the cannabis plant known as THC is infamous for having mind-altering properties.

Unfortunately, most medical investigations into the effects of cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding have focused on THC or the general use of cannabis products.

While THC offers a large number of medicinal benefits, it is not at all suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Just remember that CBD is not THC and the two are very different.

CBD oil has a host of benefits that can make life a little easier for breastfeeding women.

Even though CBD provides a wide range of medical benefits and also though many breastfeeding women use it, there are some concerns regarding its suitability for breastfeeding mothers.

CBD in Breast Milk

Baby breastfeeding

Does CBD pass through breast milk? Up until now, there is still not enough scientific evidence to form an answer around this question.

Did you know that natural cannabinoids already occur in breast milk?

These cannabinoids have important functions that play a vital role in the development of a newborn.

Cannabinoids in Breast Milk

The endocannabinoid system, along with all of its receptors, is quite important during the prenatal period, and it also has essential functions after childbirth.

One specific study stated that we are born with cannabinoid receptors.

Researchers concluded that endocannabinoids (and the receptors of these substances), therefore, can have a strong impact during the pre-natal and post-natal period.

It appears that the activation of CB1 receptors is critical for activating the muscles that an infant uses to start drinking their mother’s milk.

Furthermore, it has been discovered that these components may help to protect the nervous system of a newborn during the postnatal time. [2]

Why Is It So Difficult to Determine the Impact of CBD on Breast Milk?

There is still much to be discovered as far as cannabinoids in breast milk are concerned.

One thing we do know is that cannabinoids like CBD like to adhere to fat and breast milk is full of all kinds of fats.

The main concern is that the compounds in cannabis products can end up in breast milk by binding to these fats.

Scientists are currently trying to find out whether the active components in the cannabis plant can be carried over into breast milk.

One difficulty that they’ve encountered is that they are not able to analyze the cannabinoids and fats separately, which shows how tightly CBD molecules are bound to fats.

Scientists have developed a method that is based on saponification (the process used to make soap) to isolate the cannabinoids found in breast milk from the fat molecules in the milk.

Researchers are saying that with this approach, they should be able to detect trace levels of some of the active compounds found in the cannabis plant. [3][4]

This research can contribute to future studies to find out what the potential health risks are of using CBD oil during breastfeeding.

CBD Oil Use During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman laying down on the grass

It’s not exactly surprising that mothers who are expecting are interested in taking CBD oil.

This all-natural, non-psychoactive substance performs its functions in our bodies due to its effects on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is basically a large network of receptors and the compounds that activate these receptors.

You can imagine that each receptor is a lock that has to be opened by a specific key which represents each different type of endocannabinoid.

Many bodily functions are controlled by this system. This includes metabolic functions, immune functioning, movement, memory, appetite, sleep and many, many more.

Cannabinoids, like CBD, engage the ECS, which is why cannabis can affect our bodies in countless ways.

CBD is famous for addressing several symptoms that often also affect pregnant women.

It is thought to reduce inflammation, pain, nausea, anxiety, hormonal imbalances and the symptoms of depression. For more information, please consider reading another article we have that explains the extraordinary CBD and hemp oil benefits that work.

The endocannabinoid system plays an important part in the development of newborn babies as well.

Professionals in the medical industry are concerned about the many, still unknown, ways that some of the compounds in cannabis will affect the natural development of the baby.

They are also worried that these effects could lead to potential health or psychological issues down the line.

While it might not pose any risk to your unborn baby, there is not enough evidence to prove whether or not using CBD oil during pregnancy is safe.

The fact remains that anything you use during pregnancy can affect your developing baby.

Why Are People So Skeptic Of Using CBD Oil During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding?

CBD and doctor

The main issue remains that there is not enough research available at this point for anyone to form a clear estimation of the risk of taking CBD oil in pregnancy.

You could say that the biggest concern is due to the unknown.

Another issue that is causing a bit of a stir is the fact that the production of CBD oil is poorly regulated.

For instance, the legal amount of THC in hemp products can differ. In some cases, CBD products may contain THC levels that may be as high as 5 percent. [6]

What also happens from time to time is that CBD products that contain higher concentrations of THC are mislabeled.

In fact, one study pointed out that almost 70% of CBD products that are found online were not correctly labeled.

While using CBD oil during breastfeeding may not be as risky, the use of THC is harmful to the baby. Period!

Harmful Effects of THC During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

THC leave and formula

Most of the research on the effects of cannabinoids on pregnancy and breastfeeding has focused on the psychoactive compound, THC rather than CBD.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), get stored in body fat, and it is, therefore, slowly released over time.

For this reason, your infant could be exposed to the substance for an extended time. [8]

The exposure to THC in the uterus can have some potentially detrimental consequences for your unborn baby.

Some research has shown that THC can lead to developmental issues such as well as low birth weight.

Basically, due to the effects of THC, your baby could be at a greater risk of being admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). [9]

Moreover, studies show that using products that contain THC during pregnancy could affect your child’s ability to concentrate or learn in school when they get older. [10]

THC can also pass through breast milk, which means that if you use products containing THC, your baby could ingest some of it.

One study analyzed breast milk samples from breastfeeding mothers who used cannabis.

They picked up THC levels in a significant percentage of the samples for as long as six days later. [11]

In general, it is highly recommended that breastfeeding women don’t use marijuana or any cannabis products that contain THC.

We should remember though that THC and CBD are vastly different.

If you do decide to use CBD oil during pregnancy, make sure that the product you use is completely free of THC.

Be sure to check labels and to do your research.

CBD Oil Use for Postpartum Depression

Woman laying in bed and playing with baby

Among the wide spectrum of conditions that CBD is used for, the most common is perhaps depression and anxiety.

For new mothers, CBD can be especially useful for fighting postpartum depression.

Many breastfeeding women are affected by postpartum depression or PPD.

Women have to cope with many new responsibilities, along with violent hormonal changes after childbirth.

It’s no wonder that the postnatal period can prove to be extremely challenging.

This condition brings with it extreme anxiety, mood swings, fatigue and sometimes feelings of detachment from your new bundle of joy.

The bond that is formed between mother and child in the early weeks is vital for the development of the child.

Also, having a baby should be a happy time during which you can enjoy experiencing your precious child.

PPD is most often treated with antidepressants which are not suitable to use while you are breastfeeding.

When this becomes necessary, the nursing journey generally comes to an end. [12]

Many new moms who have stared down the dark hole of post-partum depression found that CBD helped them to see the light again.

CBD can reduce feelings of anxiety to help young mothers relax into their new role.

It has also been suggested that CBD oil can help to get depression under control through its effects on a substance known as anandamide.

Increased amounts of anandamide in the brain can limit the negative effects of depression and help mothers to experience joy, happiness, and motivation. [13][14][15]

CBD oil is also known to improve sleep quality. Needless to say, any new mom can benefit from a decent night’s rest. [16]

How Much CBD Should I Take When Breastfeeding?

Since the research on CBD oil and breastfeeding is still limited, it would definitely be a good decision to start with the lowest possible dosage if you choose to use it.

Let’s face it; you don’t want your baby to be affected in any way.

Most likely, you’ll only need to take it for your symptoms, so there’s no need to overdo it.

Can You Use CBD Oil While Breastfeeding - Pinterest

Is CBD Worth the Risk for Breastfeeding Mothers?

Can You Use CBD Oil While Breastfeeding? Ultimately, the decision is up to you.

However, the choice of whether or not to use CBD oil while you are breastfeeding should be one that you make with the guidance of a health care professional.

You could even consider talking to a doctor who specializes in cannabis treatments.

They will be able to inform you about things like the benefits, risks, dosages, etc. associated with using CBD oil during breastfeeding.

For some, the risk will certainly be worth it. The most important thing to consider is what is best for your child.

If you feel like you can’t deal with the huge challenges you are faced with after giving birth, you should definitely get help.

Just make sure that you make an informed decision.

Your baby is born with a need to be loved, and you need to make that your priority.

References:

  1. http://apps.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/9789241594783_Slides02.pdf?ua=1
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014299904007423?via%3Dihub
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5611668/
  4. https://phys.org/news/2017-01-breast-cannabinoids.html
  5. Fride, E. (2008). Multiple roles for the endocannabinoid system during the earliest stages of life: Pre‐and postnatal development. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 20, 75-81.
  6. Edmonds, B. Cannabidiol and Drug Tests. Quest Diagnostics.
  7. https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2017/november/penn-study-shows-nearly-70-percent-of-cannabidiol-extracts-sold-online-are-mislabeled
  8. https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/vaccinations-medications-drugs/marijuana.html
  9. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/pdf/marijuana-pregnancy-508.pdf
  10. Fried, P. A., Watkinson, B., & Gray, R. (1998). Differential effects on cognitive functioning in 9-to 12-year olds prenatally exposed to cigarettes and marihuana. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 20(3), 293-306.
  11. Bertrand, K. A., Hanan, N. J., Honerkamp-Smith, G., Best, B. M., & Chambers, C. D. (2018). Marijuana use by breastfeeding mothers and cannabinoid concentrations in breast milk.
  12. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/postpartum-depression-worst-kept-secret-2017020811008
  13. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324846.php
  14. Leweke, F. M., Piomelli, D., Pahlisch, F., Muhl, D., Gerth, C. W., Hoyer, C., ... & Koethe, D. (2012). Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signalling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Translational Psychiatry, 2(3), e94.
  15. De Morais, H., de Souza, C. P., da Silva, L. M., Ferreira, D. M., Baggio, C. H., Vanvossen, A. C., ... & Zanoveli, J. M. (2016). Anandamide reverses depressive-like behavior, neurochemical abnormalities and oxidative-stress parameters in streptozotocin-diabetic rats: role of CB1 receptors. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 26(10), 1590-1600.
  16. Chagas, M. H. N., Crippa, J. A. S., Zuardi, A. W., Hallak, J. E., Machado-de-Sousa, J. P., Hirotsu, C., ... & Andersen, M. L. (2013). Effects of acute systemic administration of cannabidiol on the sleep-wake cycle in rats. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 27(3), 312-316.

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