By Meredith Summers | December 12, 2017
With so many people using CBD oil to aid in everything from anxiety to fibromyalgia, it raises plenty of questions about when it’s not safe to use the substance. New mothers who use CBD oil may be tempted to continue using it while they’re nursing, regardless of whether or not their doctor supports this decision. CBD oil is a safe substance to take with few (if any) long-term repercussions. However, this fact stems from what we know about how adults react to CBD oil, not newborns. For women who want to do everything to give their child every advantage in life, it’s time to examine the facts and the consequences of using CBD while nursing.
No One Knows
Like so many cannabis-related issues, it’s unclear as to whether or not your baby will be hurt if you were to use CBD oil while breastfeeding. The evidence supporting that your baby will be harmed is inconsistent — mainly because there’s hardly any evidence to work with at all. The studies done are so few and far with anything cannabis-related, let alone mothers only taking CBD oil while nursing and no other medications.
Mothers who smoke (mainly) THC while pregnant typically have children with lower birth weights and their children may even suffer from a lack of oxygen while in the womb. However, THC and CBD are two completely different compounds. One gets you high while the other one has no psychotic side effects. When postpartum depression or anxiety is a serious risk for new mothers, there’s a high demand for more information about how CBD oil can affect a child.
Mothers who use cannabis regularly while nursing will pass the drug onto their baby while nursing. If the infant’s urine was tested and found positive, it’s possible that a CPS-type organization would be called. However, this fact applies to women who use more traditional forms of cannabis to get ‘high’, as opposed to pure CBD oil. It is unclear how an infant will be affected by pure CBD oil because there are no documented studies about it. And of course, research studies would never want to put newborns in harm’s way, which could mean it will take a while before women get enough evidence to confirm or deny the safety of taking CBD oil while nursing.
The medications that can be taken while nursing may be surprising to many women. From blood clot medication to insulin, there are plenty of approved substances that a woman can use while they’re breastfeeding. Many of these medications come with side effects far more severe than CBD oil, which has been deemed safe by practically everyone who truly understands the compounds behind it.
That being said, new mothers may want to consider pressing pause on CBD oil use until they have a few more facts in their corner. Asking your doctor is likely going to get you a flat ‘no’, either because a doctor has to think of their own liability or because they don’t understand what CBD is. Remember that in the early 1900s, experts used to claim that simply being angry can spoil your milk and harm your child.
Pregnancy advice will continue to change and evolve based on what we know. But even though the risks are likely either non-existent or negligible, there just isn’t enough to the science to give the final stamp of approval. If you’re using CBD oil to battle postpartum depression or anxiety and you don’t want to stop, you may want to consider either bottle-feeding, or buying breast milk from other new mothers. The benefits of nursing do not require the fluids to be yours, and children will still get the same health benefits regardless.