Older research exploring the interaction of other cannabinoids like THC has shown less than ideal results.
Any of the CBD you take while breastfeeding can make its way into breast milk, and therefore your baby.
Although CBD itself isn’t thought to be unsafe for infants, these compounds most certainly are and should be avoided at all costs.
Research is Limited & Opinions Vary
CBDistillery is a Colorado-based company with a diverse product lineup. Out of all their products, my favorite is their CBD gummies — which come in three primary forms; full-spectrum, isolate, and nighttime formula (containing melatonin).
In this article, we’ll cover the most popular reasons why a mother may want to use CBD for herself or her baby — and discuss the safety around using CBD and other related cannabinoids while breastfeeding.
Nevertheless, CBD still hasn’t been proven safe either — which is why many doctors err on the side of avoiding the supplement.
Some substances will transfer from the bloodstream into the breast milk, which will of course, then go on to affect the baby.
A recent study surrounding THC and breastfeeding, published out of UC San Diego in 2018, indicates that THC is measurable in breastmilk for up to six days after maternal marijuana use. Cannabinoids love to adhere to fat, and breastmilk is viscous as it contains long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.
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Topical vs. Ingestible Use of CBD When Breastfeeding
Geary adds, “Every mother’s metabolism is different; the absorption into the blood stream is different, and the actual dosage of the CBD listed is not considered accurate or reliable.” She also brings up a point about the lack of regulation surrounding CBD products. This March, the FDA issued a statement promising to advance regulatory practices of CBD, admitting wide gaps in data and a lack of market transparency. The same report notes, “we are not at a point where we can conclude that unapproved CBD products are safe for use” in lactating women. Thomas adds that for reliable data, we’ll need to evaluate a couple thousand people over at least 15 years. Current data doesn’t meet either of those criteria.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is everywhere, from topical salves to tinctures. The so-called organic Xanax is being touted by wellness enthusiasts as a panacea to pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Nature’s supposed cure-all might seem like a miracle treatment to sleep-deprived, delirious new mothers, especially those who are breastfeeding and feeling energetically depleted. But despite the widespread availability of CBD, it remains unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), leaving many questions around its safety for breastfeeding mothers unanswered. What may seem like natural stress relief to help navigate the many mental and physical challenges of motherhood, especially in trying times, might end up exposing your child to risks that research has yet to uncover.
Until we have more evidence, Geary says women who are expecting or breastfeeding should definitely err on the side of caution and avoid cannabis in all forms.
If you are considering using cannabis, or any products containing THC or CBD, you should be aware of the following:
High doses of CBD in pregnant test animals have caused problems with the reproductive system of developing male fetuses 2 . In addition, based on what we already know about CBD, we expect that some amount of CBD will be transferred to babies through breast milk.
Cannabis is a plant of the Cannabaceae family and contains more than eighty biologically active chemical compounds. The most commonly known compounds are THC and CBD. One type of cannabis plant is marijuana, which contains varying levels of THC, the compound that produces the “high” that is often associated with marijuana. Another type of cannabis plant is hemp. Hemp plants contain extremely low amounts of THC. CBD, which does not produce a “high,” can be derived from either marijuana or hemp.
What about hemp seeds?
Moreover, CBD has known risks for people in general. Based on clinical studies in humans, risks can include the following:
We also know that there is a potential for CBD products to be contaminated with substances that may pose a risk to the fetus or breastfed baby, including THC. We have also heard reports of CBD potentially containing other contaminants (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus); we are investigating this.
FDA recently completed an evaluation of some hemp seed-derived food ingredients and had no objections to the use of these ingredients in foods. THC and CBD are found mainly in hemp flowers, leaves, and stems, not in hemp seeds. Hemp seeds can pick up miniscule amounts of THC and CBD from contact with other plant parts, but these amounts are low enough to not raise concerns for any group, including pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
We are now seeing CBD-containing products everywhere. CBD can be found in many different products, like drugs, foods, products marketed as dietary supplements, and cosmetics. These products often make questionable health promises about CBD.