CBD During Pregnancy: What are the Benefits and Risks?

by Kat Austin June 29, 2021 8 min read

CBD During Pregnancy: What are the Benefits and Risks? - Vida Optima™

There’s plenty of reasons that one may seek CBD’s benefits (which reportedly help quell pain, nausea, insomnia, and more), but one group in particular is beginning to investigate the benefits of non-intoxicating CBD: pregnant mothers.

It seems that CBD’s benefits may line up with the primary discomforts associated with pregnancy, like nausea, appetite changes, and trouble sleeping, but is it safe to take CBD during pregnancy?

Although CBD is not currently FDA approved as a treatment for any pregnancy-related condition, many people have good things to say about CBD’s benefits for pregnancy. We took a look at other people’s experience using CBD during pregnancy and some of the science behind CBD’s use for pregnancy-related symptoms. Here’s what we found:

Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA approved to treat any pregnancy-related condition and research regarding CBD is still limited. You should not use any herbal remedies during pregnancy without first seeking guidance from your doctor.

Table of Contents
Here’s Why Moms Are Using CBD During Pregnancy?
Benefits of CBD for Pregnancy?
Is CBD Safe During Pregnancy?
Benefits of CBD for Postpartum Recovery
Where to Buy High Quality CBD?

Key Takeaways

  • CBD has not been FDA approved for use during pregnancy, and more research is needed to understand how CBD affects a baby in utero.
  • Many expecting mothers have used CBD to manage nausea, sleep disruptions, and more, and there may also be benefits to using CBD to support postpartum recovery.
  • Ongoing research also looks to evaluate the benefits of CBD for newborns suffering from brain damage and children with seizure disorders.
  • Experts warn that low quality CBD poses extra risks, so choosing a high-quality CBD product is crucial.

Here’s Why Moms Are Using CBD During Pregnancy

If you’re looking into the benefits of CBD during pregnancy in hopes of forgoing other prescription medications, you’ll be happy to know that you aren’t alone! There are plenty of other expecting mothers out there who feel the same way.

A vial of CBD oil on a pink and blue background, one of the most common dosing methods for using CBD therapeutically.

Of course, some women decide to forgo CBD until more safety research is available. Many others negotiated that the side effect profile of CBD is much less risky than that of various prescription medications used to manage symptoms like nausea and pain during pregnancy. One reddit user started a conversation on this exact topic, stating that she “immediately felt more uncomfortable using [a prescription medication offered for morning sickness] than the CBD oil” she used before her pregnancy. She asked other moms to weigh in on the idea of using CBD during pregnancy, and the reviews were mixed.

While some moms called for more safety research (and even questioned the lack of research behind some medications that are declared to be “safe” during pregnancy), others told success stories.

One mom commented “I broke my arms at 8 weeks. I used CBD capsules in place of the Percocet and Vicodin I was prescribed. I was nervous as well, and I wanted as clean a pregnancy as possible. But the pain was tough, and CBD relieved it better than pain meds with no adverse side effects. I used it for about 4 weeks. I have a plump, hilarious, handsome, perfect 10 month old.”

Another mom gave her own take on hemp-derived herbal remedies. “I've used it consistently throughout my pregnancy (I'm 26 weeks). I used a mint spray in the first trimester, which helped with nausea, and it also helps with anxiety. I've also used a CBD/Arnica salve externally for muscle aches and pains. I'm an herbalist and after the research that I have seen (which is still limited in scope and quantity, unfortunately) makes me feel safe to use it.”

Another mom faced a difficult predicament while dealing with chronic illness during pregnancy, but claimed that CBD helped keep symptoms at bay. “I have DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease) and scoliosis so without CBD I don't know how I'd make it,” she wrote. “I'm 27 weeks and all-in-all have had a great pregnancy! I still deal with regular back pain, but it's to be expected with my condition and is manageable. I have absolutely no fears regarding CBD.”

As you can see, it’s possible that the benefits of natural CBD outweigh the risks, although it’s crucial to acknowledge that risks do exist.Before we dive into that, however, we want to look at the possible reasons that people may choose to use CBD during pregnancy:

Why Would CBD Be Useful During Pregnancy?

Anecdotal reports of CBD’s benefits generally cover the primary concerns of pregnant women, like combating nausea or vomiting and relieving pain. All sorts of CBD products are available to help appropriately target these ailments, ranging from oral CBD oils to edibles and even topical products like CBD bath bombs.

Many women have reported using CBD to help manage extreme nausea or vomiting during morning sickness, and studies have shown that CBD may have anti-nausea benefits for certain patients, like those undergoing chemotherapy.

Some users report that CBD also helps them to manage anxiety and other ailments that may cause sleep loss, a common ailment experienced by expecting mothers, especially later in the pregnancy.

Read more about CBD's potential benefits:

It’s not uncommon (although it is often illegal and/or advised against) for expecting mothers to use cannabis to help manage some of these symptoms, as THC has similar potential benefits. Now, however, many mothers are wondering if legal CBD’s non-intoxicating benefits are a better alternative.

In other words, is CBD safe to use for morning sickness or other discomforts during pregnancy?

Is CBD Safe During Pregnancy?

A pregnant woman holding her aching back to get relief

Although CBD’s benefits potentially line up with what many expecting mothers need, the Food and Drug Administration warns that CBD may not be safe for expecting mothers. However, many experts agree that there is no research that currently identifies any serious threat to the mother or the baby in utero. In other words, CBD is not recommended for pregnant mothers mostly on the basis that research is lacking regarding the safety of CBD during pregnancy.

On their website, the FDA states that “There is no comprehensive research studying the effects of CBD on the developing fetus, pregnant mother, or breastfed baby,” but that they are “continuing to collect and study the data on the possible harmful effects.”

The FDA only references one animal study that shows a possible harmful relationship between very high doses of CBD and the development of the reproductive system in male fetuses. There are, of course, some risks related to CBD that also apply to pregnant women, but most have to do with the quality of the product.

Risks of CBD During Pregnancy

Outside of the primary risk—that there isn’t much evidence available that explores the use of CBD during pregnancy in humans—there are a few risks associated with CBD that apply across the board.

Most significantly is the fact that hemp is still poorly regulated in the U.S., leaving consumers exposed to a sometimes shady market. Low-quality CBD formulas should be a primary concern for those using CBD (including pregnant and non-pregnant people).

CBD that isn’t carefully made and properly lab tested could contain various contaminants, like pesticides, heavy metals, or residual solvents. These contaminants could be dangerous in any case, but especially for expecting mothers and their babies.

Experts also believe that CBD that isn’t properly lab-tested or regulated could contain large quantities of THC, beyond the 0.3% limit outlined by federal law. THC is known to be potentially harmful for a developing fetus, and CBD with illicit amounts of THC could pose an increased threat.

Like THC, CBD may also transfer to an infant through breast milk, which leads expecting mothers to wonder about the impact of CBD on infants.

Research Concerning CBD and Infants

Although there is not much research concerning the safety of CBD during pregnancy, some research has explored the impact of CBD on young children, including infants. The following research is not intended to dispute the safety information above, rather to show why experts may take more interest in researching the use of CBD for expecting mothers and infants in the future.

At the center of CBD pediatric research is the use of CBD as an anti-seizure medication. There have been many studies to show that CBD is effective at reducing or eliminating various forms of childhood epilepsy, including rare forms like Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In most of these studies, CBD is found to be a safe alternative to other medications.

Researchers have also taken interest in the use of CBD for brain-damaged newborns, specifically those suffering from perinatal brain damage due to hypoxia during birth. Generally, the most common treatment for this condition is induced hypothermia, a therapy that reduces the baby’s body temperature in order to slow degeneration in the brain.

In preclinical trials, CBD’s neuroprotective properties have been combined with the hypothermia method with much greater success, but more research is needed to confirm the benefits of CBD for newborns.

It’s important to note that in both of these cases CBD is being used as a life-saving or otherwise crucial preventative treatment, which may mean that the benefits more easily outweigh the risks associated with CBD for infants.

A collection of herbal remedies and CBD laid out on display

Benefits of CBD During Pregnancy Recovery

Even if you are still hesitant to use CBD during pregnancy (at least until there is more research to confirm its safety), you may want to consider the potential benefits to picking up a bottle of CBD while recovering from pregnancy.

Before we start, we want to be clear that we do not condone CBD use by expecting or breastfeeding mothers without a doctor's guidance, but there may be some daily wellness benefits that new parents may find useful after the breastfeeding phase is through. Here are some highlights of CBD’s benefits:

CBD may help with energy regulation.

CBD helps to promote balance inside the endocannabinoid system, which is partially responsible for metabolism and energy regulation within the body. Our CBD Multivitamin Gummy includes vitamin B12 for an added boost that helps you sustain energy levels throughout the day.

It could also help with weight loss.

Some research suggests that CBD could help promote weight loss, which could be a benefit to some postpartum mothers who are struggling to lose a few of their pregnancy pounds. One study found that regular CBD doses decreased weight gain in mice, while other research points to CBD’s ability to increase something called “fat browning,” or the process where white fat is turned to brown fat that generates heat and burns calories.

CBD could help you feel calm and sleep better.

Many studies have delved into CBD’s ability to help manage anxiety and anxiety related insomnia with positive results. One large case study found that CBD may help improve sleep in patients with anxiety, while more targeted research found that patients who received regular doses of CBD experienced improved symptoms related to Social Anxiety Disorder.

Either way, new anxieties and lack of sleep is something that new parents commonly experience, and CBD, especially CBD products designed for sleep, may help.

Where to Get High Quality CBD

Although you can buy CBD online from any state where CBD is legal, not all CBD is made equal. In general, make sure you source from an experienced CBD brand who uses high-quality, U.S. grown hemp that is free of pesticides and other contaminants. We also recommend that you buy CBD oil that is third-party lab-tested for label accuracy.

Our Vitality CBD oil contains premium, full-spectrum CBD and essential vitamins that support energy and daily wellness, with no weird additives or gimmicky ingredients. If you're looking for 100% natural CBD products that are grown by nature and fueled by science, check out our Vitality Collection.

Vida Optima Vitality CBD Oil


  1. “Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165951/
  2. “Maternal cannabinoid exposure. Effects on spermatogenesis in male offspring” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3026968/
  3. “Cannabinoids in Pediatrics” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5473390/
  4. “Cannabidiol Oil Safely Lessens Seizures in Treatment-resistant Children, Early Trial Data Show” https://dravetsyndromenews.com/2019/07/30/cannabidiol-oil-safely-lessens-seizures-in-dravet-children-early-trial-data-show/
  5. “Cannabinoids: Well-Suited Candidates for the Treatment of Perinatal Brain Injury” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4061885/
  6. “Cannabidiol decreases body weight gain in rats: involvement of CB2 receptors” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21172406/
  7. “Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27067870/
  8. “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series” http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/43-the-permanente-journal/original-research-and-contributions/6960-cannabidiol-in-anxiety-and-sleep-a-large-case-series.html
  9. “Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in generalized social anxiety disorder: a preliminary report” https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0269881110379283

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