Posted on October 16, 2019 by Sustainable Food News

FDA ‘strongly advises’ pregnant, breastfeeding mothers to avoid CBD products

Agency says it is investigating reports of CBD potentially containing pesticides, heavy metals

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday said it “strongly advises” against the use of cannabidiol (CBD) “in any form” during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

The agency explained that the most commonly known compounds in cannabis are THC and CBD.

“One type of cannabis plant is marijuana, which contains varying levels of THC, the compound that produces the ‘high’ that is often associated with marijuana,” the agency said. “Another type of cannabis plant is hemp. Hemp plants contain extremely low amounts of THC. CBD, which does not produce a ‘high,’ can be derived from either marijuana or hemp.”

Demand for CBD products is soaring as more and more appear in the snack foods and beverages, and consumers get more comfortable with using the products.

“We are now seeing CBD-containing products everywhere. CBD can be found in many different products, like drugs, foods, products marketed as dietary supplements, and cosmetics,” the FDA said Wednesday. “These products often make questionable health promises about CBD. FDA wants you to know there may be serious risks to using cannabis products, including those containing CBD, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.” (Bolded text comes from FDA).

“We also know that 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. We have also heard reports of CBD potentially containing other contaminants (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus); we are investigating this,” the FDA said.

Last month, market research firm NPD Group said about 20 percent of adults have tried hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) in states where it is legal and nearly half of them have used it recently.

The Chicago-based market research firm also said that among those using CBD, 40 percent of them are “seeking to better themselves with food and beverage choices…a stat that reflects the increasing use of food as medicine by consumers.”

Interestingly, NPD pointed out that CBD users “overall are more likely to have medical conditions, such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, and ADD/ADHD.

Read the FDA’s warning to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers here.

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