It’s getting harder to ignore cannabidiol (CBD), the miracle compound that’s extracted from the cannabis plant. Over the years, plenty of anecdotal evidence has surfaced, claiming that the compound is effective against a score of diseases, ranging from mild conditions like anxiety and insomnia to more severe ones like epilepsy and chronic pain. It has become more accessible than it ever was, with plenty of retailers and pharmacies offering CBD-infused products to cater to the massive demand for the substance.
Recently, a study presented at the Anesthesiology annual meeting found that unlike drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes, most women of childbearing age were not afraid of any health ramifications from using CBD products during pregnancy. Researchers surveyed women aged 18 – 44, physician anesthesiologists, certified nurse-midwives, and doulas (trained non-medical companions who offer support to women during pregnancy and the birthing process).
Of the women they surveyed, 9% thought that one alcoholic drink per week was fine, while 29% thought that using a topical CBD during pregnancy was harmless. The physician anesthesiologists and certified midwives were less trusting of CBD products, with only 19% of the physician anesthesiologists and 20% of the certified midwives believing the product was safe for pregnant women. 70% of the doulas, on the other hand, thought CBD was safe to use during pregnancy.
Mark Zakowski, MD. FASA, Chief of Obstetrical Anesthesiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, was the senior author of the study. According to him, they had observed women and doulas using CBD during pregnancy and labor to reduce anxiety, nausea, and pain, although no safety data exists, and its effects are mostly unknown. “That’s concerning because CBD may interact with commonly used anesthetics that might be needed during labor and delivery,” he says, adding that ongoing CBD use has shown the compound has the potential to act like a common class of antidepressant, SSRS inhibitors, which can adversely interact with other drugs.
The online surveys were taken by 315 women of childbearing age, 113 physician anesthesiologists, nine certified nurses, and 48 doulas. 60% of the women said that they had seen CBD for purchase; 20% of them would consider using any form of CBD to reduce anxiety, and 28% would use it during labor. They were also open to using CBD for nausea and pain.
According to Dr. Zakowski, pregnant women and anyone having surgery or needing anesthesia should tell their physician anesthesiologist if they use CBD or other herbal products, and physician anesthesiologists should ask their patients whether they use it. “Clearly, we need more research to determine if CBD is safe for pregnant women.”
It is widely believed that CBD industry players like The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX.V: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) and LiveWire Ergogenics Inc. (OTC: LVVV) aren’t surprised that women in the childbearing age are putting their trust in CBD.
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