Is CBD Oil Safe During Pregnancy?

When a woman is pregnant, everything — from the food she eats to the beverages she drinks to the supplements she takes — can impact her health and the baby’s health. Many pregnant women want to use CBD oil as a natural supplement to relieve a variety of pregnancy-related conditions. They may be wondering if it is safe to take CBD oil while their pregnancy progresses.

While there is still a lack of enough evidence, at this stage enough studies have shown that the use of cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding can lead to increased risk of low birth weight, preterm labor, and brain and behavior problems.

How CBD Works With the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

CBD works with the endocannabinoid system by working with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. There are two main receptors: CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors are responsible for regulating the central nervous system, while the CB2 receptors are there to regulate the peripheral nervous system.

The ECS system controls many functions in the body, such as how the immune system acts, the body’s sleep cycle, and how the body responds to pain.

CBD can help regulate functions in the body. It does this by modifying the CB1 and CB2 receptors. It can also increase the body’s production of natural endocannabinoids. This is why CBD can help control and reduce pain.

While there is no conclusive evidence about the safety of marijuana during pregnancy, some studies have shown that in certain cases, it can lead to stillbirth. Researchers found that marijuana use during pregnancy makes a stillbirth more than twice as likely. Neither the CDC nor the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends using any form of the cannabis plant during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Effect on the Baby
One study found that women who used cannabis once a week or more often were more likely to deliver either preterm or babies with lower birth weight. However, this may not be related to cannabis use. Many of the women in this study also used more alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy.

There are other risks for children whose mothers used cannabis during pregnancy. One study examined the academic performance of 10-year-olds whose mothers used cannabis and alcohol during pregnancy.

The first trimester of pregnancy is one of the most important for a baby’s development, and the study looked at the academic performance of children whose mothers had used one or more marijuana joints in the first trimester. These children’s performance was often rated lower in evaluations from teachers. They also did worse on the Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised (WRAT-R).

In the second trimester, marijuana use was often linked to underachievement in school and poorer reading comprehension.

More research is needed to determine both the short- and long-term effects of using cannabis during pregnancy as these studies and other similar research work examine the use of cannabis along with other drugs, instead of the effects of cannabis by itself.


While there is a lack of research on THC use in general, there is evidence that it can pass through the placenta to a developing baby.

The other risk to an unborn child is that THC is generally taken through smoking. Smoking poses a whole other risk to unborn children, including preterm birth, congenital disabilities in the mouth and lip, and low birth weight. It can even increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

While babies whose mothers smoked marijuana during pregnancy do not generally experience withdrawal symptoms after birth, they may experience other problems. This is because THC may affect the child’s brain development. For example, as the child gets older, he or she may experience developmental problems such as memory problems, poor attention span, trouble in controlling impulses, and difficulties in school.

CBD Oil Alternatives
CBD oil is seen as a natural way to treat problems such as nausea. However, there are other natural ways to cure nausea that are safe to pregnant women. Surprisingly, eating plain foods such as bananas, soups, and crackers can help calm an upset stomach. Expectant mothers suffering from nausea should avoid spicy or greasy foods. Eating or drinking food items with ginger or lemon can also help soothe an upset stomach.

Unlike alcohol or other drugs, the body stores cannabis in the fat cells and slowly releases it over time, possibly weeks or longer. THC can pass through to breast milk. This means that if a breastfeeding mother recently stopped using THC, she could still pass THC to her baby.

Mothers who have used cannabis may breastfeed for shorter periods, leading to slower weight gain and development of their babies. If a baby was already born preterm or with low birth weight, not gaining weight fast enough can present a serious problem.

CBD oil and other cannabis products can also make the user feel sleepy. For mothers who are caring for their child alone, feeling sleepy or somewhat intoxicated can impair the mother’s judgment while caring for her child.

Effects of CBD on Developing Fetus

Conclusive evidence about the long-term effects of CBD on babies is still lacking. Many studies that have been done only focus on marijuana use in high amounts, or products that also contain THC. However, some research work has been done that showed CBD might harm a developing fetus.

Brain Development

A 2014 study by researchers at the University of Florida’s Department of Pediatrics found that CBD has some negative effects on unborn babies. The study looked at the effects of the cannabis plant and CBD and the characteristics of medical marijuana.

The study found that children whose mothers used marijuana had a few problems with their brains. The most notable was that these children did not have good memories. The study concluded that children whose mothers used cannabis had trouble focusing on important tasks for an extended period of time.

Birth Weight

A 2016 study by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University found that babies whose mothers used marijuana had a higher risk of low birth weight. The study compared women who used marijuana during pregnancy with those who did not. Researchers found that women who did not use marijuana during pregnancy had a little over a 10 percent risk of low birth weight. Women who used marijuana during pregnancy had a 15 percent risk of having babies with low birth weight

The study also found that a woman’s risk of giving birth prematurely rose from 9 percent to 15 percent. These babies were in the intensive care unit of the hospital more often than other babies.


A few studies have shown that the use of marijuana during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of stillbirth.

The Verdict

Many soon-to-be mothers assume that because CBD oil is from a plant, it is safer than more traditional drugs that do not seem as “natural.” However, this is not always the case. Just because CBD oil is from a plant and is natural, it does not mean that it is safe for a pregnant woman to take.

Synthetic medications do have their undesirable effects. However, they have been studied for much longer than CBD-related products, and their side effects are more documented. Doctors do not know what to expect with cannabidiol products in pregnancy.


Neither the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) nor the FDA recommends that women who are pregnant use any product containing marijuana. Many studies have shown that products with THC bring about many health problems for the baby. This is because THC passes right through the placental barrier. Because the baby’s brain is still developing, THC affects a baby much more than a grown adult.

Morning Sickness

One of the most common conditions women face during pregnancy is morning sickness. Morning sickness can can lead to dehydration for both mother and baby which can prevent them from getting the nutrients they need. While medications to treat this problem are available, they have many side effects, such as sleeplessness, dizziness, and blurred vision.

Many women who are pregnant are interested in an alternative that does not have as many undesirable effects. CBD oil is one of the most popular alternatives to mainstream medications.  That being said, There is not enough evidence to suggest that CBD is safe during pregnancy or while a mother is breastfeeding.

How CBD Oil Is Taken

There are a few ways CBD users take the chemical. Usually, it is taken orally so that it affects the entire body. .


This oil is a cannabis compound that is extracted from the hemp plant. After the oil has been extracted, it is distilled, which removes undesirable parts, such as fats, plant material, and lipids. It is also isolated so that the end product will contain only CBD. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD does not make a person high or have a psychoactive effect because all the psychoactive elements are removed during this distilling process.

People generally add CBD oil to their food to take it. They may also place a small amount under their tongue for a minute or two so that the body can absorb it.

CBD Gummies

CBD gummies are made the same way as regular gummies. The manufacturer infuses the gelatin with CBD before creating the gummies.

Many users prefer to use gummies to get their CBD because each gummy has a certain amount of CBD in it. Many users find this easier than measuring out each spoonful of oil, and gummies offer them an easy way to regulate the dosage of CBD each time.

Another benefit of gummies is that users can make them at home. They only need gelatin, fruit juice, sweetener, and a bottle of CBD tincture.


CBD Products

The main reason organizations such as ACOG are unwilling to recommend CBD during pregnancy is because there is a lack of research in the area. There is some preliminary research that suggests CBD without THC can be beneficial to pregnancy, but there is no research about the long-term effects of taking CBD while pregnant. It is unknown whether it has a positive or negative effect. Without strong evidence either way, the experts want to remain cautious.

However, many women are interested in using CBD while pregnant because it offers many of the same benefits as medical marijuana without the drawbacks.

Pregnant women who are interested in trying cannabis products to ease pregnancy-related conditions should always consult their doctor or gynecologist before use.

Researchers examined monthly, weekly, and daily use of cannabis between 2009 and 2017 and found that daily use grew the fastest. Rate of cannabis use increased from about 6.8 to 12.5 percent during the period.

Is It Safe?

While a few studies have determined that using marijuana during pregnancy is harmless to the baby, many others have determined that it can have long-lasting negative effects on the child. If a woman is finding it difficult to give up marijuana during pregnancy, she can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).

Pregnancy can be a confusing time for an expectant mother. There are numerous suggestions on what supplements are best during pregnancy. Taking the right supplements can support the baby’s health while keeping the mother healthy. What many women may not know is that there are also some vitamins and nutrients they should avoid during pregnancy.

What Is Safe?
When using supplements during pregnancy, it is important for a pregnant woman to always check with her doctor before taking any.

Prenatal Vitamins
It is still essential to eat a healthy diet during pregnancy, but it can be hard for a pregnant woman to get all the vitamins and nutrients she needs. This is why prenatal vitamins are important. These vitamins can also help fill in the gaps by providing micronutrients that a woman’s body uses during pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins are vitamins formulated to take during pregnancy, so they are safe. Experts recommend taking prenatal vitamins every day because studies have shown they have several benefits. They can reduce the risk of preterm birth and preeclampsia because the prenatal vitamin is designed to give pregnant women the nutrients they need.

Vitamin Supplements to Avoid
Vitamin A
While vitamin A is important for a baby’s vision and immune system development, too much of this vitamin can accumulate in the liver. This can cause liver damage and congenital disabilities in babies. Pregnant women should avoid vitamin A supplements because they can get enough vitamin A through diet.

Vitamin E
This is another important vitamin, but during pregnancy, too much of it can be harmful. One study showed that babies exposed to too much vitamin E had a lower birth weight. Most women get enough vitamin E through diet and prenatal vitamins.

Necessary Vitamins
While eating a healthy diet is important during pregnancy, mothers do not always get the vitamins they need from their food. This is where vitamins come in to play. Four of the most important vitamins during pregnancy are folic acid, iron, Vitamin D, and iodine.

Folic Acid
Pregnant women are recommended to take at least 400 mcg of folic acid every day. This man-made form of a B vitamin known as folate helps produce red blood cells and ensures the baby’s neural tube develops into the brain and spinal cord.
Not taking enough folic acid during pregnancy can lead to congenital disabilities . It is especially important to take this vitamin in the first three to four weeks of pregnancy because this is when a baby’s brain and spinal cord start developing. The first few weeks of pregnancy is also when most congenital disabilities occur. The CDC recommends taking folic acid at least a month before becoming pregnant.

This important nutrient allows a mother’s body to make enough new blood for herself and the baby. It also helps oxygen move from the lungs to the rest of the body, and the baby.
If a mother does not take enough iron, her baby may suffer from anemia, which can cause the child to be born too early or too small. Pregnant women should take at least 27 mg of iron each day but not more than 45 mg per day. Generally, prenatal vitamins contain enough iron.

Vitamin D
Without vitamin D, the body cannot absorb calcium, which is essential for proper bone development.
The body naturally makes vitamin D from being in the sun. A pregnant woman should try to spend about 10 to 30 minutes out in the sun each day. However, if she cannot be in the sun, she can also get vitamin D from food and prenatal vitamins. Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon, milk, and cereal with vitamin D added.

Having low iodine levels increase the chance of congenital disabilities and miscarriage. The body uses iodine to make thyroid hormones, and when a mother does not have enough iodine, she may get hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism can lead to low birth weight and little growth. In extreme cases, severe iodine deficiency can lead to learning disabilities. However, this is rare, especially in developed countries. Pregnant women can generally get enough iodine by using salt with iodine.

Necessary Nutrients
While there is no “perfect pregnancy diet,” pregnant women should focus on key nutrients and foods.

This important nutrient helps a baby’s tissue develop, especially brain tissue. It also helps breast and uterine tissue during pregnancy. Experts recommend eating about two to three servings of meat per day. Each serving should be about three ounces, or about the size of a standard deck of cards.

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)
DHA, which is also known as the omega-3 fatty acid, helps with growth and development. Pregnant women are recommended to take at least 200 mg of DHA every day.
Mothers can eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acid, including low-mercury fish. Pregnant women should eat 8-10 ounces of fish like salmon, trout, herring, and halibut. Women can also get omega-3 fatty acids from milk, orange juice, and eggs.
If a pregnant woman is unable to eat food with an omega-3 fatty acid, she may want to talk to her doctor about taking a supplement with this nutrient. Most prenatal vitamins do not have DHA.

Babies use calcium as their bones grow. If a mother does not get enough calcium, her body takes this nutrient from her own bones and teeth for the baby. This can lead to low bone density.
Pregnant women should get at least 1,000 mg of calcium each day. Pregnant women under the age of 18 should get at least 1300 mg of calcium every day. Mothers can get enough calcium by drinking three glasses of milk or calcium-fortified orange juice every day.

Magnesium is an important mineral that plays a role in everything from nerve function to the immune system. Women who do not get enough of this mineral during pregnancy may suffer from premature labor and chronic hypertension. This mineral can also reduce fetal growth restriction.
There are several ways a pregnant woman can get this mineral through her diet. Eating avocados, nuts, and legumes can all help boost magnesium levels. The good news is that dark chocolate has magnesium as well, so an expecting mother may be able to satisfy a craving as well.

Herbal Supplements
There is a lack of research on which herbal supplements are safe during pregnancy. However, ginger root is considered safe.

Ginger Root
When used as a supplement, ginger root can help ease nausea and vomiting caused during pregnancy. Results of several studies suggested that not only is ginger root safe during pregnancy, but it is also effective. Even though the ginger root is considered safe, there is not enough research to determine the maximum safe amount, so it is a good idea for a pregnant woman to check with her doctor before using ginger root.

Herbal Supplements to Avoid
While more research is needed on safe herbal supplements, several herbal supplements have been proven unsafe. For example, black cohosh, which is used to control menstrual cramps and hot flashes, has been shown to cause uterine contractions. This can lead to preterm labor.
Dong Quai, which is used in Chinese medicine to treat menstrual cramps and high blood pressure, is another herbal supplement that may cause preterm labor. There is also little evidence on its safety and effectiveness.
Yohimbe is made from the bark of an African tree, and it is used to treat a range of conditions, including obesity. However, it has been associated with dangerous side effects, such as strokes and high blood pressure.

It can be difficult to get to sleep at night during pregnancy, and many women want to use melatonin to help them get a good night’s rest. However, research is still unclear about whether it is safe to take this substance in larger amounts than what naturally occurs in the body.
While there are not enough studies to offer a conclusive answer on the safety of melatonin during pregnancy, some animal studies have shown that melatonin plays an important role in fetal development. The results have shown that melatonin helps train the circadian rhythms in the developing baby. The results have also shown that after 24 weeks, the level of melatonin increases steadily.


Clarence Swader

Clarence is a medical marijuana patient, writer, and hiking enthusiast who spends most of his time outdoors. He loves nature and is continuously trying to discover and write about its benefits for general health.
Clarence Swader

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