Is CBD Safe While Breastfeeding?

cannabidiol breastfeeding

Cannabidiol has a plethora of health benefits. CBD oil can alleviate migraines, provide relief from symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and fibrmyalgia, can be used in treatment for certain types of cognitive disorders and can improve liver functions. Cannabidiol can provide relief from withdrawal symptoms of alcoholism. CBD oil is used in treatments for epilepsy, bipolar disorder, Lyme disease and Parkinson’s. However, all these effects are only for adults who do not have any specific condition that will get worsened by the use of cannabidiol.

Cannabidiol and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding mothers have to be extremely conscious of their choices, not just in terms of foods and drinks but also the substances they get exposed to. This includes second hand smoke or any form of unpleasant vapor. Cannabidiol or CBD oil may or may not have any adverse effect on a breastfeeding mother and the newborn. However, it is not known if there is any positive or negative effect. Till date, research and studies pertaining to the use of cannabidiol has not included pregnant or breastfeeding women. Hence, no one really knows how cannabidiol affects breast milk or the development of fetus in pregnant women.

It is fairly certain that cannabidiol does not have any of the harmful effects of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. It is THC that has the psychoactive properties in marijuana. THC can cause a high and it has some serious adverse effects on pregnant and breastfeeding women. CBD oil, in all likelihood, does not have any of these risks but it is unclear how it may affect the quality or composition of breast milk and how a fetus will develop through the trimesters. There is some reason to believe that cannabidiol or its traces can cause uterine changes and there is a possibility for the placental barrier to be compromises. This is why it is best for pregnant women not to consume cannabidiol in any form. The same precautionary approach should be adopted by breastfeeding women. Till such time there is conclusive proof or irrefutable scientific inference that cannabidiol is totally safe for breastfeeding mothers, one should not risk exposure to any extent.

Look for Cannabidiol Alternatives while Breastfeeding

Smoking or vaporizing cannabis is strictly prohibited for breastfeeding mothers. Using cannabidiol in edibles or applying CBD oil topically has not been proven to be safe. In instances wherein breastfeeding women seek some relief from postpartum anxiety or depression, it is safe to consult a doctor and seek a prescription drug or an over the counter remedy but one that has been proven to be effective while having no impact on the quality or composition of breast milk.

Since there is no evidence to prove cannabidiol is safe or unsafe for breastfeeding women, it is also not known what kind of impact it may have on the baby. The hope for any such evidence in the near future is nearly nonexistent since no one is presently even considering a study of lactating mothers consuming cannabidiol in any form.

There is some evidence that marijuana has traces that get passed on to the breastfed baby. Breastfeeding mothers smoking marijuana have their babies test positive for tetrahydrocanabinol. Exposure to THC is dangerous for babies. It can impair cognitive development. Cannabidiol is not THC. CBD oil does not have traces of THC, unless it is mentioned on the label. Some manufacturers state that a tiny proportion of THC may be found in their CBD oil. Whether or not CBD oils have THC depending on the brand chosen, marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol should be avoided by breastfeeding mothers.

Doctors recommend alternatives for CBD oil. The founder of Infant Risk Center at Health Science Center in Tech University of Texas and also author of Medications and Mother’s Milk, Dr. Thomas Hale (Ph.D.) recommends consulting a doctor to choose remedies for postpartum anxiety and depression. He states that it is possible cannabidiol or other cannabinoids can cause neurobehavioral changes in infants who get exposed. There are antidepressants available today that have been proven to be safe for use even while breastfeeding. Some of these antidepressants may have side effects for the mother but the traces of the drugs do not get passed on to the breastfed baby. Hence, they are a much better and safer alternative to cannabidiol. They have also proven to be effective. It is not totally clear or known how effective cannabidiol can be to cure depression and anxiety in breastfeeding women or those who are dealing with postpartum discomfort.

Topical use of cannabidiol oil may still be considered by breastfeeding women, provided the baby does not get into direct contact with that part of the body. This is quite difficult to ensure so avoiding cannabidiol or CBD oil completely is the best approach. Wait till the end of breastfeeding to use cannabidiol for any purpose.

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