It’s a question we get asked all the time, and there is a lot of conflicting information out there about the subject. It can be challenging to know which sources are the most informed.
The truth is that there just hasn’t been enough clinical research done to for us to state that CBD is safe to take while you’re pregnant. In fact, there currently aren’t any studies that support the use of CBD during pregnancy.
That’s because until recently, most of the limited research has been done on marijuana use while pregnant, focusing most specifically on the impact of THC on a developing fetus.
We need research on the impact of CBD during pregnancy, and here’s why.
The lack of research is unfortunate, because what we do know is that many of the unpleasant symptoms pregnant women experience, like nausea, discomfort and inflammation, are directly impacted by the endocannabinoid system.
CB₁ and CB₂ receptors within the human body’s endocannabinoid system perform different tasks based on their location.
CBD ultimately impacts CB₁ receptors by increasing the levels of anandamide. CB₁ receptors, in particular, localize on the nerve cells specializing in releasing chemicals of excitement and calm. At the activation of high doses of endocannabinoids, CB₁ receptors can help stop these chemicals from releasing. CB₁ receptors can also modulate the body’s response to pain and are found within the nerve cells of your spinal cord. Activation of these receptors can inhibit incoming pain cells.
CB₂ receptors can be found in the immune cells of organs like the spleen, bone marrow, tonsils, and the digestive tract. When CBD hits these receptors, it can enhance their ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body. And because pain is often related to inflammation, eliminating the source through the use of endocannabinoids is a great way to treat many conditions related to inflammation.
In addition, CB₂ receptors found in the centers of the brain control the vomiting reflex. Stimulation of these receptors can ultimately prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting.
Because of all of this, CBD shows promise in providing intensely therapeutic effects for women who are pregnant - and that’s exactly why we need more research.
We also know that the endocannabinoid system plays a pretty important part in fetus development.
Endocannabinoids within the human body are essential in fertilization, the development of a fetus, and the growth of a new baby. In fact, the implantation of the embryo into the uterus requires a short-term and highly localized reduction of anandamide, one of the body’s most important cannabinoids. From there, the endocannabinoid system regulates stem cell differentiation into neurons and leads processes called axonal migration and synaptogenesis. When a baby begins to suckle, that instinct is actually stimulated by the activation of the CB₁ receptors in the baby’s brain.
Because the endocannabinoid system plays such a crucial role in the early development of a baby, it’s definitely important that more research is done on the way CBD interacts with a developing fetus.
It’s always best to consult your doctor before making any medical decisions.
Whether you’re pregnant or not, it’s always wise to talk with your physician about any changes you’re making to your diet or lifestyle. Having open communication with your healthcare provider is important, and it’s one of the best ways to make sure you’re making the right decisions for your body and your health. While there’s still a lot to be learned about the ways CBD can positively impact people’s lives, having conversations about how to improve your well-being - and your baby’s - is a great place to start.