Can CBD Help During Pregnancy and Postpartum?

Can CBD Help During Pregnancy and Postpartum?

CBD is well-known for its healing potential, whether you’re suffering from minor aches and pains or major illnesses like fibromyalgia or Crohn’s disease. Amazingly, this popular compound may also be helpful in treating some of the unpleasant conditions that often accompany pregnancy and postpartum. Join us as we explore the many ways CBD may benefit you during pregnancy and beyond!

 

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound naturally derived from the legal hemp plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is not psychoactive, meaning it cannot produce the “high” that typically accompanies marijuana use.

CBD works with the human body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex system simultaneously creates endocannabinoids and processes and metabolizes phytocannabinoids like hemp-derived CBD.

The ECS is made up of a network of neurotransmitters called endocannabinoid receptors, which can be divided into two main groups: CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.

CB1 endocannabinoid receptors are primarily concentrated in the brain. They regulate appetite, immunity, pain perception, short-term memory, motor functioning, and thinking. CB2 endocannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body, targeting all other bodily systems and functions.

 

Is CBD safe during pregnancy and postpartum?

CBD’s efficacy in treating a wide range of conditions has been established through an ever-growing number of studies, but what of its safety profile, especially during pregnancy?

Generally speaking, CBD is considered safe for human consumption. Many pediatric studies even suggest that the cannabinoid may be safely used by children for the treatment of conditions like autism, epilepsy, or ADHD.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does advise against CBD use while pregnant or nursing; however, this recommendation comes out of a lack of research in this specific area. Ultimately, the decision to use CBD while pregnant or nursing lies in your hands. Evidence both for or against the cannabinoid’s use under these circumstances is sorely lacking, so it’s up to you to determine what is best for you and your baby’s health.

 

How can CBD help during pregnancy and postpartum?

The gestational experience is rewarding, but it can take quite a toll on the female body. Some women turn to CBD for relief while pregnant or nursing due to its many health benefits. Here are seven ways CBD may help throughout pregnancy and postpartum!

One: CBD may mitigate pain

Many women experience different kinds of pain during pregnancy. This can include joint pain, headaches or migraines, sore breasts, and abdominal cramps. After delivery, women often undergo additional pain, especially if cervical or vaginal tearing occurred during labor.

CBD treats all sorts of pain by targeting the CB1 receptors in the brain and nerves that modulate your pain response. This 2016 study found that topically applied CBD gel alleviated joint swelling and significantly reduced pro-inflammatory biomarkers in arthritic models.

Additionally, this migraine-focused study found that CBD and other cannabinoids induced an entourage effect of benefits, effectively preventing the incidence and severity of painful migraines. Plus, this 2018 review examines the ways in which CBD relieves inflammatory pain regulating inflammation markers and the overall pain response.

Two: CBD may relieve nausea and vomiting

We’ve all heard of morning sickness, and if you’ve experienced it yourself, you know just how miserable and disruptive it can be! Unfortunately, up to 85% of pregnant women experience nausea or vomiting during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. To make matters worse, many turn to anti-nausea pharmaceutical Zofran for relief, and new research suggests that this drug may be dangerous for mother and baby alike!

Thankfully, CBD has been long-touted for its ability to combat nausea and vomiting, especially in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments. For example, this 2011 study found that CBD interacts directly with the serotonin receptors in the brain to alleviate severe nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients. This 2016 study additionally confirms CBD’s effectiveness in treating nausea, concluding that the cannabinoid regulates both acute and anticipatory nausea. Again, the decision to use CBD while pregnant lies in your hands. We highly recommend discussing this with your physician before using CBD while pregnant.

 

Three: CBD can treat emotional disruptions

When your hormones surge with the natural fluctuations that accompany pregnancy, you can only expect the mood swings and other emotional disruptions that follow. Postpartum depression and anxiety are also common mental health conditions that can arise in the weeks or months postpartum, leaving many women feeling inadequately prepared to care for their new child.

Luckily, researchers have found that CBD helps regulate emotional ups and downs by targeting the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety-producing hormones. CBD simultaneously triggers receptors that produce serotonin and dopamine, two primary mood-boosting hormones.

This 2010 study found that CBD decreases limbic and para-limbic activity in the brain, in turn diminishing anxiety with regular consumption. Another 2010 study concluded that CBD acts similarly to the pharmaceutical antidepressant imipramine by activating serotonin receptors in the brain. Additionally, this 2016 study found that CBD reduces depressive symptoms by triggering CB1 receptors in the brain to increase serotonin production.

Four: CBD might alleviate intimate dryness

When estrogen levels decrease and vaginal mucus secretions diminish during pregnancy, many women experience soreness, itching, burning sensations, and overall vaginal dryness and discomfort. Dryness can even continue on into the postpartum phase, especially if you choose to breastfeed your newborn.

CBD carries a multitude of benefits, but did you know that it can even alleviate vaginal dryness? CBD directly targets the CB2 receptors located in the reproductive tissues, increasing blood flow to this region and naturally promoting lubrication and sensitivity.

This 2019 study found that many research participants experienced heightened sensitivity to touch when using cannabis prior to intimacy. These participants also reported that cannabis improved their overall sexual experience. Likewise, this 2023 study found that most participants felt increased sensitivity; however, they additionally noted improved sexual function and satisfaction and even orgasm intensity.

We love this Broad Spectrum Intimacy Oil from Bee’s Knees Wellness because it’s formulated specifically for intimate interactions. This intimacy oil specifically targets dryness, crafted with 200mg of Broad Spectrum CBD and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil to increase glide and prevent microtears and swelling. It also includes damiana leaf as an additional aphrodisiac boost!

Five: CBD may help reduce hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids aren’t just unpleasant to talk about – they’re itchy, painful, and often incredibly difficult to treat. Luckily, CBD may offer some relief for this unfortunate accompaniment to pregnancy.

Hemorrhoids are an inflammatory condition that occurs when the blood vessels inside of your rectum or outside of your anus swell and become inflamed or enlarged. CBD can reduce the size and severity of hemorrhoids by reducing inflammation via topical application or oral ingestion.

Applying a Full Spectrum CBD tincture like this one from Bee’s Knees Wellness may be effective; however, for deep healing, CBD suppositories may be your best bet. Suppositories can be made at home by gently heating an emulsifier like shea, cocoa, or coconut butter, allowing the butter to cool (but not solidify!), adding in your desired dose of your preferred CBD tincture, then carefully piping the mixture into suppository molds. Freeze or refrigerate to ensure each suppository maintains its shape.

Six: CBD can ease the symptoms of gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. It can often persist past pregnancy and continue to affect women postpartum. Approximately 10% of pregnant women encounter gestational diabetes at some point during pregnancy, and many encounter difficulty mitigating the condition altogether.

Although CBD has not been researched for use in treating gestational diabetes specifically, a few studies confirm the cannabinoid’s efficacy in relieving some symptoms involved in type 2 diabetes. For example, this study finds that CBD may regulate lipid and glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetes patients and reduce beta cell damage in those with type 1 diabetes.

Seven: CBD may aid in a good night’s rest

For many pregnant women, the first and third trimesters are marked by a significant lack of sleep. Surging hormones with the addition of an uncomfortable and constantly growing belly can lead to some restless nights, and once your baby’s born, that sleepless state only continues.

Fortunately, CBD helps you get better sleep by triggering the CB1 endocannabinoid receptors in the hypothalamus region of the brain to regulate circadian rhythms, metabolism, and energy accumulation. By triggering these receptors, CBD helps the body progress through sleep cycles without interruption and achieve deeper sleep states.

This 2019 study concluded that CBD drastically increases sleep scores while additionally decreasing anxiety scores in patients suffering from sleep and anxiety disorders. A more recent 2023 study similarly found that CBD substantially improves both sleep disturbances and overall sleep quality.

 

In conclusion, we’d like to emphasize that the decision to include CBD in your wellness routine during pregnancy and postpartum is something to consider seriously. The most important thing to factor in is the health of you and your baby. We strongly encourage you to consult your doctor and do the research to determine if it is a good solution for you personally. From pregnancy to postpartum and beyond, we hope you find the relief you need and want to offer our sincerest congratulations on your new arrival coming into the world. 



time Mar 14, 2024
1

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