CBD in breastfeeding



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


Cannabis is a plant of the Cannabaceae family and contains more than 80 biologically active chemical compounds. THC and CBD are the most widely known compounds. One form of the cannabis plant is marijuana, which contains varying amounts of THC, a “high” compound that is frequently associated with marijuana. Hemp is another form of the cannabis plant. Hemp plants contain exceptionally low levels of THC. CBD, which does not generate a “high,” can be extracted from either marijuana or hemp.


We’re seeing CDB-containing items all over the place. CBD can be present in a variety of different products, such as medications, foods, products sold as dietary supplements, and cosmetics. These companies also make questionable claims about the wellbeing of CBD.


Cannabis and Cannabis-derived products have become widely available in recent years, with new and different types of products on the market all the time. These goods pose problems and concerns for many customers. And if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, you may have more concerns about whether these items are healthy for you. FDA strongly recommends against the use of cannabidiol ( CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC) and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or during breast-feeding.


What do we know about the consequences of marijuana usage during pregnancy and during breastfeeding?


There are several possible negative health consequences from the use of marijuana and other THC-containing products during pregnancy and during breastfeeding. Currently, the U.S. Surgeon General recently cautioned consumers that marijuana use during pregnancy may affect the development of the fetal brain, as THC can reach the fetal brain from the mother’s bloodstream. The Surgeon General also recommended that marijuana could increase the risk of a low birth weight newborn. The analysis also indicates an increased risk of premature birth and probably stillbirth.


While breastfeeding, it is important to know that breastmilk may contain THC for up to six days after use. This THC can affect the development of a newborn’s brain, resulting in hyperactivity, poor cognitive function, and other long-term consequences. In addition, marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxic substances as cigarette smoke.


What do we know about the effects of CBD during pregnancy and during breastfeeding?


There is no systematic review of the impact of CBD on developing fetuses, nursing mothers, or breastfed infants. The FDA continues to collect and review data on possible adverse effects of CBD during pregnancy and during breastfeeding. However, on the basis of what we do observe, there is a major cause for concern.


High doses of CBD in pregnant laboratory animals have caused problems with the reproductive system in the production of male fetuses. In addition, based on what we already know about CBD, we expect a certain amount of CBD to be transmitted to babies via breast milk.


We also know that there is a possibility for CBD products to be contaminated with substances that may pose a danger to the fetus or breastfed infant, like THC. We have also found rumors of CBD possibly producing other pollutants (e.g. pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria and fungi); we are investigating this.


In addition, the CBD has documented threats to people in general. Based on clinical trials in humans, the threats could include the following:


  • Toxicity of the liver (damage)
  • Extreme Sleeplessness
  • Hazardous interactions with other medications


FDA examines the effects of CBD use from various perspectives, such as the use of CBD-containing items, such as food, cosmetics, or supplements, during a person’s lifetime; and the effects of the use of these different products in combination. There are several unanswered questions about the science, protection and consistency of CBD-containing items.


In particular, we want to learn more about the effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breast-feeding, including, for example, whether and to what degree the involvement of CBD in human milk harms the breast-feeding child or the milk production of the mother.


What do you think about using cannabis or cannabis products?


If you are considering using cannabis or other THC or CBD-containing drugs, you should be aware of the following: FDA strongly recommends that you stop using CBD, THC, or marijuana in any way during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. While several of these drugs are sold, FDA has not approved these drugs except one prescription CBD drug product and two prescription drug products containing dronabinol, a synthetic form of THC (which is approved for the treatment of some side effects of HIV-AIDS or chemotherapy). 


All three of these prescription drugs have associated complications and side-effects. Always talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any medications, supplements or herbs while you are pregnant or breast-feeding.


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