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CBD Safety: Pregnancy, Breast-Feeding, and Children

by Cade Copeland |

CBD oil has become one of the most talked about topics in the health and wellness industry. It is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis that has been widely used by adults for its many health benefits, including reducing inflammation, lowering pain levels, improving sleep, supporting the immune system, and boosting mental health.

CBD oil is generally considered to be a safe supplement. Still, many may wonder whether or not CBD is safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and if it is safe for children. In fact, this is the number one question we get from concerned families. If you are also concerned about whether to use CBD during pregnancy or while breastfeeding or for your young children, then this article is for you.

In this article, you will learn more about CBD oil and its benefits. We will address all safety concerns during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and childhood with science-backed data. You will also learn how to safely use CBD oil for children and how to select the best quality CBD oil for maximum benefits.

What Is CBD Oil

Cannabidiol, or otherwise known as CBD, is one of over one hundred chemical compounds found in cannabis plants, such as hemp and marijuana.

There are two primary cannabinoids in the cannabis plant: CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is known as the main psychoactive substance in marijuana which is responsible for the feeling of ‘being high’.

Unlike THC, CBD from the hemp plant is not psychoactive and will not make you to ‘feel high’. This quality itself makes CBD an appealing option for many people, including mothers and children, who are looking for the health benefits of the cannabis plant without any mind-altering side-effects.

Benefits of CBD Oil

An increasing number of research evidence suggests that CBD oil offers countless health benefits. Some of these health benefits include:

Is CBD Oil Safe During Pregnancy?

Your child’s health starts in the womb, and it is understandable that you want to know if it is safe to use CBD oil during pregnancy. However, the answer isn’t crystal clear.

You will find health practitioners who may believe that CBD oil is safe during pregnancy and others who will warn you against it. You can find anecdotal evidence on the internet from bloggers who claim that they’ve used CBD without ill-effects during their pregnancy. However, there isn’t much research available on CBD oil and pregnancy.

Most studies were done on either marijuana as a whole, or THC as a primary cannabinoid, and not on CBD. CBD oil has only recently gained popularity as a beneficial supplement to your health, and only recently started to gain traction within the scientific literature. There is virtually no evidence to suggest whether CBD oil is safe or unsafe during pregnancy.

cbd used during pregnancy

The Problem with Existing Research

Most healthcare professionals who argue against CBD oil rely on studies that were done on THC or marijuana, instead of CBD oil. However, even research on marijuana use during pregnancy remains unclear.

While there are studies suggesting that cannabis use during pregnancy is harmful, in many of these studies, results were confounded by the use of other drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. On the other hand, there are some meta-analyses that suggest weak evidence that cannabis does not cause negative outcomes during pregnancy. Though studies do not imply that expecting mothers should use marijuana during pregnancy, they also did not find a significant association between adverse neonatal outcomes and marijuana.

Meta-analysis is an examination of data from a number of independent studies of the same subject. They are considered the highest standard of evidence in medical research and allow researchers to determine overall trends, and spot misinterpreted statistics, publication bias, and false-positives in smaller studies. Of course, meta-analyses are still limited by the quality of the research studies which they analyze.

There have been a total of three meta-analyses published on cannabis and pregnancy. All of these analyses focused on marijuana or THC, and not on CBD and CBD products. Findings concluded that the association between marijuana use during pregnancy and adverse pregnancy outcomes may be due to tobacco contamination and not marijuana alone. Tobacco is a well-known teratogen and may have increased the risk of problems in these cases.

From these meta-analyses, it seems that more research is required to understand how marijuana use may affect pregnancy outcomes. However, it still does not give us information on how CBD oil (without THC) may affect pregnancy. And hence, further scientific research is very necessary on this subject.

Research on CBD Oil and Pregnancy

There is virtually no human research which has been conducted to suggest whether or not CBD oil is safe during pregnancy. There are only a few small rodent studies on the safety of CBD during pregnancy. One recent rodent study provided early evidence that CBD oil may be safe or even helpful during pregnancy. The study found that CBD treatment of mother rats reduced the risk of the development of memory and behavioral problems in their offspring after exposure to an infection in the womb.

Another rat study found that CBD had anti-inflammatory benefits and reduced the symptoms of a severe birth defect called Gastroschisis which causes the intestinal tract to develop outside of the rodent infant’s body. It is important to note that CBD did not prevent or cure Gastroschisis in rats. It simply provided relief from its symptoms and increased the chance of healthy outcomes and survival.

While these experiments on the effects of CBD on rodents during pregnancy are promising, they are certainly far from human trials. They do not provide us with enough evidence on the benefits and safety of CBD for pregnant mothers.

CBD Oil, the Endocannabinoid System, and Pregnancy

Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of communication molecules that signals messages from your body to your brain. This communication system allows your body and brain to respond to changes in the environment and to create balance and health.

The problem is that endocannabinoid levels can fluctuate during pregnancy depending on the stages of the pregnancy and other factors. During early pregnancy, for example, endocannabinoid anandamide blood levels decrease. Anandamide is also known as the bliss molecule. Increased anandamide levels during pregnancy, may increase the chance of miscarriage. When anandamide levels are too high, it may also hinder the growth of the fetus.

While CBD oil may causes changes during pregnancy, it is not clear what the exact short-term and long-term impacts on a developing baby are. Simply put, there is still no evidence of whether or not CBD is harmful or beneficial during pregnancy.

The Human Endocannabinoid System

Is CBD Oil Safe During Breastfeeding?

Similarly to the cannabis plant, breast milk also contains endocannabinoids such as anandamide. These endocannabinoids may be responsible for stimulating the suckling response in newborns, helping them to nurse properly, grow at a healthy rate, and feel safe and connected to their mothers.

However, if a mother consumes CBD oil, there is a high chance that these endocannabinoid molecules pass on to the baby through breast milk. According to the American Chemical Society, about 1.5 nanograms of THC can be passed to the baby per milliliter of breast milk. Though there is no actual evidence to prove this, there is a good chance that CBD passes down similarly to THC. However, we don’t know exactly how much CBD is found in breast milk.

There is also no scientific evidence regarding whether or not CBD passed to a developing baby through breast milk has any side effects or adverse effects on the child. There is clearly more research needed on this subject. Some speculate that CBD oil may have the potential to help infants who have trouble suckling and eating, and this specific subject should be explored in the scientific community.

What to Do if You Want to Use CBD Oil During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding?

With practically no evidence suggesting whether CBD is safe or not during your pregnancy, it is understandable if you feel puzzled.

Talk to Your Healthcare Professional

Always talk to your healthcare professional or care team before using CBD oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Discuss your symptoms and the reasons you may be interested in CBD oil during pregnancy. Discuss your concerns as well as the pros and cons for utilizing CBD oil during pregnancy. If your healthcare professional gives you an okay, then they can monitor your and your baby’s health.

Try Other Alternatives

If you are considering CBD during pregnancy or breastfeeding, you may want to try other natural remedies or alternative solutions first. Ginger and peppermint tea, for example, are excellent for morning sickness. If you are dealing with anxiety, depression, or stress during your pregnancy, you may want to try meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, time spent in nature, and low impact exercise, or visit a therapist before turning to CBD oil during your pregnancy.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking can be incredibly dangerous to your baby’s health and development, increase the risk of preterm delivery, reduced birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). While you may decide to try CBD during your pregnancy, definitely avoid smoking it.

Use It as Little as Possible

There is very little existing research to determine the effects of CBD oil on a growing fetus during pregnancy. However, some research suggests when marijuana is consumed in high doses during pregnancy, it is more likely to contribute to side-effects for the growing baby. This may also be true for CBD.

Unlike caffeine and alcohol, there are no safe limits established for CBD use during pregnancy. Without evidence and guidelines, it is impossible to know the impact of CBD oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding and hence, being careful may be the best policy.

CBD and Children

CBD oil is an increasingly popular compound used by adults for a variety of ailments, as well as to better their overall health. It is not surprising that many parents are interested in the benefits of CBD for their children.

When a child is sick or in pain, and conventional medicine is not offering enough or any help, many parents turn to alternative treatments. You’ve probably read and heard about amazing stories of parents successfully treating their children with CBD oil. There are some encouraging stories floating around about its amazing results for seizures, autism, and ADHD.

Increasing evidence suggests that CBD oil is a powerful option for pain, seizures, sleep problems, anxiety, ADHA, and autism. Unlike THC, it doesn’t make you experience a high. It’s low risk and non-addictive. It seems like an attractive and safe option for children.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence praising the benefits of CBD oil for children. Still, it’s important to look at science instead of only relying on personal testimonials and marketing strategies.

Besides personal stories, increasing research suggests that CBD oil may be safe for children. Some research studies indicate that it may be particularly beneficial for certain specific health issues, such as seizures.

CBD and children

CBD Oil and Seizures

Research has found that CBD oil has anti-seizure properties, and has successfully treated children with drug-resistant epilepsy by decreasing their seizure by 23 percent. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees that CBD may be beneficial for epilepsy. In 2018 the FDA cleared the first cannabis-derived drug to help control seizures. This has made a positive impact on the life of children who suffer from seizures as well as in the lives of their families.

CBD and Autism

Increasing research evidence suggests that CBD may positively affect autistic behaviors. One recent study found that medical cannabis may be an effective treatment for autism, as it benefited 80 percent of the participants. Another recent research study also suggested that CBD oil may be beneficial for autism and behavioral health problems in children.


There is a lot of anecdotal evidence suggesting that CBD oil may be beneficial for ADHD in children. While there is currently no research evidence claiming that this is true, studies have shown that CBD oil may be effective for anxiety, a symptom that may co-occur with ADHD in children.

CBD and Pain

Just like adults, children may also experience temporary or chronic pain. CBD oil has been shown to lower inflammation and pain related to a variety of health issues, including headaches, migraines, digestive issues, and arthritis.

How to Use CBD Safely for Your Child

While anecdotal and some scientific evidence suggests that CBD oil may be safe and beneficial for children, it is important to talk to your pediatrician and health care team before giving CBD oil to your child. Make sure to buy high-quality CBD oil from a trusted brand, and discuss your choice with your doctor.

When administering CBD oil to your child, go slowly, be systematic, and monitor symptoms and progress. If your child is not experiencing progress, you may need to adjust the dose or try a different brand or form of CBD. However, always consult your doctor before making any changes. If you notice any unusual symptoms or side-effects in your child, talk to your doctor. Depending on the symptom, your doctor may suggest to try a lower dose, try a different brand, or stop using CBD oil.

How to Find the Best CBD Oil for Your Family

When it comes to CBD oil, one of the common concerns is that as a natural remedy, products are not regulated by the FDA. Hence it is incredibly important that you choose a trusted brand. Look for an organic, non-GMO, independently tested, full spectrum hemp CBD oil product that offers the best benefits to your family.

At Rooted Apothecary, quality is incredibly important to us. We are truly committed to you and your family’s health. All of our products are full spectrum hemp extracts grown with love on an organic farm in Colorado. All the products you find in our stores are organic, free from GMOs and independently tested.

You can find CBD oil tinctures, body butters, rollers, and capsules to better the health of your entire family. With such variety, we are absolutely certain that you will find what you are looking for.

Full line of organic CBD products

Our Personal Experience

At Rooted Apothecary, both of us (Ryan and Cade) are passionate about CBD oil. We want to share our love and knowledge for natural health and CBD oil beyond the four walls of our home. Our wives have successfully used CBD oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding under the guidance of their healthcare team. Our children enjoy the benefits of Rooted Apothecary products as well with the approval of their pediatrician. We recommend that you talk to your healthcare professional, just like we did, before using CBD oil during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and childhood.

Final Thoughts

CBD oil is an increasingly popular supplement widely used by adults for its many health benefits, including reducing inflammation, lowering pain levels, improving sleep, supporting the immune system, and boosting mental health. Many parents wonder whether or not CBD is safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and if it is safe for children.

The truth is that there is currently not enough scientific evidence to determine whether CBD oil is safe or not during pregnancy and breastfeeding. We recommend that you talk to your healthcare professional or care team to make the best decision for you and your growing baby.

There are some scientific evidence and a lot of anecdotal stories which suggest that CBD oil may be safe for children and effective for a variety of issues, including seizures, autism, ADHD, and pain. We recommend that you talk to your pediatrician or care team before using CBD oil for your child. Go slowly, be systematic, and monitor symptoms and progress.

Look for organic, non-GMO, independently tested, full spectrum hemp CBD oil, such as Rooted Apothecary products that will offer the best benefits to your family. In our store, you can find a wide variety of CBD oil tinctures, body butters, rollers, and capsules to better the health of your entire family.

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