Health CareDoes CBD Get In Breast Milk?
cbd breastfeeding

Does CBD Get In Breast Milk?

We’re seeing CBD products everywhere and it can be found in many different products like CBD edibles, CBD tea, CBD vapes and even CBD skincare. Many people who are going through stressful and overwhelming times in their life are turning to CBD to help calm them, and many pregnant and breastfeeding women are looking at CBD too. But does CBD get in breast milk? And how does CBD and breast milk affect the nursing child? Here, we will discuss everything CBD and breast milk related so that you can make an informed decision for your next steps.

What Is CBD?

The cannabis plant contains a range of biologically active chemical compounds. The most commonly known compounds are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, unlike THC which is responsible for giving you a ‘high’ and is associated with many benefits for the mind and body. CBD is known to help with common ailments like anxiety, pain relief, depression, insomnia, skin conditions and much more.

Does CBD Get In Breast Milk?

Nursing offers exceptional benefits to both mother and child. The nutritional, immunological, and anti-inflammatory properties of breastmilk provide health advantages to nursing babies including the reduced risks of certain health conditions like asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, ear and respiratory infections and sudden infant death syndrome. For the nursing mother, they experience a lowered risk of disease including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer and breast cancer.

Breastfeeding is also associated with positive psychosocial outcomes, with the most notable being through the mother and child bond. It’s endorsed by many paediatricians to breastfeed for at least 12 months of the child’s life, however, this extends the postpartum period which can result in fatigue, emotional pressure and interrupted sleep.

As wonderful as breastfeeding is, it can also be overwhelming and stressful leaving mothers in need of relief. CBD is widely available and offers an instant feeling of calm without the hangover and psychoactive effects of marijuana. But is CBD safe for breastfeeding mothers? And does CBD get in breast milk?

CBD In Breast Milk: What The Research Says

Unfortunately, there is a lack of published research on the safety of CBD and breast milk. Most studies surround the maternal use of THC, however, as both THC and CBD are both cannabinoids, the data suggests they both enter the breastmilk after maternal consumption.

In a 2018 study surrounding THC and breastfeeding published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s indicated that THC is measurable in breastmilk for up to six days after use. Cannabinoids cling to fat, and breastmilk contains a long chain of polyunsaturated fatty acids. This means the CBD may take longer to exit your system compared to alcohol.

It’s important to note that every mother’s metabolism is different, and the absorption into the blood stream is different. Although the research carried out has been predominantly focused on THC, experts are concerned about the effect of any cannabinoid on a child’s brain development and they can’t be certain about the short or long-term impact it may have.

Is CBD Safe While Breastfeeding?

Becoming a new parent is stressful and overwhelming, and many may wish to turn to CBD products for a sense of calm. However, the research on safety and the fact that it will probably pass through breastmilk makes it difficult for experts to confirm the safety. If a new mother is breastfeeding, it’s probably wise to avoid consuming any part of the cannabis plant, including CBD and THC, as the medical community doesn’t support the use and there isn’t enough safety data in regards to CBD and breast milk to allow a doctor to recommend it.

The use of CBD in any form doesn’t have enough solid research behind it for doctors to recommend the use; this includes CBD topicals. It’s advised that nursing mothers avoid any potential risks.

Despite the lack of published research, it’s known that new parents have used cannabinoids for thousands of years. And although most doctors don’t feel comfortable suggesting CBD for a new, breastfeeding parent, it’s acknowledged that cannabis has been used in the past.

Risks Vs. Benefits of CBD and Breast Milk

Although there has been shown to be little risk to both adults and children, it’s important to weigh the risk versus benefits for nursing mothers and infants. For example, a new mother may experience postpartum depression, anxiety, fatigue and other issues that warrant the start of a treatment of antidepressants. However, antidepressants may not be suitable for breastfeeding. Starting CBD may still allow the parent to breastfeed and prolong the bonding time with their child. Although, if you’re interested in starting CBD while breastfeeding, you should always speak to your doctor first.

Although CBD seems like the gateway to self-care, it’s only one of the many wellness tools out there. It’s recommended new mothers get to the root of stress or anxiety and start the root of recovery from there. Ask for help if things get too hard and weigh up all the options before starting CBD due to the lack of research on CBD in breast milk.

Takeaway

With limited research on the effects of CBD in breast milk, it’s recommended for the most part that nursing mothers avoid any cannabinoid as it can stick to their breast milk for days. Without the knowledge of the effect of CBD on nursing infants, it’s difficult for doctors to recommend this and, instead, recommend other forms of self-care instead. Speak to your doctor if you are interested in taking CBD whilst breastfeeding and discuss the benefits and risks to see if this would work for you.

If you notice that you are struggling during breastfeeding, reach out to friends, family and medical professionals to get help when you need it most. Although CBD may seem like an all-natural solution to your post-partum anxiety, you should first consider alternative options.

Jay is a CBD enthusiast and wellness expert who has spent many years studying the impacts of CBD on the human body and on pets such as dogs and cats. His expertise crosses both the physical and mental impacts of CBD. Jay is a regular consumer of products such as gummies and oils, and is passionate about sharing the wide ranging benefits of CBD.

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