CBD and Breastfeeding: Is it Safe to Use?

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Is It Safe to Take CBD While Breastfeeding?

There is not enough research to provide a definitive answer as to the safety of taking CBD while breastfeeding. We do not yet understand if it can be transferred to infants through breast milk, and the long-term effects of this exposure are not yet clear.

One study published in The Journal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 2018 investigated the transfer of CBD into breast milk in eight breastfeeding women who were taking a high-dose CBD oil. The study found that the concentration of CBD in breast milk was generally low, and that the amount of CBD that an infant would be exposed to through breast milk was unlikely to cause any adverse effects.

The following article is not meant to replace or substitute medical advice from qualified healthcare professionals and cannot provide medical advice regarding the use of CBD while breastfeeding. Some studies have shown that cannabinoids, including CBD, can be transferred to infants through breast milk. This highlights the importance of considering the potential risks and benefits of using CBD while breastfeeding, and making an informed decision based on your individual situation and the advice of your healthcare provider.

Are Topicals Safe For Nursing Mothers?

Topical CBD products may be a good option for nursing mothers who want to use CBD because they are applied directly to the skin and do not enter the bloodstream or digestive system, which can help to reduce the amount of CBD that is transferred to breast milk. The likelihood of CBD topicals passing through to the baby during breastfeeding is low.

Are CBD Suppositories Safe To Use While Nursing?

When CBD is administered through a suppository, it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the rectal mucosa, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract and liver. This can potentially result in higher levels of CBD in the bloodstream, and lower levels of CBD being transferred to breast milk.

Some studies have suggested that CBD, taken this way, may not pass into breast milk at all, which could make it a potentially safer option for nursing mothers compared to other oral medications or supplements that do pass into breast milk.

While there is limited research on the safety of using CBD suppositories while nursing, this mechanism of administration may be a potentially safer option compared to oral administration for nursing mothers who want to use CBD.

Can CBD Help Relieve Nursing-Related Symptoms?

Research on the specific benefits of CBD use for nursing mothers is limited. However, by examining general studies on the well-known benefits of CBD, we can begin to understand how it may be useful in alleviating some nursing-related discomforts, such as breast pain, sleep deprivation, and postpartum depression.

Can CBD Help with Sore Nipples and Breasts When Nursing?

Nursing can cause skin irritation, dryness, and cracking on your nipples and breasts. Topical CBD, such as creams or balms, can be applied directly to the affected area and may help alleviate pain and inflammation from sore nipples and breasts. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that promote skin health and have shown promise in alleviating these discomforts. 

One study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that topical CBD can help reduce skin inflammation and itching in patients with eczema and psoriasis.

Another study published in the European Journal of Pain found that topical CBD application can reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

Can CBD Help with Sleep Deprivation When Nursing?

CBD has been shown to have a calming effect on the central nervous system and may help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, which can in turn improve sleep quality. CBD may also have an effect on the levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and GABA, which are involved in sleep regulation.

Topical CBD products, such as creams, and lotions, can be applied directly to the neck, shoulders, or back, which could in turn help to promote relaxation and improve sleep.

Can CBD Help with Postpartum Depression?

Symptoms may include feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, and fatigue, among others. PPD can be a serious condition that requires professional treatment, such as counseling or medication.

While the research on the use of CBD for PPD is still limited, there is some evidence to suggest that CBD may have the potential as an antidepressant and anxiety-reducing agent. CBD has been shown to interact with the body's endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating mood and emotional responses.

One study published in 2018 found that CBD may have potential as an antidepressant, based on its ability to interact with the brain's serotonin receptors. Another study published in 2019 suggested that CBD may help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Does CBD Decrease My Milk Supply?

While some mothers report that CBD has helped them with sleep and anxiety —improving their milk supply. It is important to know that CBD could also have an impact on your milk supply. While there isn't a lot of research on this topic, some studies suggest that CBD may decrease milk production. However, other mothers have reported no change in milk supply while taking CBD.

One study found that cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding was associated with a decrease in milk production. While this study did not specifically look at CBD, it suggests that other cannabinoids found in cannabis may impact milk supply.

You may also want to start with a low dose of CBD and monitor your milk supply closely. If you notice any changes, stop.

If I Pump and Dump is it Safe to Consume CBD?

Pumping and dumping is a strategy used to discard breast milk after consuming alcohol or other substances that may not be safe for a nursing infant. 

It's currently recommended that nursing mothers who choose to drink alcohol limit their consumption and wait at least 2 hours per drink before nursing or pumping milk for their infant. Alternatively, mothers can consider pumping milk before consuming alcohol and storing it for later use, or supplementing with stored milk or formula during this time. This is a standard recommendation even though this method is not fully understood to be effective or safe. 

Can you apply this to CBD, potentially, pumping and dumping will help to reduce the number of cannabinoids, including CBD, in breast milk, but it's important to note that the exact amount of time required to eliminate these substances from breast milk is not yet known —no different from alcohol. 

Additionally, it's worth noting that pumping and dumping may not be a reliable method for eliminating all of the cannabinoids in breast milk, and the safety of using CBD while breastfeeding is not yet fully understood —no different from alcohol.