How has CBD eased some of your more uncomfortable symptoms?
What has been your favorite CBD product to use during pregnancy and why?
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I’m generally pretty healthy but the pregnancy cravings are real. Mine are carbs and sugar—without many exceptions. As I’ve hit the 7-month mark, I’ve started to experience ankle swelling and back discomfort.
How do you plan on incorporating CBD into your routine once your baby is born?
I swear by our salves and pain creams for my back and ankles. I switch between Apothecanna’s Extra Strength Body Creme (its combo of CBD and arnica feels great!) and Dr. Kerklaan’s Natural CBD Pain Stick (it’s easy to apply, dries quickly and is perfect for on-the-go!). For my ankles, I like Yuyo Botanics’ Turmeric Salve; it smells amazing, feels nice, and works!
A version of this story was published March 2020.
“This is especially concerning, because many women may be using CBD before they know they are pregnant, which may be contributing to miscarriages,” she says. “More research is needed, but at present a better-safe-than-sorry approach is warranted.”
“The FDA released a warning in October 2019 cautioning against the use of cannabis products, including CBD, while pregnant,” says Bugailiskis. “While CBD research remains limited at this time, some animal studies have shown impairment of fetuses when CBD was used. Lack of regulation of CBD products is also a concern – while reputable providers offer quality products, less scrupulous ones have been found to sell products contaminated with harmful chemicals.”
Why it’s controversial
According to Dr. Sarah Melancon, Ph.D, a sociologist and clinical sexologist, who has done extensive research on CBD, sexuality and pregnancy, CBD increases the signaling of the cannabinoid anandamide (AEA), and, as a result, has a dose-dependent effect on aspects related to reproduction, “which is cause for concern,” she says. Melancon says high levels of AEA are associated with miscarriage in humans, particularly in the first trimester. “On the other hand, low levels of AEA help with implantation and placenta development,” she says. “AEA levels stay low during pregnancy, rising during the third trimester of pregnancy 2-4x and are connected with labor onset.” According to Melancon women with preterm labor/birth have higher levels of AEA, and even among premature births, “those with the highest levels of AEA delivered fastest.”
“There are a number of things that stimulate and balance the tone of encodcannabinoid system (ECS),” says Clifton. “Pinene, for example, from pine trees or more commonly pine nuts or basil, is excellent for the ECS. Limonene from lemons and other citrus is also delicious and helpful. Beta Caryophyllene and the extracts from black pepper support the tone of the ECS marvelously.” She recommends talking with your essential oils expert — as well as those at Boomer Natural Wellness — since they carry products “that support ECS tone without exposure to cannabinoids.”
Studies that are available regarding CBD and pregnancy include women who have chosen to use cannabis during their pregnancies. These studies “support that the use of cannabinoids result in intrauterine growth retardation — stunting the growth of the unborn baby,” says Clifton.
“At this point, studies suggest that there is not only risk to the growth to the fetus in general, but also that early exposure to cannabinoids may impact the developing brain,” she says. “Pregnant women should avoid the use of cannabinoid formulations.” While the research on CBD has remained limited, according to Clifton, the studies done “are consistent that the growth of the baby is affected.”