A new memo from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising new and expecting mothers to stay away from THC and CBD products of all kinds, regardless of their legal status or intoxicating qualities.
The FDA published the memo targeted at pregnant and breastfeeding women earlier this month, and made sure to advise against the use of both THC and hemp-derived CBD, despite increasing popularity in both legal weed dispensaries and retail outlets across the country.
“We are now seeing CBD-containing products everywhere,” the memo reads. “CBD can be found in many different products, like drugs, foods, products marketed as dietary supplements, and cosmetics. These products often make questionable health promises about CBD. [The] FDA wants you to know there may be serious risks to using cannabis products, including those containing CBD, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.”
FDA officials cited a number of studies connecting cannabis use to complications with pregnancy in the memo, but also made clear to note that research into all facets of cannabis use and effect have been severely hindered in the face of federal prohibition. Still, with frequent reports of mislabeled and potentially dangerous CBD products being sold indiscriminately, the FDA would rather new and expecting mothers be safe than sorry.
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“...There is a potential for CBD products to be contaminated with substances that may pose a risk to the fetus or breastfed baby, including THC,” the FDA wrote. “We have also heard reports of CBD potentially containing other contaminants (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus); we are investigating this.”
Outside of pregnancy-specific warnings, the FDA is currently in the process of constructing regulations and restrictions for the country’s booming hemp CBD market. Without those guidelines, hemp CBD products are being sold without any oversight or scrutiny. To that point, the FDA has already begun issuing warnings to companies that have made bold claims about the medical efficacy of CBD products.
There is certainly much to be learned about cannabis, pregnancy, and breastfeeding before any definite statements about a correlation can be confirmed. But if we are ever going to find out for sure if cannabinoids can be safe for new and expecting mothers, the FDA will have to step up its game and play a significant role in increasing research around the plant.
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