Breastfeeding & Using Cannabidiol (or CBD)

What Breastfeeding Women Should Know About CBD

Cannabidiol (or CBD) oil and breastfeeding is a hot trending topic these days and comes with a lot of controversies. The use of CBD is a popular trend in the present-day world. It is touted as a remedy for everything from anxiety to nausea.

But since it comes from the cannabis plant, it is okay to try if you’re breastfeeding? Marijuana is not largely accepted as safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. According to a research study, THC transfers to breast milk and may affect infant development.

 

Risks Of Using CBD Oil After Pregnancy

The perinatal general anxiety disorder affects 8.5%–10.5% of women during their pregnancy and 4.4%–10.8% during their postpartum phase. This combined with lack of sleep before and after childbirth causes women to enter a phase of depression.

For working women, this can either be a welcome break or can also be the leading cause of depression. Because they must stay back home to take care of the child. After the legalization of CBD oil in the US, a lot of women turn to this natural remedy treat anxiety and depression after pregnancy.

But when it comes to Cannabidiol (or CBD) is safe for their babies while nursing – it is a big NO. The possible risks of using CBD oil after pregnancy is that marijuana and Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) affect infant development while breastfeeding. The chemicals that the nursing women intake during marijuana use can pass through breast milk.

This, in turn, can potentially affect the little one. Another possible risk is that it can make you feel sleepy and slightly intoxicated. Therefore, you are under the risk of having impaired judgment while caring for your child.

 

Can CBD Help Nursing Mothers?

Many breastfeeding mothers suffer from the problem of depression which can further result in anxiety, mood changes, and fatigue. Consequently, the mother ignores the child, does not feed him/her on time.

This, in turn, impacts the child’s development. Breast milk is essential for a newborn because it has ample physical and mental benefits. Cannabidiol (or CBD) interacts with every human body differently. This neurotransmitter has full control over the body’s feelings of joy, happiness, motivation, and excitement.

In the case of women suffering from post-pregnancy depression, anandamide somehow decreases. CBD can help reverse this process and increase its volume and effectiveness. Thus, helping women overcome depression.

 

CBD, Weight Loss & Fatigue of Nursing Mothers

Besides anxiety and depression, breastfeeding mothers also complain about fatigue, nausea, and unhealthy weight loss. It is caused because of the body of the mother channels nutrition for breastmilk. When the baby needs its nutrition, it is an ethical duty on the part of the mother to keep herself nourished as well.

This is the reason why doctors ask breastfeeding mothers to enhance their regular diet by adding 450 – 500 extra calories per day. From the research studies, it has been revealed that Cannabidiol (or CBD) is highly effective in curbing all of the above-mentioned symptoms. It offers healthy appetite and nutrition to nursing women to keep both herself and the baby strong.

 

CBD, Disrupted Sleep & Insomnia

Nursing your newborn means, you often must wake up at night to feed your baby. This disrupts the regular flow of sleep, leaving the mother exhausted, nauseous and lacking in appetite. But, Cannabidiol (or CBD) has in store a cure for this problem too.

CBD is considered to enhance quality sleep and fights the problem of insomnia. Moreover, CBD also helps lower cortisol production in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that is triggered by stress, one that may prevent you from falling asleep.

 

Does CBD Affect The Child?

Antidepressants and sedatives are not considered safe to be administered by nursing mothers. Although they might be highly beneficial for mothers they are believed to be not at all safe for the babies. The experts hold the view that CBD is neither safe for the infant/ newborn nor for the pregnant or breastfeeding women.

This is because cannabinoids are potentially powerful nerve stimulant, which little bodies cannot accept. While Cannabidiol (or CBD) oil has been clinically tested to be safe for adults, it has also been tested on children above the age of 4 to treat seizures associated with the rare form of epilepsy.

However, there are available no substantial research to determine the effects of phytocannabinoid on human babies when they are in their breastfeeding stage. Another concern to worry about is while breastfeeding you can unknowingly consume Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) along with other chemicals, contaminants, solvents in an immeasurable amount when taking CBD.

Manufacturing CBD is a very complex procedure which requires ample of cleansing. These harmful chemicals which lead to a potentially harmful concoction might prove to be safe for adults but is not at all safe for newborns or nursing women. Therefore, it is always recommended to discuss with your gynecologist before taking any sort of drug during the nursing stage.

 

CBD In Breastmilk

So far, scientists have been able to prove that Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) – the intoxicating component of cannabis does not get absorbed into breast milk. No such evidence has been found in the case of CBD producing any sort of detrimental effects on both the child and the mother.

To measure any substance, first, it needs to be detected. Cannabidiol (or CBD) being completely fat-soluble means it gets mixed in a homogenous manner with breast milk thus making it impossible for anyone to detect the presence of THC. Adding on, till date no adverse effects have been reported amongst CBD users.

And, also no clinical trials have been conducted to know the presence of CBD in breast milk or the newborn being nursed. This is because it is against the ethics and morals. However, researchers are planning to employ a process known as “alkaline saponification” to determine even the minute amounts of cannabinoids in breast milk.

When we talk about cannabinoids, they are a naturally occurring substance in breast milk. They are produced by the endocannabinoid system. And, they almost behave like CBD in a way that it stimulates hunger, send signals to the brain of the baby to suckle. These endocannabinoids are very much essential for baby’s growth and development.

There are only a few studies available to show for how long THC remains in the breast milk. But there are no virtual studies on CBD oil or studies on CBD uses and breastfeeding. The few that have been carried out in the past provides only inconclusive results summarizing the effects CBD can have on nursing infants.

According to the 2013 research study, chronic exposure to CBD for 24 – 72 hours might bring about the changes in the physiological characteristics of the placenta. However, chronic exposure is never preferred by an average CBD user.

 

Conclusion

As there exists no research study to prove that Cannabidiol (or CBD) is unsafe for nursing mother or her child, the absence does not mean it is safe for either of them. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor before taking any usual CBD dosage if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Even if the doctor gives you the nod, look for the lab-tested products. The effect of CBD oil varies from individual to individual. If CBD has been proven safe and effective for one, then, it does not mean that it will be same for second too. So, know all things prior using.

Let us know what you think.

[Editorial Note: Hannah Jones is a Tulsa-based writer and graduate of Tulsa Community College. She’s a contributing writer to cannabisherald.co as well as Content Marketing Expert and she’s writing about Cannabis since 2014. When not writing about cannabis, she enjoys playing Chess and hanging out with her dog Froski.]