Considerations and Implications of Cannabidiol Use During Pregnancy

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2020 Jun 10;24(7):38. doi: 10.1007/s11916-020-00872-w.


Purpose of review: Cannabis is a naturally occurring plant that is composed of over sixty phytocannabinoids, of which cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently identified as having therapeutic potential.

Recent findings: Although not clearly understood in its mechanism of action, CBD contains potent anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperalgesia, and analgesic qualities now being further analyzed for its use in the treatment of a plethora of diseases. Related to its large safety profile and lack of psychoactive effects typically associated with cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is being used more frequently for self-treatment of chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. With the help of broad marketing, CBD is being used by numerous people, including pregnant women who use CBD as an anti-emetic. Since marijuana is legalized in many states in the USA, the use of CBD has increased not only in the general population but also in specific groups such as pregnant women with chronic pain. Despite CBD's accessibility, there are limited studies showing its safety during pregnancy. While the use of cannabis has been well explored in terms of the effects on pregnancy, the use of CBD during pregnancy thus far has limited literature. The goal of this investigation is to impart the current understanding of CBD and its effects of pregnancy.

Keywords: Analgesic; Anti-hyperalgesia; Anti-inflammatory; CBD receptor; Cannabis; Marijuana; Phytocannabinoids; Pregnancy; THC.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / drug therapy
  • Cannabidiol / pharmacology
  • Cannabidiol / therapeutic use*
  • Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Use / epidemiology
  • Morning Sickness / drug therapy*
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology*


  • Cannabidiol