CBD Gummies And Breastfeeding

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It's no secret that nursing mothers often feel like they're constantly being pulled in many different directions—caring for the new baby, recovering from childbirth, and maintaining their own well-being. It's no wonder that many nursing mothers are interested in CBD products to help manage stress and discomfort. But is When it comes to life for a new mom, there are a ton of questions both during pregnancy and after. How much does what you put in your body affect your baby? What’s considered safe? What isn’t? And are there natural alternatives that are better for you and your child than prescription medications that may […]

CBD And Breastfeeding: Is It Safe?

It’s no secret that nursing mothers often feel like they’re constantly being pulled in many different directions—caring for the new baby, recovering from childbirth, and maintaining their own well-being. It’s no wonder that many nursing mothers are interested in CBD products to help manage stress and discomfort. But is it safe for nursing mothers to use CBD products? There’s minimal research available on the outcomes of CBD on breastfed babies, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using it while breastfeeding.

Key Takeaways:
  • CBD is one of many non-psychoactive compounds found in cannabis plants being researched for its long list of health benefits.
  • CBD and other cannabinoids are fat-soluble, which means the body doesn’t eliminate them quickly, and they are stored in fat tissue.
  • CBD has been detected in breastmilk 6 days after the last reported use, which can get passed on to infants.
  • Some poorly-made CBD products may contain contaminants that can also pose a risk to the infant’s and mother’s health.
  • Since there’s limited research on the safety of CBD and breastfeeding, it’s best to abstain from all cannabinoids.

What Is CBD?

CBD, cannabidiol, is one of over a hundred active compounds called cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining balance for a wide range of functions, including sleep, energy, memory, inflammation support, and pain perception [1, 2].

Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, which means it doesn’t cause changes in perception and feelings of euphoria. While some people smoke marijuana for pain and mental health, the intoxicating effects aren’t always welcome. CBD products have been gaining much attention lately for their potential health benefits without causing a high associated with marijuana use.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about the effects and safety surrounding CBD because it’s long been associated with marijuana and THC, the main psychoactive component of the plant.

Legal CBD products are derived from hemp plants, which cannot contain more than 0.3% THC—which isn’t enough to elicit psychoactive effects.

You may be wondering what the difference between them is.

Is smoking cannabis just smoking cannabis?

Hemp and marijuana are from the same cannabis plant, but the difference is in the concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and, therefore, its effects on the body.

Because CBD doesn’t cause the same changes in perception and euphoria, many people consider it a safer compound to take. Breastfeeding mothers may consider reaching for it to support relaxation, better sleep, and stress support. While CBD is deemed safe for most people, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly recommends against all cannabis product use, even CBD, for pregnant and breastfeeding parents.

Why Some Mothers Consider Using CBD While Breastfeeding

We know that bringing a new baby home is a massive transition for the family—while the postpartum period is a joyous time—it’s also undoubtedly challenging. And the nine months leading up to giving birth, women experience many changes to their bodies, resulting in pain, hormonal problems, stress and anxiety, and sometimes, postpartum depression.

Because there’s been so much attention on CBD’s potential to support stress, mood, sleep, and pain, many new mothers consider CBD products as a gentle and natural-derived compound for their wellness.

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The critical question is whether or not taking CBD oil is safe for the breastfed baby.

Even with CBD use aside, breastfeeding benefits the mother and baby. Compared to not breastfeeding, nursing mothers have been found to have generally lower perceived stress levels, fewer depressive symptoms, and lose more weight [3, 4].

What The Science Says About CBD And Breastfeeding

It’s not advised to consume even small quantities of cannabis products while pregnant at the risk of the developing fetus.

Some research looking at the outcomes of marijuana use during pregnancy has found that newborns had a higher likelihood of low birth weight and impaired brain and nervous system development [5].

There’s limited research on the safety of consuming CBD products while breastfeeding and even less on human milk specifically. Most of the published research is focused on marijuana and THC.

Since THC and CBD are cannabinoids that bind to fat and are metabolized in much of the same way, there are certain assumptions we can make, but nothing concrete about their effects on infants exposed to the compounds.

A study conducted from 2014 to 2017 followed 50 breastfeeding women who reportedly used marijuana and provided samples of their breastmilk to the lab to detect cannabinoid concentrations.

THC was detectable in 63% of the samples up to six days after the reported use, and five samples contained measurable levels of CBD (8.56 ng/mL) [6].

This study shows us that it takes much longer to metabolize and eliminate cannabinoids in the body because cannabinoids are fat-soluble. It’s not as simple as pumping the breast milk and discarding it to eliminate the compounds from the woman’s body before feeding as many nursing mothers can do after drinking a glass of wine.

Because there’s not enough research on the outcomes of using CBD products while nursing, it’s best to stay on the safe side and avoid it altogether.

Risks Of Smoking CBD While Breastfeeding

Smoking cigarettes while pregnant is a huge no-no. Chemicals from tobacco smoke can pass into your breast milk, and research suggests that babies exposed to tobacco smoke through breast milk are more likely to suffer from respiratory problems, ear infections, and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) [7].

But what about smoking CBD while breastfeeding? Is safe?

The jury is still out on this one, but there are some risks to consider. For starters, CBD can pass into breast milk. Your baby could be exposed to the compound, and CBD is potentially unsafe for infants. Additionally, smoking anything while breastfeeding can be harmful to you and your baby.

Another factor to consider is the harmful chemicals potentially hidden in your CBD products.

The CBD industry is new and still poorly regulated. Unfortunately, too many brands don’t care about the care or quality of their products and will use shortcuts to yield higher profits at the cost of their customers.

The hemp plant is susceptible to its growing environment, and poorly grown hemp crops could have traces of pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants that can end up in your CBD products, which can then be passed through breast milk.

Risks Of Taking CBD Oil While Breastfeeding

While CBD oil is generally considered safe for most adults, there is limited research on its effects on breastfeeding mothers and their babies.

Some of the potential risks associated with taking CBD oil while breastfeeding include:

How Long Is CBD In Breast Milk?

Many factors affect how long cannabinoids can remain in your body, such as your metabolism, frequency of use, and dose.

Since cannabinoids bind to fats, CBD and other cannabinoids remain in the body for much longer than other compounds such as alcohol and nicotine. When it comes to drug testing, we know that THC can stay in your system and be detected in urine up to 30 days after the last reported use.

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Some evidence shows that cannabinoids can be detected in trace amounts in breast milk even 6 days after the reported use. Of course, this number can vary from person to person.

Can Nursing Mothers Use Topical CBD Products?

In theory, it should be safe to use CBD products on the skin as it doesn’t enter the bloodstream.

Topical CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in the skin tissue to exert its effects locally. However, since there’s so much we don’t know about human breast milk and CBD, it’s best to avoid anything that can potentially harm the baby.

The Takeaway: Is It Safe For Breastfeeding Mothers To Use CBD Products?

While CBD oil is generally considered safe for most adults, some controversy surrounds its use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. In some breastfeeding mothers’ milk samples with cannabis use, CBD was detected up to six days after its last reported use [6].

For many new mothers, the decision to use CBD is personal. But if you are on any prescription medications, you must speak with your doctor before taking CBD. Cannabinoids, like many prescribed medications, are processed by the liver, which can increase the risk of specific medication toxicity in the body, which can then get passed onto the infant.

CBD & Breastfeeding

When it comes to life for a new mom, there are a ton of questions both during pregnancy and after. How much does what you put in your body affect your baby? What’s considered safe? What isn’t? And are there natural alternatives that are better for you and your child than prescription medications that may have potentially dangerous side effects?

We get asked questions like these a lot, and one thing most new moms want to know is whether or not it’s safe to take CBD while breastfeeding. Like the answer to every question regarding CBD, the answer starts with understanding more about the human body and its endocannabinoid system.

Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System (ES) plays a critical role in your body’s functioning and well-being. The Endocannabinoid System maintains a number of integral functions, including mental health and wellness, mood, appetite, nutrient transport, energy storage, immune function and the regulation of stress and pain perception.

When CBD enters the human body, it binds to CB receptors within the Endocannabinoid System. This can help to boost the endocannabinoids your body is already producing, and may help to improve the functions the ES is part of. You can learn more about the Endocannabinoid System here and see how CBD works in the body.

The Difference Between THC and CBD

By now, you probably know that THC and CBD are two of the most beneficial compounds found in hemp oil. CBD is a compound widely known for its beneficial properties that produces no psychoactive effects whatsoever. THC may also be useful in helping to treat various ailments, and it’s the compound responsible for creating the “high” associated with cannabis.

There’s been limited research done on the effects of CBD and THC on a developing fetus, but we discuss how to choose if taking CBD during pregnancy is right for you at length.

Taking CBD While Breastfeeding

When it comes to THC, research points to staying away from it while breastfeeding. However, there really hasn’t been enough research done to determine whether or not it’s safe to take CBD while breastfeeding. The truth is that many women who choose to take CBD during their time as a new mom have reported that they also enjoy powerful and natural relief from common postpartum symptoms.

Like any decision that involves your health or the health of your new baby, we strongly recommend talking with your doctor about whether CBD is the right option for you.

To learn more about the research out there and the arguments being made on taking CBD while breastfeeding, let’s dive into the ways CBD may be beneficial and the concerns about taking it.

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A Natural Fighter of Anxiety and Depression

For the surprisingly high percentage of new moms struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety, CBD may be especially helpful. Studies suggest between 11% to 15% of women struggle with these challenges, though the true number could be much higher.

Women with postpartum depression often find it more difficult to bond with their babies or provide them with adequate care, potentially impacting a child’s psychological development and leading to problems down the road. Often, when women bring these symptoms to a doctor’s attention, the prescribed “solution” is an antidepressant, like Lexapro or Zyban. Once these drugs finally take effect weeks after the first dose, they can come with a host of side effects like insomnia, weight gain and dizziness. While newer antidepressants have thankfully been formulated so they won’t interfere with breastfeeding, these drugs simply aren’t guaranteed to work. For new mothers without the financial means to obtain these antidepressants, PPD can feel like an impossible challenge.

The most controversial aspect of taking CBD while breastfeeding is simply the lack of research. Most of the studies done on cannabis involve a targeted look at THC. And while this research does point to negative effects of THC on developing fetuses and newborns (like low birth weight), what this indicates is that women shouldn’t smoke marijuana or take THC-rich products while pregnant or breastfeeding. It doesn’t indicate anything negative about CBD.

However, there is one thing we do know for sure – breast milk already naturally contains cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids in Breast Milk

Yep, that’s correct – breast milk is already chock-full of cannabinoids crucial for a baby’s development. This is one of the most important and significant findings surrounding CBD and cannabinoids at large.

Endocannabinoids are incredibly important because they play various vital roles in a baby’s development. They help stimulate the process of suckling and promote appetite, teaching newborns the vital process of eating and getting essential nutrients. It has been widely observed that babies who drink breast milk are more calm after feeding. While we do know that cannabinoids are present in breast milk, scientists aren’t yet sure which cannabinoids are present. One of the challenges in determining which cannabinoids are in breast milk is that CBD binds closely with fat, making it near impossible to measure its amount.

In the future, researchers believe they’ll be able to figure out which cannabinoids are in breast milk – and in what amounts – through a process called “saponification,” which separates those compounds from the milk. All of these advancements are important in determining how CBD might affect a newborn and making progress in the larger picture of CBD as a potentially awesome natural alternative to prescription medications.

Is Taking CBD Worth the Possible Risk?

That’s ultimately a choice between you and your doctor. There simply isn’t enough information currently about the ways CBD could impact your breast milk or your baby for us to definitively state that it’s a completely safe option.

However, after consulting with their doctors and analyzing the benefits of CBD over certain prescription medications, many mothers make the decision that CBD is right for them. And we do know that CBD is regularly prescribed for children struggling with seizures as a safe, non-intoxicating and natural solution.

If I Choose to Take CBD, How Much Should I Take?

As always, we recommend starting small and taking CBD at a consistent time of day. If you’re new to CBD, we recommend starting with 25-50 mg a day and increasing the amount as needed. To learn more, check out this complete guide of how much CBD you should take.

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