The FDA has gotten reports of CBD products possibly being contaminated with other things, like:
Otherwise, the FDA doesn’t review supplements like it does medications. So if you see a CBD pill, oil, capsule, or liquid with a package that makes health claims, be skeptical of its promises. And don’t take it if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. If you’re having pregnancy symptoms, ask your doctor or OB-GYN for a safer treatment instead.
Why It’s Risky
In general, don’t take a new supplement without talking to your doctor first. They can let you know whether it’s likely to be safe and effective for you.
FDA: “What You Should Know About Using Cannabis, Including CBD, When Pregnant or Breastfeeding,” “FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy.”
Approved Uses for CBD
It’s also possible for CBD products to be contaminated with things that could be dangerous for a developing or nursing baby, like THC. That’s the chemical in cannabis that gets you high. Experts advise all women to avoid THC while pregnant and breastfeeding. It may affect a baby’s brain development in the womb. It can also raise the chances of stillbirth or premature birth. THC can pass to an infant through breast milk, and experts think this can happen with CBD as well.
There is decent human research showing support for CBD when it comes to pain relief, depression , and anxiety in non-pregnant people. It could also help with nausea, so it’s no wonder that it may be appealing in pregnancy.
Dr. Nicole Rankins, a Virginia OB-GYN who specializes in helping women feel calm and empowered during pregnancy and birth, suggested other methods for stress and pain that we know are healthy for pregnant people: Yes, meditation and exercise, but also things like physical therapy, talk therapy, and even some prescription medications.
The Food and Drug Administration “strongly advises” against any form of marijuana use in pregnancy, and that includes CBD.
Consider the tradeoff
My stance is a little more sympathetic to your experience. After all, the FDA has to make blanket recommendations for public health, not individualized guidance. And while CBD may be risky in pregnancy, in some cases, those risks may by outweighed by the benefits.
Knowing what you know about what the research can and can’t tell us, consider the tradeoffs. Will you be driven to drink or smoke tobacco if you don’t have CBD? Will you experience debilitating stress, nausea, and sleeplessness?
Expert guidance is to avoid CBD use in pregnancy
If alternative options aren’t cutting it, talk to your provider (or find another one who’s open to CBD use) about how to incorporate the compound as safely as possible.
As Lynn Paltrow, a lawyer who serves as president of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, previously told me, marijuana studies can’t control for “the stress that would have occurred had it not been for [the substance].”