CBD and Breastfeeding: Everything You Need to Know

CBD is the latest discovery for treating a host of mental and physical health issues. Its healing properties have helped it earn its place in everything from lotions and bath bombs to gel capsules and gummies.

With CBD’s rise in popularity and multiple benefits, it’s no surprise that there is curiosity regarding using CBD and breastfeeding. While CBD may benefit you, it may not be the same for your baby. Breastfeeding mothers should research the effects of CBD on babies just like any other medication.

The Other Path provides you with all you need to know about CBD and breastfeeding.

Understanding CBD

Your Endocannabinoid System includes endocannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors. Endocannabinoids are naturally-produced cannabinoids that serve as messengers between your body’s cells and brain.

Endocannabinoid receptors exist throughout your body, with most CB1 receptors in your brain and CB2 receptors in immune cells and around vital organs.

The Endocannabinoid System works throughout your body to maintain the following functions and more:

  •     Appetite
  •     Immune function
  •     Short term memory
  •     Chronic pain
  •     Cardiovascular system functions
  •     Motor coordination

When you use CBD, it binds to the endocannabinoid receptors throughout the body to increase endocannabinoid production and improve existing functions within the Endocannabinoid System.

What Is CBD?

hand holding cbd soft gel

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is an active compound in cannabis. CBD is also in hemp, the non-psychoactive cousin of marijuana. State laws vary, but it is generally legal throughout most of the US. Despite its natural origins, it is not yet widely studied.

However, CBD indicates no addictive qualities and very few health risks. CBD comes in many different forms, including tinctures, flower, edibles, and topical solutions. The Other Path offers a variety of CBD products for mental and physical wellness.

CBD vs. THC

CBD and THC are the two main chemical components of cannabis. Their molecular structures mimic the body’s natural endocannabinoids to cause effects. Despite their similarities, they bind to different receptors in your brain and have some significant differences.

Unlike cannabis, using hemp-derived CBD doesn’t get you high. Hemp plants contain less than 0.3% THC, so you still reap its effects without feeling any psychoactive aspects. Cannabis-derived CBD may have higher THC levels.

On the other hand, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive component of cannabis that gets you high. According to the FDA, using THC while pregnant or nursing can harm your baby’s brain development. Studies show it can also cause low birth weight.

Using CBD While Breastfeeding

When the stress of a new baby warrants some relaxation time, cannabis products are many women’s top choice; however, there is limited information available on the effects of CBD on your baby while breastfeeding. Medical experts often focus on the impact of THC rather than CBD because of its psychoactive effects.

While one study indicates that THC can last in breast milk for up to six days, little information is available on CBD levels, but research confirms it also passes through breast milk.

Using CBD Safely While Breastfeeding

The last thing you want to do is inadvertently harm your baby. Because of the limited research on CBD and babies, doctors don’t know whether it will harm them or help them.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to try a health cleanse or drink water excessively to flush CBD out of your body. Because THC’s metabolites stay in the body for an extended period, scientists expect CBD to behave similarly.

While CBD products are not as harmful as products with THC, due to the limited data regarding CBD and breastfeeding, it may be safer to avoid using CBD. You should speak with your doctor for more specific advice. Don’t forget to consider products from The Other Path when you’re ready to start using CBD again!

Cannabinoids in the Body

breast milk in a bottle

You may be surprised to discover that breast milk already has natural cannabinoids. While the body’s cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) aren’t the same as cannabinoids from marijuana and hemp (phytocannabinoids), they both bind to receptors. Endocannabinoids 2-AG and anandamide are commonly found in breast milk, indicating that a transfer of CBD between mother and baby is also possible.

Because endocannabinoids naturally exist in breast milk, they may play a crucial part in promoting your baby’s growth. Because CBD is fat-soluble, it stays in your body’s brown fat cells. Your body metabolizes CBD in these cells at rates dependent on your mass.

For nursing mothers, this can mean that weight gain during and after pregnancy could increase CBD absorption.

Ingestible vs. Topical CBD Usage

Although there is little information regarding whether ingesting CBD or using it topically is safer while breastfeeding, different absorption methods may be safer than others. CBD must enter your bloodstream to take effect. Topical options don’t absorb the same way edibles do.

Nursing mothers can absorb CBD topically through:

  •     Lotion
  •     Patches
  •     Suppositories
  •     Cream

Ingestible CBD comes in many forms, including:

  •     Edibles, including gummies, brownies, and other candy
  •     Tinctures
  •     CBD oil

Because topical CBD products are typically more concentrated to where you apply them, they don’t absorb into the bloodstream as much, with patches being the exception. On the other hand, edibles and tinctures absorb directly into the bloodstream, releasing CBD’s effects over the span of several hours.

The Benefits of CBD

CBD comes with a host of benefits for breastfeeding mothers. CBD is a powerful reliever of postpartum depression, can improve your mood, help you heal faster, and aid in sleep.

CBD’s natural advantages are a compelling factor in choosing CBD products over prescriptions that could severely harm your baby. Considering CBD absorbs into breast milk, it also may have the same effects on your child, although more research is necessary to confirm these speculations.

Easing Postpartum Depression and More

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in five women experience postpartum depression. This debilitating disorder can hamper your bond with your new baby and leave you feeling fatigued, irritable, and hopeless. CBD affects your brain’s chemical receptors and may help serotonin bind to them better.

Babies can sense their parents’ anxiety, leaving both mom and baby upset. CBD is especially effective in relieving stress and anxiety from raising a new baby. Serotonin receptors seem to respond differently to CBD, reducing anxiety by slowing how they signal to different functions.

Managing Pain and Mood Swings

woman relaxing in the beach to manage mood swings

A difficult labor often results in a painful recovery, while breastfeeding can introduce painful challenges. CBD is well known for relieving pain and inflammation. Nursing mothers can apply topical salve after nursing to prevent chapping and discomfort, while you can also apply it to healing scars.

When mood swings from postpartum depression and a lack of sleep wreak havoc on your life, CBD can also help. Its calming effects on your mind and muscles are perfect for maintaining a good mood. CBD products from stores like The Other Path can ease your stress and help you manage mood swings effectively.

Get Sleep

Catering to a new baby’s needs means adapting to a new sleep schedule. Insomnia is a common occurrence for both parents. Taking CBD can help improve sleep when you have to wake throughout the night to breastfeed.

While sleeping pills can leave you feeling sluggish the following day or make you sleep too long, CBD doesn’t have such inebriating effects. CBD’s mild, relaxing effects make it an ideal sleep remedy for breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, people who regularly take CBD suffer less from insomnia and get a fuller, longer night’s sleep.

Using CBD During Pregnancy

The US Food and Drug Administration also does not recommend that mothers use CBD while pregnant. A 2021 study states that CBD use during pregnancy may result in increased anxiety in female children later in life. Affected genes play a part in forming diseases, including epilepsy and substance use disorders.

How Much CBD to Take

For mothers who find CBD is right for them to take while breastfeeding, figuring out the correct dosage is vital. Determining the proper dosage depends on several factors, including:

  •     Your BMI: If you have a higher body mass, you’ll need to take more.
  •     The symptoms you are experiencing: A large dose may be ideal for severe pain and sleep problems, while a smaller dose might be all you need to treat mild mood swings.
  •     How long you wish to feel effects: Large doses are better for all-day relief, while small doses will have shorter lasting effects.
  •     The product you choose: Breastfeeding mothers have different options, but topicals and edibles may be the most effective for their needs.

CBD products come in different strengths and solve varying issues. Starting with a small dose may not bring you significant relief, but it takes time to build up in your system. After continuous use, you’ll eventually feel the effects.

Choose The Other Path

The Other Path is a top provider of lab-tested CBD products. Our products offer multiple health benefits suitable for breastfeeding mothers seeking relief from depression, fatigue, and anxiety. If you’re considering using CBD and breastfeeding, get in touch with our friendly team today for more information.

mom breast feeding her child in the beach

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