Can I Use CBD Oil While Pregnant?

Updated: February 12, 2020
CBD products are all the rage right now in the wellness space, but are they safe to use when pregnant?
pregnant woman relaxing

CBD oil is touted online as a one-stop remedy for relieving inflammation, stress, anxiety, nausea, and more. Many of those ailments could be symptoms of pregnancy, but you may want to do a bit of research before giving it a try. 

More: Do You Really Have to Quit Coffee When You're Pregnant?

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is made from extractions from the cannabis plant, diluted into a neutral, edible oil. The CBD space is still relatively new and unexplored, so not as much research has been done into the therapeutic benefits of using CBD recreationally, compared to the amount of research done on using THC, the most active ingredient in marijuana which has psychoactive effects. 

Research of the Affect of CBD Oil on Pregnancy

Derek Chase, founder of FLORA + BAST, explains the current lack of research available in the industry: “Given the lack of clinical data showing the safety of cannabinoids in general during pregnancy and nursing, we are unable to recommend that it is in fact safe. That said, there is no evidence that CBD will cause child development issues if exposed to the molecule inside the womb. But we do not interpret a lack of evidence to be evidence of safety.”

However, more research will be coming, Chase explained: “By way of background, due to hemp’s classification as a schedule I drug (i.e. no known medical benefits), research has been sparse in the last few decades. With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which makes hemp federally legal, there is renewed interest in studying the medicinal benefits of the plant, so it won’t be too long until we have a clearer understanding around the safety during pregnancy and nursing.”

Once there is more concrete research done about the potential advantages and side effects of using CBD while pregnant, more brands and dispensary locations will be able to better give information to consumers about using cannabis products when pregnant. For now, many - including Chase - are not comfortable discussing any benefits or side effects as “it is based on anecdotal evidence.”

Which Application of CBD is Safest?

CBD can also be applied to the skin topically, inhaled through a vapor pen, or eaten in an edible, among other methods. However, there are differences based on the method in which you choose to use CBD. 

Chase elaborated on the differences between topical application and oral ingestion: “When applied topically, unless through a transdermal patch, CBD and other cannabinoids do not pass through the surface layer of your skin to enter the bloodstream. As such, if a mom or mom-to-be were willing to try a CBD-containing product, we would recommend topical remedies. When administered orally, there is a greater chance that a developing fetus would be exposed to the CBD and cannabinoids.”

So, Is CBD Safe During Pregnancy?

The best advice we can share with the current research available is to discuss with your doctor what you would be using CBD for and to try and find a way to still experience the relief it offers without causing any harm to your baby.

Looking for other ways to cope with anxiety during pregnancy? Here are five strategies to dealing with gestational anxiety.