Women use cannabis as a safe and effective remedy for severe morning sickness. Aside from medications, CBD oil is also recommended to give remedy to morning sickness. Find out how it works for this condition. Studies present scientific evidence about how CBD oil may help relieve pain, anxiety, depression, nausea, and other pregnancy-related issues. Learn more.
Cannabis for Morning Sickness
A recent report by two Israeli researchers, Gideon Koren and Rana Cohen, in the Journal of Cannabis Research details the cases of four pregnant women with severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum).
One case describes, “In her 2nd pregnancy HG [morning sickness] started at 4 weeks with up to 70 bouts of vomiting a day necessitating repeated hospitalizations…”
All of the women found that 2-3 puffs of THC -rich marijuana (~20% THC , 1% CBD ) was helpful to reduce or prevent vomiting and reverse weight loss. The effect from inhaling small amounts of marijuana would last 2-4 hours and then they’d dose again, using a total of 1-2 grams per day. It seems like the researchers didn’t recommend this to the patients, but that they settled on similar doses independently.
The babies are now up to 4 years old and there haven’t been any apparent developmental problems.
The authors are emphatic that they haven’t proven cannabis is safe to use during pregnancy, but their work highlights the potential for using THC -rich cannabis to treat severe morning sickness.
A new study from researchers at San Diego State University examined the interaction between cannabinoids and alcohol on the fetus.
Dr. Stacey Kerr discusses the controversial topic of cannabis use during pregnancy and gives highlights from her clinical experience with expecting mothers.
The negative effects that have been associated with using cannabis during pregnancy could be because of simultaneous use of other substances, like tobacco.
CBD Oil for Morning Sickness: Is It Safe & Effective?
Are you pregnant and find yourself throwing up every morning?
You might be going through some classic morning sickness.
This condition makes a pregnant woman feel sick and uncomfortable. There are different remedies recommended for treating morning sickness during pregnancy, and CBD oil is one of them.
So, how can you use CBD oil to relieve morning sickness?
Follow me in this article to find out.
What Exactly is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is a condition affecting pregnant women, where nausea and vomiting occur.
It usually happens during the first trimester of pregnancy, but it can also continue throughout the whole term.
Women who go through this condition may experience different symptoms that can affect their daily productivity.
You know you are having morning sickness when you vomit within an hour of waking up, have nausea and vomiting for more than three days a week, cannot keep any food or liquids down, and experience weight loss.
Fortunately, you can use natural remedies like CBD oil to make this period less pesky.
But before I elaborate on this, let’s shed more light on the potential triggers of morning sickness.
Common Causes of Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is associated with a wide range of changes that occur throughout a woman’s body during pregnancy. Common causes of this condition include:
Some hormones, such as estrogen, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), and progesterone trigger nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. These hormones increase during the first trimester and may contribute to morning sickness.
Food Cravings and Aversions
Another common trigger for morning sickness is food cravings or aversions. When you are pregnant, your sense of smell and taste becomes more sensitive. You might start to dislike certain smells or foods that you used to like before you got pregnant.
The Smell and Taste of Certain Foods
Foods that have strong smells or tastes can trigger morning sickness. This includes foods like seafood, meat, vegetables, and aromatic spices.
Stress can also trigger morning sickness. When you’re stressed, it can increase the production of certain hormones that can signal nausea and vomiting.
Symptoms of Morning Sickness
As mentioned, nausea and vomiting are the two most common symptoms. Other signs of morning sickness include:
- Having a metallic taste in the mouth. Especially when the stomach is empty.
- Feeling bloated. This can be due to the accumulation of gas in the intestines.
- Hunger and cravings for specific foods. Some women crave salty or sweet food, while others develop an aversion to certain types of food.
- Dizziness and lightheadedness. This may be caused by the lack of nutrients and minerals in the body, which can lead to dehydration.
- Fatigue. It’s quite common during pregnancy due to the hormonal changes that occur. Fatigue can also be a symptom of morning sickness because it makes you feel weak and exhausted after vomiting or having nausea.
- Acidic feeling in the stomach. Caused by the stomach acids that come up to the throat.
Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) Symptoms
A small percentage of pregnant women will experience more severe symptoms of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). This condition involves extreme nausea and vomiting, which can lead to weight loss, dehydration, and nutrient deficiencies. Some signs that you might be experiencing HG are:
- Vomiting more than three times a day. This can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous for both the mother and baby.
- Weight loss. If you’re losing weight while pregnant, it could be due to HG. This is serious and should be treated immediately.
- Not being able to keep down liquids or food. If you’re vomiting so much that you can’t keep anything down, this is a sign of HG and should be treated right away.
- Low urine output. Frequent urination causes dehydration. It also means that your body isn’t getting enough fluid from what you are drinking.
- Feeling faint or dizzy. This is due to the lack of nutrients in your body because they are being expelled through vomiting. It can also cause you to feel weak and tired.
- Needing medication to stop vomiting. If you’re not able to keep any food or liquids down, your doctor might prescribe medication to stop the vomiting.
Traditional Remedies and Treatments for Morning Sickness
Mild to moderate morning sickness may not require medical attention. Many pregnant women who struggle with this problem use natural remedies — and with a decent success rate.
Here’s how you can leverage the natural ingredients to relieve morning sickness:
Ginger has been used in Asia for many centuries as a treatment for various types of sickness due to its antiemetic properties (1). You can drink ginger tea, chew on fresh ginger slices, or take ginger supplements.
This is an ancient Chinese practice that uses pressure to specific points in the body to relieve pain and other symptoms. It can be effective for morning sickness due to its ability to regulate neural communication through the said pressure (2).
Avoid Smells that Trigger Nausea
If certain smells make you feel nauseous, try to avoid them. This may not be possible at all times, but try to minimize the exposure whenever possible.
Vomiting deprives you of fluids, so this point is paramount if you don’t want to suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Even if you don’t feel sick at a particular time, make sure to drink plenty of water. It’s just good for your body — and the baby.
Can CBD Oil Be a Remedy With Morning Sickness?
There is some anecdotal evidence that suggests CBD oil can help with morning sickness. However, we don’t have enough research and significant scientific proof yet to support this claim. CBD oil is known to have anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties, so it might be beneficial for pregnant women who are experiencing morning sickness.
CBD’s anti-nausea and anti-vomiting properties result from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system and serotonin receptors. Scientists have found that cannabinoids and these receptors can modulate brain activity in the areas responsible for sensations of nausea (3).
Why People Are Turning to CBD for Morning Sickness
There are many traditional remedies for morning sickness. Some of them can be effective while others may not work at all. Since CBD oil is known to have anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory properties, people believe that it could help with morning sickness symptoms.
Aside from this, taking CBD oil is safe and non-addictive, so it’s a better option compared to traditional medications that are known for their dangerous side effects. That being said, always consult your OB-Gyne first before taking CBD oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Is CBD Safe for Morning Sickness?
CBD has a very good safety profile. Humans tolerate doses as high as 1,500 mg administered daily for several weeks without any dangerous side effects (4).
However, CBD can cause a few mild reactions if you take too much at a time, including:
- Dry mouth
- Lowered blood pressure
- Changes in appetite
CBD also interacts with a lot of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications (5). If you’re taking any medication for your morning sickness, tell your doctor about it so that you can gauge the timing and avoid interactions.
CBD vs THC: Which One Is Better and Safer for Morning Sickness?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the many active ingredients in cannabis plants. It has no psychoactive effects and doesn’t make you feel “high” like marijuana does.
On the other hand, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a naturally occurring compound found in marijuana that gives you a feeling of being high. Both CBD and THC are approved to treat certain medical conditions, but there is still no evidence that they can be used for morning sickness during pregnancy.
Speaking about safety, CBD is a better option for pregnant women as it is non-addictive, non-psychoactive, and doesn’t give severe side effects. The effects of THC might not be a safe option for pregnant women as there’s not enough research to recommend it as an alternative treatment. Besides, pregnant women should avoid all intoxicating substances while they’re carrying a child.
CBD Dosage: How Much Should You Take for Morning Sickness
CBD dosage doesn’t follow a one-size-fits-all idea. Doses can vary from one person to another. Some people can feel effects on the lowest dose while others need higher amounts of CBD before they can feel the results. Women who experience morning sickness can take a low dose of 1 to 5mg for every 10 pounds. Monitor the effects and determine if there is a need for an increase or decrease in dosage.
How to Take CBD for Morning Sickness
There are a few ways to take CBD for morning sickness:
- Capsule – You can buy CBD capsules from online or storefront retailers. They’re easy to take and most capsules come in small sizes, making it easier to swallow without having any chalky taste. A lot of women prefer taking CBD oil capsules because they don’t have a strong taste.
- Tinctures – CBD oil tinctures are liquid forms of CBD that you can take sublingually (under the tongue) using a dropper. It’s usually the optimal way to take CBD for morning sickness, but it does have a bitter taste. You can also add it into food or drinks, but remember that doing so will delay its onset and compromise absorption.
- Vape oil – CBD vape oils are the fastest way to experience the therapeutic effects of CBD for morning sickness. You can also take CBD via vaping if you don’t like the earthy taste of CBD oil. Vapes have pleasant flavors and aromas because they feature a CBD distillate and terpenes without the waxes that occur in raw CBD extracts.
- Gummies – If you’re looking for something that tastes like candy, then gummies are the best option. CBD-rich candy and gummies come in different flavors and colors so expect a kid-friendly treat.
Another way of using Hemp is applying CBD cream to deal with pregnancy dilemmas but either way, you can choose the method that appeals the most to you. You’re already going through a lot of discomfort from your morning sickness, so your choice of CBD intake should be something that you find tasty and hassle-free.
Things to Consider when Buying CBD Oil for Morning Sickness
When buying CBD oil, you should make sure that you are getting the best possible choice to avoid below-par quality products that can cause negative effects on you or your baby. Keep these things in mind when shopping for CBD oil products to relieve morning sickness:
- Quality – Make sure the CBD oil you choose is of good quality. A reputable brand will be transparent about its products, including how they are grown and extracted. They’ll also provide laboratory results that show levels of CBD and THC in addition to other cannabinoids. You can also verify the product’s purity by checking its label, where it should clearly show that CBD content is free from synthetics and chemicals.
- Reliability – Only purchase from established companies that offer high-quality products. If you want to avoid scams, choose a brand that focuses strictly on CBD oils. You can also check online reviews and testimonials for a manufacturer’s reputation and dependability.
- Dosage – Choose a product that you think will be effective based on your specific needs without going beyond the recommended dosage of CBD oil. This will make your supplementation cost-effective
- Ingredients – Some CBD oils include other supportive ingredients that may be useful in treating morning sickness. That being said, make sure that your product doesn’t contain any potentially dangerous ingredients. If you have allergies, double-check the list of ingredients to confirm your product doesn’t contain any allergens.
- Cost – CBD oils are usually more expensive than conventional health supplements due to high production costs influenced by expensive extraction technology and laboratory testing. If you see a product that looks suspiciously cheap for the promised quality, think twice before giving such vendors your money; no company will sell CBD oil at a loss, so if your manufacturer offers such cheap CBD oils, some corners must’ve been cut on the way.
- Third-party Testing – the CBD market lacks regulation regarding product potency and purity, so third-party testing ensures that you’re getting exactly what you’ve paid for. With a legitimate certificate of analysis (CoA), there’s no room for fluff. You can see how much CBD is in the bottle, what other cannabinoids and terpenes have been included, and whether the product is free from pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents.
Key Takeaways on Using CBD to Deal with Morning Sickness
CBD oil is a novel option for morning sickness. Although it is anti-nausea and anti-vomiting benefits are quite well-documented, we still don’t know how it affects pregnant women and their children.
Therefore, if you want to use CBD oil to naturally relieve the symptoms of your morning sickness, consult your gynecologist to receive professional advice. Just make sure that your doctor knows what the endocannabinoid system is because it’s essential for weighing the benefits and risks of using CBD to target this condition.
Lastly, since pregnancy is a very sensitive period, pay attention to the quality of your CBD oil. There are a lot of mislabeled and contaminated products out there, so research is paramount if you want to reap the benefits without putting your health at risk.
- Viljoen, E., Visser, J., Koen, N., & Musekiwa, A. (2014). A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting. Nutrition Journal, 13, 20. 
- Dibble, S. L., Chapman, J., Mack, K. A., & Shih, A. S. (2000). Acupressure for nausea: results of a pilot study. Oncology nursing forum, 27(1), 41–47. 
- Parker, L. A., Rock, E. M., & Limebeer, C. L. (2011). Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1411–1422. 
- Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139–154. 
- Brown, J. D., & Winterstein, A. G. (2019). Potential Adverse Drug Events and Drug-Drug Interactions with Medical and Consumer Cannabidiol (CBD) Use. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(7), 989. 
Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.
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CBD Oil and Morning Sickness – August 2022
Why Some Women May Be Thinking of Taking CBD During Pregnancy
There are studies that present scientific evidence about how CBD oil may help relieve pain , anxiety, depression , nausea , and other pregnancy-related issues.
The 2011 study that was conducted on animals demonstrates the regulation of nausea and vomiting by the manipulation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) ( 2 ) .
The results of the aforementioned study revealed the antiemetic effects of cannabinoids in response to a toxic challenge. Cannabidiol (CBD), the primary non-psychoactive compound in cannabis, was shown to suppress nausea and vomiting within a limited dose range.
However, there has been no long-term scientific research on humans exploring the efficacy and safety of CBD oil, as well as risks and side effects of CBD use in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Neither is there a study that proves that maternal CBD during pregnancy is dangerous to either mother or baby, or both. As with all medications during pregnancy, risk/benefit discussions need to be discussed with a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ACOG, and the U.S. General Surgeon have warned women against using marijuana and its byproducts, including medical marijuana, during pregnancy.
According to a 2005 study published in the journal Canadian Family Physician , as a baby’s brain is still forming, THC may affect brain development ( 3 ) .
A 2018 clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that THC , a psychoactive cannabis compound, crosses the placenta and is excreted into breast milk in small quantities ( 4 ) .
CBD is not the same as marijuana. However, the studies mentioned above show how marijuana can affect the baby’s brain and the mother’s milk.
Lack of Research on CBD Use During Pregnancy
Most experts are hesitant to recommend CBD to pregnant women despite the positive anecdotal reports that abound on CBD use during pregnancy. The hesitation comes entirely from the limited research available on the topic.
The lack of pregnancy-specific research is typical when it comes to health supplements. Still, many supplements that are believed to be safe and effective are generally avoided due to the lack of substantial evidence to support their safe use.
There are several possible reasons why research on CBD use during pregnancy is lacking:
- It is difficult to get research on pregnant patients approved.
The research parameters of any study or investigation, especially on human subjects, requires the approval of a professional ethics board known as Investigational Review Boards. These boards are strict when it comes to pregnancy and would often deny any research requests if a substance has not been proven safe in non-pregnant people through other studies.
- The complexity of pregnancy makes it challenging to account for all the variables of the study.
Pregnancy is a complex chemical process that affects women differently. Every pregnancy is a unique experience, and the symptoms may be different for each pregnancy, as well.
Thus, a supplement or remedy that could work with one pregnant woman might not work for another. This variable makes it difficult to interpret the data into something conclusive.
- The best research takes place over extended periods and often involves a large number of participants or sample size.
Clinical studies for determining the safety of a health supplement like CBD often needs to be done over several years. This process is tedious and expensive.
A single double-blind, randomized clinical trial can cost several million dollars and at least ten years to complete. Some institutions may pay for research like this. However, as of yet, no group has studied the effects of CBD alone on pregnancy.
Relief from nausea and vomiting is one of the many reasons why a pregnant mother may want to try CBD. There are anecdotal reports that promote CBD as a remedy for typical pregnancy symptoms, such as headaches, muscle cramping, abdominal pain, insomnia, anxiety, and nausea.
Still, there is no evidence to support the safety of maternal CBD use during pregnancy. Neither are there studies available to prove or disprove the safety of this compound on the developing fetus.
Considering the lack of research and clinical trials on CBD oil and pregnancy, most physicians, gynecologists, and other healthcare providers tend to dissuade pregnant women from using CBD products unless standard remedies fail for intractable nausea and vomiting of pregnancy known as hyperemesis gravidarum.
What is Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness is also referred to as nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP). It is a common medical condition that affects 50% to 80% of pregnant women.
NVP can have a significant impact on a woman’s quality of life, whether its symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe.
NVP indications can vary from mild to severe and can happen at any time during the day or night. Symptoms can include retching, which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting, nausea, and dry heaves.
NVP typically manifests between the 4 and 9 weeks of pregnancy, and peaks between 7 and 12 weeks. In most cases, symptoms go away when a woman’s pregnancy reaches between 12 and 16 weeks. However, up to 15% of women continue to have symptoms until the 20th week of pregnancy or until the baby’s delivery.
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) is the most severe type of NVP, and it affects up to 3% of pregnant women. HG is a medical condition characterized by severe nausea and constant vomiting, which leads to dehydration and weight loss . Women with HG may require hospitalization.
If NVP is affecting a pregnant woman’s ability to sleep, eat, and perform her daily activities, a consultation with her healthcare provider is advisable.
NVP symptoms that first start at the 10th week of pregnancy or later may be due to other causes. They should be discussed with a medical professional as well.
NVP Due to Medical Conditions Other Than Pregnancy
Up to 85% of pregnant women experience symptoms, such as burping, burning pain in the chest, belching, burping, or nausea. Most of these symptoms manifest during the first trimester of pregnancy.
However, some NVP symptoms may be indications of other medical conditions like heartburn, indigestion, or acid reflux. In some cases, the symptoms are caused by Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial infection that has been linked to HG.
Experts recommend testing for this bacterium, especially for women with a history of severe HG or NVP. A woman who is positive for this bacterium can be treated during her pregnancy.
CBD as Anti-Nausea
In a 2018 review , the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that CBD is generally well-tolerated with an excellent safety profile, and adverse effects may be a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and a patient’s existing medications ( 5 ) .
As an antiemetic, CBD may also be an effective cure for both nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy or other therapeutic treatments, as indicated in a 2011 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology ( 6 ) .
A study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology in 2015 demonstrates how CBD controls nausea by influencing the serotonin receptors ( 7 ) .
The results of the same study also suggest that CBD decreases the release of serotonin, reducing the body’s stimulation of the vomiting controls in the brain.
CBD may come in the form of an edible , tincture, or salve, and they may either be ingested or applied topically.
Marijuana for Morning Sickness: Is it Safe?
Studies on the use of CBD for morning sickness may be lacking and inconclusive, but can marijuana help with morning sickness?
Marijuana plants and hemp plants are different varieties of the Cannabis sativa species. Both varieties contain varying amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
If the hemp plant contains over 0.3 percent THC, it is technically considered a marijuana plant.
Marijuana is a cannabis plant that contains substantial amounts of THC, which is the psychoactive component primarily responsible for inducing a euphoric and intoxicating effect on the user.
Marijuana’s recreational, as well as medicinal use, continues to gain widespread and legal support in the United States. The substance has also been proposed as a potential treatment for hyperemesis gravidarum.
A 2014 study , which was conducted by researchers from the Hawai’i State Department of Health in Honolulu, HI, found that women who reported marijuana use during pregnancy were more likely to report experiencing severe nausea and vomiting compared with those not experiencing these severe symptoms ( 8 ) .
In the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, a 2006 survey of medicinal cannabis use among childbearing women was presented. The survey assessed the patterns of cannabis use in pregnancy and efficacy against morning sickness ( 9 ) .
Results of the above-mentioned survey revealed that 51% of the women using marijuana during their pregnancy reported using it for the relief of nausea and vomiting, and 92% of those women reported that marijuana was effective for those symptoms.
While the use of marijuana is being hailed on social media as a safe and effective treatment of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), there are no known implications or recommendations at this time for its use during pregnancy. ACOG reiterated this fact in its Committee Opinion in 2015 ( 10 ) .
Interestingly, none of the states with legal medicinal marijuana laws list pregnancy as a contraindication for recommending or dispensing medicinal marijuana.
Marijuana Use and Pregnancy: What Research Says
CBD is different from marijuana, but when dealing with morning sickness, both are not recommended by experts.
In a clinical report published in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) journal, researchers provided data on the prevalence of marijuana use among pregnant and lactating women. Several state-specific surveys revealed that the rate of marijuana use among pregnant women is on the rise, and the results elicit serious concerns ( 11 ) .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that women who are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant should avoid cannabis use. The agency says that chemicals in marijuana, specifically tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cause many health complications in newborn babies, including still or low birth weight.
CDC cited several research and studies that reiterate how marijuana passes through one’s system and harm the baby’s development.
The research was conducted in 2011 by doctors from the Cain Foundation Laboratories, Jan & Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. They examined the lasting impacts of prenatal cannabis exposure (PME) demonstrates that prenatally cannabis-exposed children exhibit cognitive deficits, which implies that maternal cannabis consumption has hindered the proper maturation of the baby’s brain ( 12 ) .
In another 21011 study on PME, with data collected between 1982 and 1985, researchers found a relationship between PME and delinquent behavior ( 13 ) . The results were published in the Neurotoxicology and Teratology Journal.
The researchers concluded that an intervention to stop marijuana use during pregnancy would decrease the rates of delinquency in the offspring and may help children with high levels of depressive symptoms or attention deficits.
Pediatric Research published a 2012 study that examined the association between cannabis use before and during pregnancy and birth outcomes. Results showed that cannabis use in pregnancy was associated with low birth weight, preterm labor, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit, and small for gestational age ( 14 ) .
“We have to get behind the message that marijuana is on the same level as smoking or alcohol use during pregnancy. We already recommend no safe amount of tobacco during pregnancy, no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. We should be recommending no safe level of marijuana during pregnancy.”
—Nathaniel G. DeNicola, MD, MSc, University of Pennsylvania Social Media & Health Innovation Lab
The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) also recommends that marijuana use should be avoided during pregnancy, claiming that THC can pass through the placenta, causing developmental problems. THC permeates quickly into the placenta, blood, liver, brain, and breast milk and also clears quickly from these tissues.
Nathaniel G. DeNicola, MD, MSc of the University of Pennsylvania Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, said that marijuana is on a similar level as smoking or alcohol use during pregnancy.
He explained further that there is no recommended safe amount of tobacco or alcohol during pregnancy, and there is also no recommended safe level of marijuana when pregnant.
According to DeNicol, there is some evidence of decreased fetal growth, low IQ scores, attention problems, and reduced cognitive function in children exposed to marijuana in utero.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H., delivered an advisory on the health risks related to marijuana use in adolescence and during pregnancy.
He urged physicians and health care professionals to educate the youth and pregnant women about the potential dangers of marijuana on the developing brains of infants and adolescents.
“No amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or adolescence is known to be safe… Until and unless more is known about the long-term impact, the safest choice for pregnant women and adolescents is not to use marijuana.”
—U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H.
Dr. James Lozada, an OB/GYN anesthesiologist at Northwestern University, believes that CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors differently from THC.
Dr. Lozada is concerned because the said receptors impact neonatal fetal brain development. Thus, he cautions women to take a safe approach by entirely avoiding CBD use.
The same sentiments are held by Dr. Talitha Bruney, medical director for the Comprehensive Family Care Center, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at Montefiore Health System. She is worried about the unregulated nature of the CBD oil industry, saying that there are no consistent formulations of CBD oil, as well as no firm guidelines on the delivery form and recommended dosage.
In BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology Journal, a 2016 study on mice shows that THC inhibits the development of embryonic cells. While cannabis exposure in utero has been connected to early pregnancy failure, congenital abnormalities, and developmental delay, the mechanisms of such outcomes are mostly unexplained ( 15 ) .
Researchers of the above-mentioned study also found that anandamide hinders the development of embryo cells.
Anandamide, a fatty acid neurotransmitter, plays an essential role in the endocannabinoid system. In the body, it performs similarly to the cannabinoids, activating the endocannabinoid system so it can maintain homeostasis. Anandamide is vital in thought processes, memory , and control of movement.
A 2017 review by Eugene Scharf of the Department of Neurology in Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, showed that CBD increases anandamide levels ( 16 ) .
Some Exceptions: CBD Oil on a Positive Perspective
Given the warnings from reputable organizations, along with results from studies that suggest adverse prenatal and neonatal outcomes linked to marijuana use during pregnancy, one may be inclined to conclude that any CBD oil product containing a significant amount of THC is unsafe for pregnancy.
However, as the existing body of research is limited, the question of whether CBD oil use for pregnancy is safe or not may be subject to debate for most people.
In a study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2016, scientists found that using CBD-rich cannabis to cure acute and chronic symptoms during pregnancy did not result in significant adverse neonatal outcomes unless there were other risk factors such as cigarette smoking ( 17 ) .
Researchers believe that the association between maternal marijuana use and adverse outcomes are due to related tobacco use, indicating that CBD oil and marijuana use cannot be blamed solely for any unfavorable pregnancy consequences.
Medical researcher and Medical Marijuana, Inc. president Dr. Stuart Titus, Ph.D., explained the science behind CBD’s benefits and the body’s cannabinoid system.
According to Dr. Titus, CBD helps with the development of healthy brain cells. He also confirms that he has seen pregnant mothers thrive on CBD-rich diets and give birth to healthy babies.
The leading researcher also added that physicians and obstetrician-gynecologists (OB-GYNs) do not recommend CBD oil use during pregnancy due to a lack of conclusive, longitudinal human studies on the subject.
Given that long-term studies and extensive research on the effects of CBD oil use on the fetus are not currently available, experts advise pregnant women to consult with their doctors before using CBD during their pregnancy.
Morning Sickness Remedies
Morning sickness can be debilitating, and frequent vomiting can lead to dehydration, which is dangerous for both the mother and baby. Most pregnant mothers are not too keen on taking pharmaceuticals that may cause adverse side effects.
Experts advise women looking to relieve morning sickness to try the following lifestyle and home remedies.
- Carefully select foods. Choose foods that are easy to digest, rich in protein, and low in fat.
Avoid foods that are seasoned with too much spice or cooked in too much oil. Bland foods like rice, bananas, applesauce, and toast are good options, and they are easy to digest.
Salty foods, as well as foods that contain ginger, are sometimes helpful.
- Snack frequently. An empty stomach can make nausea worse. Nibbling on small quantities of food throughout the day, rather than eating three large meals can help prevent nausea.
- Increase fluid intake. Sip water or ginger ale, and aim for at least six cups of non-caffeinated beverages daily.
- Avoid nausea triggers. One should keep away from foods or smells that seem to make nausea worse. Breathe fresh air as much as possible.
- Take prenatal vitamins with caution. Taking the vitamins with a light snack or before bed may help one to avoid feeling nauseous.
Alternative Medicine for Morning Sickness
Several alternative remedies have been suggested for morning sickness, including:
- Acupressure. Results of a 1994 study , which was published by the National Institutes of Health, indicate that acupressure at the PC-6 anatomical site is effective in reducing the symptoms of nausea but not the frequency of vomiting in pregnant women ( 18 ) .
Acupressure wristbands may be purchased without a prescription in most pharmacies. Makers of wristbands say the products work to relieve nausea by applying pressure to the point on the inside of the wrist, stimulating the nerves and sending interfering signals to the brain that may disrupt the nausea signals.
Reviews on acupressure wristbands have had mixed results, but some women seem to find the wristbands helpful.
- Acupuncture. In a 1997 review published by the National Institutes of Health, researchers found clear evidence that needle acupuncture is effective for adult post-operation and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and probably for the nausea of pregnancy ( 19 ) .
- Ginger. Ginger supplements may help alleviate morning sickness for some women. Research led by Mengjian Ding from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Queensland in Australia in 2013 suggests that ginger is a safe and effective treatment for pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting (PNV) (20 ) .
- Hypnosis. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology examined the use of hypnosis for the management of anticipatory nausea and vomiting (ANV) (2 1 ) . Results show that the safety and efficacy of hypnosis are well established.
- Aromatherapy. Although there is limited research on the topic, certain scents, using essential oils (aromatherapy), can help some women deal with morning sickness
Results of a 2014 review published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal suggest that lemon scent can be useful in reducing nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (22 ) .
Moderate to severe NVP may lead to dehydration and an imbalance of electrolytes, such as sodium or potassium, putting the health of both mother and baby at risk.
A consultation with a doctor, such as an OB-GYN, is one’s best course of action when dealing with nausea. Doctors can recommend a safe option based on the severity of one’s symptoms.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Surgeon General, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly advise pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers to avoid marijuana altogether.
Experts do not consider CBD oil safe for use during pregnancy, as CBD products may still contain trace amounts of THC.
There are not enough studies on the use of CBD during pregnancy. Its effects on mothers and babies are still unknown.
Thus, most health professionals recommend that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and those contemplating pregnancy not to use CBD.