Cannabis and Breastfeeding: What’s There to Know

Scientist observing seeds of dry CBD

There are many questions about CBD and breastfeeding.

With the legalization of marijuana across different states, the rise of cannabis products is evident. This begs the question: is the connection between cannabis and breastfeeding harmful to mothers and infants?

Altitude Organic Cannabis is here to give you a rundown of what research says about using weed during pregnancy.

What Are Marijuana, CBD, Hemp, and THC?

THC and CBD are two of the most well-known chemical compounds in the Cannabaceae plant family. Marijuana belongs to this plant family, and it contains different levels of THC, the chemical that gives you the high associated with the plant.

Hemp is another member of the cannabis plant family. Hemp plants have very low levels of THC. CBD, which is not a high-level psychoactive compound, can be extracted from either hemp or marijuana.

CBD-containing products are becoming more common. You can find CBD in many products such as drugs, food, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. However, be wary; many of these products make unsubstantiated claims about CBD.

What Does the Data Say About Marijuana and Breastfeeding?

Both mother and baby can reap the many benefits of nursing. A 2013 comprehensive review found that breast milk has many health benefits for babies, including lowered risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and ear and respiratory infections. However, what does the research say about cannabis and breastfeeding?

Smoking Weed While Breastfeeding: Should You Do It?

Breastfeeding is lovely, but it can still be overwhelming. Prolonging breastfeeding also prolongs the postpartum period, which can cause fatigue, sleep interruptions, and emotional pressure that comes with feeding a baby 24/7. This leaves nursing mothers feeling exhausted and in desperate need of relief. CBD is readily available and can provide a quick feeling of calm without any psychoactive effects. However, there’s little to no data about the long-term effects of smoking weed while breastfeeding.

THC Use During Pregnancy: What Do We Know?

According to the U.S Surgeon General, using marijuana and other THC products during pregnancy or breastfeeding could have serious health consequences. Recent consumer advice stated that the consumption of weed during pregnancy could affect fetal development. THC can enter the fetal brain through the mother’s bloodstream.

Breast milk can contain THC for up to six days. THC may cause brain damage, hyperactivity, and poor cognitive function in newborns.

CBD and Breastfeeding: What Do We Know?

“Can you use CBD while pregnant?” you might be wondering. There is not enough research to determine the effect of CBD on the developing baby, the mother, and the breastfed infant. The FDA continues to collect data and study the potentially harmful effects of CBD while pregnant and breastfeeding.

Based on our information about CBD and breastfeeding, mothers may pass some CBD to their babies through their breast milk. We also know that THC and other substances may contaminate some CBD products, posing a danger to the unborn or breastfeeding baby.

CBD poses risks to people. Based on human clinical trials, CBD carries the following risks:

  • Extreme sleepiness
  • Harmful interactions with other medications
  • Liver damage

Marijuana and Breastfeeding: What Are the Suspected Effects of Cannabis on Babies?

Researchers believe it’s plausible that THC or CBD could affect brain development in infants. This conclusion is based on previous studies suggesting that prenatal marijuana exposure could lead to cognitive and behavioral deficits.

A small study in 2018, published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, examined breast milk samples of mothers who have regularly consumed cannabis. Research shows that breastfeeding infants consume 2.5 percent of their mother’s dose, ranging from 0.4 percent to 8.7 percent. This amounts to approximately eight micrograms of THC per kilogram of total body weight in a single day.

While this may not seem like much, experts remain concerned about the possible connection between cannabis and breastfeeding on a child’s brain and development.

It should also be noted that the THC was measured in breast milk, not infant blood.

Why Can’t You Just Do the Pump and Dump Method?

In the Pump and Dump method of breastfeeding, instead of letting the baby drink their mother’s breast milk, the milk is squeezed out with a breast pump and dumped into the sink. Some mothers do this to get rid of some of the milk they produce while away from their babies. Some do this because they may have consumed something that may pass on to their baby through their breast milk.

After a glass of wine, the pump and dump method can work. However, it will not help anyone who has been smoking cannabis and breastfeeding.

A study published in Pediatrics showed that THC was detected in 34 out of 54 breast milk samples within six days of last use. As such, the pump and dump method will not work.

Researchers pointed out that although the infant received a lower daily dose of THC than an adult, there was still a high variability in breast milk levels. This means that some infants could be exposed to levels similar to the daily dose of THC taken by adults.

Are There Any FDA-Approved CBD Products?

FDA has not authorized any CBD products, except for one prescribed drug to treat severe and rare forms of seizures in children. It is not clear if CBD has other benefits.

Other than that approved drug, CBD products were not evaluated and approved by FDA. This means we don’t know:

  • if they are effective and safe in treating diseases;
  • how much dosage is considered safe;
  • if they have other harmful side effects; and
  • how they could interact with foods and other drugs.

What Things Should You Remember About Using Cannabis Products?

Here are some things you should be aware of before using cannabis or any products containing THC or CBD:

  • The FDA strongly suggests that pregnant women and nursing mothers avoid any use of CBD, THC, or cannabis.
  • When you are pregnant or nursing, it is essential to consult your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking any medications, vitamins, or herbs.
  • Don’t put your baby or yourself at risk by using cannabis products during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Visit Altitude Organic Cannabis

Be back to enjoying high-quality CBD in Dillon, CO, from Altitude Organic Cannabis.

The data about cannabis and breastfeeding is compelling. Ensure your and your baby’s safety and well-being by eliminating marijuana from your routine as you breastfeed. We can’t wait to serve you! Our dispensary will be waiting for the day you can once again enjoy your go-to products and strains.

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