As a follow-up to our blog post on the research of cannabis use in pregnancy, we’ve compiled in this blog, information on cannabis use during breastfeeding. Research on this topic is lacking even more than it is for pregnancy — urgh so horrible to say! We truly hope this will change in the near future, as in our opinion, cannabis remains a much safer option than many Pharmaceuticals prescribed and OTC drugs used during breastfeeding.
Transfer of Inhaled Cannabis Into Human Breast Milk
By: Teresa Baker, Palika Datta, Kathleen Rewers-Felkins, Heather Thompson, Raja R. Kallem, Thomas W. Hale
Published: Obstetrics & Gynecology May 2018
This study collected breast milk samples from 8 womxn who were between 2-5 months postpartum, exclusively breastfeeding while consuming cannabis on a regular basis. Breast milk samples were collected 20 minutes after cannabis consumption (standardized dose via a glass pipe), and again at 1 hour, 2 hours and 4 hours post consumption.
This study offers some insightful observations;
- What was found in the breast milk was delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is inactive (aka non-psychoactive) unlike 11-OH-delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol which is the active metabolite found when cannabis is burned and smoked.
- The highest dose of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol was found 1 hour post consumption when it seemed to peak, and then subside over the next 4 hours.
- Some women had a minute amount of detectable delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol prior to consumption, indicating a possibility of accumulation over time for frequent/heavy use.
Read the full scientific article: Read here
Dr Jack Newman position on cannabis use during breastfeeding
Published: January 2019
Dr Jack Newman, renowned breastfeeding expert and advocate, issued a statement about cannabis use during breastfeeding, on his Facebook page following legalization of cannabis across Canada in 2018. Firstly, he makes it clear that he does not condone recreational or illegal use while breastfeeding. He then describes the bioavailability of THC (how much gets into the blood and therefore has an active effect on the body), stating that considering this bioavailability, only trace amounts would be transferred to the baby via breast milk. THC is then absorbed at an even lower level by the baby, given the double metabolization; processed once by mom to get to breastmilk, processed a second time by baby through digestion before reaching baby’s blood stream.
Read the full statement: Read here
World Health Organization on CBD
Published: November 2018
We browsed all the resources that came up in our search for “Cannabidiol” on the WHO website and found the following statement in a Q&A from November 2018.
“Recent recommendations by the 40th ECDD* also confirmed that the cannabis-derived substance cannabidiol (or CBD) is effective in reducing seizures in children with rare epileptic disorders. CBD is a cannabis derived product that does not have psychoactive effects and is not addictive.”
For us, the acknowledgement of non-psychoactivity as well as labeling CBD as non-addictive; truly reinforces that CBD is a safer choice for our children than most OTC or Pharma options. In combination with Dr Jack Newman’s explanation above of the double metabolization of cannabis is breast milk, we feel CBD is an excellent option to use instead of traditional medications while breastfeeding.
Read this full article, where the above can be found under point #5 here.
We do realize the information on this topic is scarce. We will continue to update this blog post as research on this topic hopefully increases in the future. For now, we have compiled in this blog, all the information that helped me, cofounder Annie, to consciously make a decision to feel comfortable and confident to use cannabis and CBD while breastfeeding, instead of antidepressants and sleeping pills. Read my story here on our blog.
To read experiences from other moms, and how they came to their decision to use cannabis during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding, join our community here.
Be sure to also check out founder Jordana’s journey to using cannabis during pregnancy here.