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cbd oil while breastfeeding

Despite the lack of published research, new parents have used cannabinoids for thousands of years, notes Robert Flannery, PhD, owner of Dr. Robb Farms. "Yes, THC and CBD are expressed in small quantities in breast milk," Flannery says. And while he doesn't feel comfortable suggesting CBD for a new parent who is breastfeeding, he acknowledges the use of cannabis in the past by breastfeeding mothers.

Here's what nursing parents need to know about CBD.

Research has focused primarily on THC, as opposed to CBD, in breast milk, and the conclusion is that it is possible to pass low levels of the psychoactive ingredient to your baby this way. A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology looked at samples of breast milk from eight anonymous test subjects who regularly use cannabis and found that babies who were three to five months old and who were breastfed exclusively ingested an estimated 2.5 percent of the maternal dose of THC. (Researchers didn't, however, take blood samples from the infants to see if they had measurable levels of THC in their bodies.)

Consider the risks vs. benefits

Curiosity around the therapeutic uses for CBD has reached a fever pitch, but is it safe when you’re nursing? Here’s what experts say.

"Having a new baby is stressful, and some women may wish to turn to cannabis products," Dr. Gersh notes. But the limited data on its safety—and the fact that it will pass into breast milk—makes it difficult for many experts to advise its use for nursing parents.

"We do not have enough research to make claims one way or another on how that breast milk would affect the milk-fed babies," says Flannery. "Cannabis is a medicine that has been used specifically for pregnant and breastfeeding moms for millennia. I will never make a claim without the science to back it up, but we should understand that anecdotal evidence can be used to formulate testable hypotheses to validate the use of cannabis at this time in a mom's life."

"Unfortunately, there is no safety data to allow a doctor to recommend the use of cannabis or CBD," says Dr. Gersh.

While breastfeeding, it is important to know that breastmilk can contain THC for up to six days after use. This THC may affect a newborn’s brain development and result in hyperactivity, poor cognitive function, and other long-term consequences.

We also know that there is a potential for CBD products to be contaminated with substances that may pose a risk to the fetus or breastfed baby, including THC. We have also heard reports of CBD potentially containing other contaminants (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus); we are investigating this.

What do we know about the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding?

FDA strongly advises against the use of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

We especially want to learn more about the effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, including, for example, whether and to what extent the presence of CBD in human milk harms the breastfed baby or the mother’s milk production.

We are now seeing CBD-containing products everywhere. CBD can be found in many different products, like drugs, foods, products marketed as dietary supplements, and cosmetics. These products often make questionable health promises about CBD.