CBD Usage In Pregnancy Affects Brain & Behavior Of Offspring Later In Life
New research conducted by the University of Minnesota found that using CBD in pregnancy can have adverse consequences on offspring in adulthood.
According to the St. Peter Herald, a recent study published in the journal Clinical Epigenetics discovered that using CBD in pregnancy can affect the mood and cognition of offspring later in their adult lives, long after the exposure has ended. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota, who used a rodent model to explore the impact of CBD on developing brains.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found in cannabis, which is often used in oils and edibles to offer a sense of relaxation or calmness to users. CBD is not psychoactive, unlike its counterpart tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), therefore it doesn’t offer the traditional “high” feeling a person would get from ingesting THC. In the study, researchers exposed pregnant rodents to a level of CBD that’s consistent with what would be found in over-the-counter CBD products. The mice were exposed to the same level of CBD twice daily during pregnancy and while weaning their babies. The baby mice, on the other hand, were not directly exposed to CBD after being born, though they were observed for various behavioural and cognitive impacts.
This led the researchers to make a variety of conclusions. For one, the exposure to CBD during pregnancy seemed to improve memory performance while also increasing anxiety in the female offspring. The same patterns were not observed in the male baby mice.
Furthermore, the effects of CBD exposure seemed to persist through the offspring’s adulthood, despite not having any direct exposure post-birth. The researchers also observed a shift in the gene regulatory marks of hundreds of genes in the brain of the female offspring. This, in turn, led to the formation of new neurons and synapses and affected communication between neurons.
While the researchers admit the impact of CBD on brain development during pregnancy is still not fully understood, this is a step in the right direction. “We show here that use during pregnancy can permanently impact the resulting offspring in adulthood and potentially for the rest of their lives,” Christopher Faulk, an assistant professor and lead researcher in the study, commented.
It’s believed that the research will give way to new safety regulations concerning the use of CBD during pregnancy.
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