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Prenatal health

27th Jun 2024

Women should avoid taking CBD during pregnancy, according to new study

Niamh Ryan

A study has found that using CBD while pregnant could potentially put the baby at risk

CBD is commonly used for chronic pain, inflammation and anxiety, and is often used by women during pregnancy to treat discomfort.

It typically comes in the form of an oil, patch, or a topical cream.

While it’s generally considered safe, research at the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies Forum suggested that it may be dangerous to use while pregnant.

“Scientific evidence has proven that CBD crosses the placenta, can reach the brain of rodents and human embryos and is also present in breast milk,” PhD student Alba Caceras Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez studies human health at INSERM Aix-Marseille University. She said that they are still researching the effect of CBD on the brain during development.

Research was carried out using pregnant mice to see changes in behaviour.

Baby mice that were exposed to CBD exhibited different behaviour to the control group.

“CBD-exposed females tended to move around their new environment more compared to females that didn’t receive CBD during gestation.

“Furthermore, compared to control mice, both male and female mice treated with CBD established more physical contacts with each other,” she said.

The scientists also found changes in part of the insular cortex. This part of the brain is responsible for processing emotional and social signals, and processing pain.

Rodriguez found evidence that prenatal exposure changed neurons in this part of the brain.

This alteration to the brain could have a “considerable impact on the ability to understand and react properly to the environment,”she said.