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Cannabis & Pregnancy
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Cannabis & Pregnancy

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Heather Burton

07-28-2020

Everything an Expecting Parent Should Know

So you’re going to have a baby! Congratulations! If you have ever been pregnant before, you know many uncomfortable symptoms go along with the beauty of bringing a new life into the world. Backaches, nausea, lack of sleep, and hormonal imbalances can cause a lot of unwanted feelings. 

Anxiety, depression, and stress are psychological symptoms that can reduce the joy associated with having a baby. Fortunately, CBD (a compound derived from Cannabis) is known to help alleviate these symptoms. 

Anything you consume while pregnant does affect your baby to some degree, therefore it is important to be mindful of what you consume. Heck, they (physicians) don’t even want you to eat a tuna sandwich! 

Cannabis contains hundreds of beneficial molecules called Cannabinoids, only one is psychoactive, the well-known THC. On the other hand, CBD (Cannabidiol) can cure many physical and psychological ailments without getting high like THC would provide. 

How Cannabis Effects Pregnancy?

There is little human research on how Cannabis will affect your pregnancy. However, a resent systematic and critical review by Columbia University presents a totality of the evidence suggests prenatal cannabis exposure does not lead to cognitive impairments.

The connection between this system and infants starts at the very beginning with conceiving. Without the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), pregnancy wouldn’t occur, and therefore life as we know it would not exist. We also know the ECS plays a vital role in breastfeeding and newborn survival.

Our Endocannabinoid System (ECS)

We do know Cannabinoids work with your body’s ECS to restore balance (homeostasis) and improve its function. In order to understand the impact on our bodies let’s take a trip back to BIO 101 and learn about the ECS. The endocannabinoid system exists in humans, and almost every other animal excluding insects. it actually came into existence over 500 million years ago — before the plant itself ever existed. 

This system in our body is made of receptors called cannabinoid receptors. These cells in our body are unlocked with self-produced compounds called endocannabinoids, or by phytocannabinoids – the Cannabinoids that derive from the Cannabis plant. 

Our ECS plays a very important role in regulating and monitoring many vital bodily functions and other systems in our body like: our immune system, reproduction system, and our digestive system. It also controls things like our movement, appetite, mood, sleep, and memory. 

The phytocannabinoids, compounds derived from Cannabis plants, such as CBD (cannabidiol), CBG, and CBN activate the ECS receptors. Therefore consuming Cannabis has many medical benefits to help restore balance within our bodies. 

Can Cannabis Use During Pregnancy Harm the Baby?

Your endocannabinoid system plays a role in your unborn baby’s development. The biggest concern from medical professionals is that Cannabis psychoactive effect may (and I use the term loosely) interfere with your baby’s natural development process, which would cause trouble later on. 

 In fact, THC is the only psychoactive compound we know in the Cannabis plant. It’s only been the last few decades where cannabidiol (CBD) has become known. Don’t fret, though! Up Until now it’s the most studied Cannabis compound thanks to its non-psychoactive effect. 

CBD has been declared safe to use with no public health risks by the WHO (World Health Organization)

A study conducted on pregnant mice determined that CBD will not cause harm to embryonic cells. They gave the mice CBD, and the mice embryos developed properly. THC has shown to be associated with altering and potentially damaging embryonic cells.

Manuscript by the University of Washington from 2018, presents data from preclinical species showing that THC readily crosses the placenta although fetal exposures appear lower than maternal exposures. The neurodevelopmental data in humans and animals suggest that prenatal exposure to THC may lead to subtle, persistent changes in targeted aspects of higher-level cognition and psychological well-being.

Always consult your doctor before consuming any Cannabis product with THC. If you are a medical Cannabis patient, your doctor may prefer using Cannabis instead of other medications during pregnancy in any case, you should involve your physician.  

How Can CBD Support Pregnancy?

Other than not causing any harm, there are vast powerful medicinal properties deriving from this compound. Thanks to some of them, CBD can significantly improve the quality of life of a pregnant woman in multiple aspects such as reducing spasticity, sleep improvement, relief from pain and nauseous.

 CBD’s potent relaxant effect  can help women with contractions and anxiety. For example, in this study they used synthetic CBD on cells outside of the human body, which showed that CBD could help oxytocin-induced contractions.

Today, there are doctors who will prefer the use of CBD at different stages of pregnancy over other medications. In any case, it is important to consult your obstetrician with any substance or medication you consider using.

The Best Way to Consume Cannabis During Pregnancy

If you want to steer clear of potentially damaging chemicals, put down the joint or vaporizer

Not later, right now. Even if you opt to vape a CBD dominant Cannabis strain, there are still trace amounts of THC and other chemicals that are not beneficial to your body or the baby. 

However, I am a mother who consumed Cannabis during both pregnancies because of nausea, migraines, and a sore back, and both children are healthy, happy, and thriving. 

Opting for a CBD edible can be a healthy alternative to smoking, but the downside is they take nearly an hour to kick in. By the time your edible has gone through your digestive tract, there isn’t much CBD left for your body to absorb. Be minded it might contain other less recommended ingredients like granulated sugar or artificial food colors

Taking CBD oil is probably the safest method to consume Cannabis while pregnant. Many reputable companies create 100% organic certified CBD oil. 

Tinctures are a liquid you take sublingually (under your tongue), which means the Cannabinoid-rich oil is absorbed directly into your bloodstream completely, bypassing your digestive system. You may feel the welcoming relief in a matter of minutes!

Whatever product you choose, make sure you check all the components and ingredients carefully. We recommend choosing a company that provides third-party lab testing and batch numbers for each product. Transparency results give you the peace of mind knowing exactly what you and your baby are exposed to.

Last Trimester

The science behind the benefits of Cannabis during pregnancy is still very much in its infant stages, just like your baby. 

While there are studies for and against the use of Cannabis, in the end, only you will know what is worth consuming while you are pregnant. 

Like any other substance or medication, consult your physician or gynecologist before incorporating Cannabis into your daily health regime. No one knows your body or your baby as you do.

 Take some time to read, or have a bath, or anything you enjoy doing before your precious little one arrives. Seriously. Take a nice warm bath. Because the minute your baby comes into this world, you will never be in the bathroom with the door closed again! 

On a serious note, I hope this article has shed some light and at least sparked your interest in learning more about the healing powers of CBD. 

Remember: it is your pregnancy; it is your choice. No matter the choice you make, it is yours. When you have the best interest of your baby and your body in mind, never feel bad about your decisions.  

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