While most women of childbearing age understand drinking alcohol while pregnant is harmful, they may be less skeptical about the safety of cannabidiol (CBD), even though there is no evidence to support that belief, suggests a study being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 annual meeting.
Researchers surveyed women 18-44 years old, physician anesthesiologists, certified nurse midwives and doulas (trained non-medical companions who support women during pregnancy and the birthing process) about CBD, alcohol and marijuana use during pregnancy. While only 9% of the women said they believed one drink of alcohol a week was safe, 29% thought topical CBD was safe. Physician anesthesiologists and certified nurse midwives were more skeptical (18% of physician anesthesiologists and 20% of certified nurse midwives thought it was safe), but doulas generally thought it was OK – 70% said they believed it was safe during pregnancy.
“We observed women and doulas using CBD lotions during pregnancy and labor to reduce nausea, anxiety and pain, although no studies have examined its benefits, no safety data exists, and its effects are largely unknown,” said Mark Zakowski, M.D., FASA, senior author of the study and chief of obstetrical anesthesiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. “That’s concerning because CBD may interact with commonly used anesthetics that might be needed during labor and delivery. And ongoing CBD use has shown the potential to act like a common class of antidepressants, SSRI inhibitors, which can adversely interact with other drugs.”
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