Is it safe to consume edibles while breastfeeding?

Feb 08, 2024The nama Team
Is it safe to consume edibles while breastfeeding?

The CDC and NICHHD warn that mom’s cannabis consumption can pass through breast milk and alter baby’s neurodevelopment.

If possible, wait until you’ve finished breastfeeding before consuming cannabis. If you are going to use cannabis, low doses are better than high doses. Our edibles provide super low doses of cannabinoids.

Studies warn about the effects of cannabis on nursing children, but most or all of these studies were done on high-dose marijuana use. Microdosing cannabis is much safer, but we don’t have enough data to be sure that it’s entirely OK. That’s why it’s better to abstain entirely until your child is weaned.

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What is microdosing cannabis?

Microdosing cannabis refers to the practice of consuming very small amounts of Delta 9 THC to achieve a mild buzz and take advantage of a plethora of therapeutic benefits without impairment. You know how higher doses of Delta 9 can produce an intense high and cause unpleasant side effects? Our cannabis edibles take that out of the equation. 

We carefully titrate the THC dosage in our edibles, so you can personalize the experience and address specific symptoms or conditions such as insomnia, migraines, chronic pain, or poor mental health. Our micro doses—between 2 and 10 milligrams of THC per gummy—avoid potentially adverse physiological effects and offer therapeutic and medicinal properties.

When you ingest cannabis in the form of low-dose gummies or THC drinks, the compounds go through the digestive system and deliver longer-lasting effects. All our cannabis products contain small doses of pure Delta 9, cannabidiol (CBD), or other beneficial cannabis compounds derived from hemp, not marijuana

If you’re new to microdosing edibles, try our ultra-low dose Bliss gummies. They are a perfect introduction to cannabis microdosing and provide a pleasant, relaxing experience. One refreshing melon gummy contains 5 mg of THC and 5 mg of CBD. 

"This gummy absolutely helped me unwind after a long physical days work. I used cannabis to unwind every evening for years, until I suddenly couldn’t tolerate it well. Anxiety made it not worth doing.

These Bliss gummies were different though! Only half of the tiny gummy had me in a state of relaxation, motivation, and overall happiness."


Are edibles safe during breastfeeding?

Microdosing cannabis has a lot of health benefits, and our low-dose edibles are a great way to microdose. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough studies on the effects of microdosing on breastfeeding infants—so the safest approach is abstinence from cannabis until your baby is weaned.

There is a large body of evidence that cannabis use is detrimental to breastfeeding babies—and most of it was based on recreational (high-dose) marijuana use. 

Bethesda, MD with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development found that:

  • THC from cannabis is excreted into breast milk and can be detected for over 6 weeks, with a predicted half-life of 39 hours.
  • Daily or near-daily maternal cannabis use during breastfeeding affects an infant’s normal brain development: it may retard motor development but does not seem to affect growth or intellectual development.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is stored in body fat and slowly released over time. This means that the infant could be exposed to an unknown amount and for an extended time. Bethesda, MD also warns that there is insufficient data on the long-term effects of infants being exposed to cannabis via breast milk. 

Djulus, et. al. discussed the risks of marijuana use during breastfeeding and the potential effects of THC exposure on breastfed infants. They found that there is limited research on the transmission of THC through breast milk and the long-term impact on neurodevelopment. The authors conclude that chronic use during breastfeeding could accumulate in breast milk in high concentrations, which may affect brain development.

Spanish researchers confirmed this and found that the effects of cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding are associated with negative outcomes for both mothers and children. They revealed that:

  • THC and CBD can cross the placenta and accumulate in breast milk, indicating fetal and neonatal exposure is possible with maternal use.
  • Prenatal exposure is associated with lower birth weight, cognitive deficits, and increased behavioral issues in children.
  • Animal studies found neurobiological and behavioral alterations in offspring from perinatal cannabinoid exposure.

More research is needed surrounding postnatal exposure to low-dose cannabis via breast milk. Here’s a summary of what we know on the topic:

  • The majority of available studies focus on high-dose cannabis use via inhalation (smoking) by breastfeeding moms.
  • High-dose smoked marijuana use is clearly bad for breastfeeding infants.
  • We don’t know whether low-dose edibles pose a risk to breastfeeding infants or not.
  • Without clear evidence, it’s best to abstain from all cannabis use while breastfeeding.
  • If you’re going to consume cannabis while breastfeeding, lower doses are almost certainly better than high doses.

Can babies get high from breastfeeding?

We don't know if babies get enough THC from mom's breast milk to get high. Medical literature indicates that some THC passes through to nursing babies, but more research is needed before we know if it approaches the psychoactive threshold for infants.

Certainly, the greater the dose of THC consumed by the mom, the greater the dose passing to the baby. That's why it's best to abstain from cannabis use while breastfeeding, or if necessary, at least use our low-dose edibles.

Maternal cannabis use may have additional negative effects beyond breast milk. Moms who smoke cannabis may expose their babies to secondhand smoke. Also, intoxicated moms may not give infants the same quality of care that sober moms do. 

Second-hand cannabis exposure is an independent risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome. Considering that breastfeeding is protective for sudden infant death syndrome, this warrants a careful weighing of the risks and benefits of breastfeeding while using cannabis. (Badowski, MD)

Research shows that heavy cannabis use while breastfeeding may impact a baby’s cognition and behavior down the road. With that being said, there aren’t enough studies that focus on the effects of microdosing edibles on breastfeeding infants to draw concrete conclusions.

How long do THC and CBD stay in the breast milk?

The persistence of cannabinoids like THC and CBD in a mother’s breast milk depends on how much and how often she uses cannabis. A 2018 study found that THC was found in a majority of breast milk samples up to approximately 6 days after maternal marijuana use. 

An article published by the Children’s Hospital of Colorado found that THC concentrations in milk can be detected anywhere from 6 days to as much as 6 weeks after consumption. The more often and greater the amount of cannabis used, the more THC builds up. 

The method of consumption—smoking a joint versus eating an edible—also changes how quickly her body processes the THC that can pass along to the baby. 

There is still much we have to learn about the pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids in breast milk. Based on current evidence, healthcare providers often advise against using cannabis while breastfeeding due to uncertainties around the duration of infant exposure and potential short- and long-term health effects.

What to do if you accidentally eat an edible while breastfeeding

While it is a worrying event, one accidental cannabis exposure does not automatically equal harm to your baby. If you accidentally consume cannabis edibles while you’re breastfeeding your child, here’s what you can do:

  1. Try to remain calm. 
  2. Call your doctor or pediatrician right away and share with them the product and dosage details for what you have ingested. Provide all of the details to get the best recommendations.
  3. If possible, pump and dump your breast milk for the next 6 to 24 hours. It’s a waste, but it can help limit how much THC could reach your baby. Stay hydrated, as THC leaves the body faster when you’re well-hydrated.
  4. Closely observe your baby over the next few days. Note any changes in behavior: increased sleepy time, less interest in feeding, or lack of wet diapers. These could indicate less milk consumption.
  5. Try to prevent any chance of this happening again. 
  6. Consider using formula for a few days until you can be more confident that the THC has completely left your body. This can assure you that your baby won't be exposed to any residual traces of cannabis.

Contact your doctor or pediatrician for more advice. You can also discuss how long to abstain from cannabis before resuming breastfeeding based on the dose you ingested. When you’re done with breastfeeding, our collection of Delta 9 gummies awaits you. 

New moms often struggle with anxiety, depression, and general emotional overwhelm in postpartum depression. Microdosing can alleviate symptoms of anxiety, while higher doses may have the opposite effects. Our low-dose Relax Plus gummies can help during the long days with a new babe, quieting all those big feelings. 

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What are the benefits of microdosing cannabis?

Delta 9 is safe at lower doses and allows you to consume cannabis in a controlled way that helps alleviate the symptoms of many medical conditions while remaining productive and functional the next day. 

Here are some of the reasons why microdosing cannabis can be beneficial: 

  1. Low-dose THC edibles seem to help dementia patients by promoting the creation of new neurons in the brain. This process is called neurogenesis and is super important for keeping your brain healthy.
  2. Microdosing edibles can provide relief for irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. According to research, small amounts of cannabis can reduce inflammation and modulate gut function without causing the psychoactive effects associated with higher THC doses.
  3. Cannabis edibles have been shown to ease fibromyalgia symptoms by targeting pain receptors and promoting relaxation. They help relax your muscles, alleviate pain, and even help people with fibromyalgia sleep better.
  4. Low amounts of THC can fight social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stage fright, and panic disorders. 

In addition to these (and many other) health benefits of our low-dose edibles, there are other advantages: 

  • With edibles, you always know how much THC you’re consuming because each one is infused with an exact milligram amount.
  • Gummies take anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes to kick in. While that is more time than smoking or vaping, the effects of gummies tend to stick longer
  • There’s no inhaling hot smoke or mystery vape chemicals. That’s a win for your lungs and the entire respiratory system. 
  • Our edibles are very discreet to use. You just pop one in your mouth and enjoy the delicious flavors.

If you’re struggling with sleep, our Sleep Plus edibles can help. They make you feel calm and relaxed as you drift seamlessly off to dreamland. That’s what only 2 milligrams of Delta 9 THC can do (paired with CBD, of course). 

Once your baby is weaned off, don’t forget to try out our collection of THC drink recipes. Each of our cannabis mocktails is buzzed with our low-dose liquid THC drops. Don’t worry, our buzztails are all straightforward and quick to make, so they won’t interfere with your busy new-mom schedule.

Get the best cannabis edibles from nama (post-breastfeeding)

Don't settle for mystery ingredients or exaggerated claims. Let rigorous testing and verifiable results guide you to the highest quality edibles. Shop at nama and experience the difference quality makes. Our cannabis products are lab-tested to ensure safety and deliver measurable doses you can trust. 

Many cannabis products on the market contain contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, fungi, and bacteria that can be harmful. These contaminants are not regulated or tested for safety and have been linked to toxic effects on the liver, kidneys, and nervous system. 

That’s why choosing high-quality, lab-tested cannabis products is crucial for everyone who cares about their health and well-being. When you buy from nama, you know you're getting the best stuff out there. Our gummies and THC beverages undergo rigorous quality control and independent lab testing to ensure they consistently meet the highest standards for purity and reliability. 

We recommend that you wait until you've completed your breastfeeding journey before indulging in our products. Your baby's well-being is the top priority. Once you're ready, we'll be here to provide you with the finest and most reliable edibles that deliver consistent results.

See where you can buy the best hemp-derived gummies in the US. 

Edibles and breastfeeding FAQ

THC is excreted into breast milk in moderate amounts after consuming cannabis products and stays in the body with a long half-life, so waiting several hours allows for some elimination of THC to limit infant exposure through breast milk. 

Individual maternal metabolism and frequency of cannabis use impact THC clearance, so some advice suggests waiting 6-24 hours when possible, or longer after heavy use. A lactating mother should consult her healthcare provider about an appropriate waiting period after THC intake based on her specific usage patterns. If you must partake, take very low doses.

There is limited research on the safety of topical cannabidiol products for breastfeeding mothers, but early evidence suggests CBD is unlikely to cross the skin barrier in significant amounts. Topical CBD oil is believed to have little to no impact on breastfeeding, as it does not enter the systemic circulation and theoretically should not find its way into breast milk. One study on lactating women found no CBD was detected in breast milk after topical CBD application in most subjects. 

A nursing mother should discuss using topicals vs other delivery methods with her healthcare provider. Mothers should self-monitor and observe the breastfed baby to check for any adverse outcomes with topical CBD use.

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta 8 THC) generally stays detectable in the body for 1-3 days after last use. Traces can appear on drug tests for up to a week in consumers with higher body fat composition. 

Factors such as dosage amount, frequency of Delta 8 use, metabolism rate, and body mass index (BMI) all impact the detection window. Based on limited research, consider 3-5 days as an average timeframe for Delta 8 THC to fully clear out of the body based on limited research. 

Delta 8 THC is an isomer of Delta 9, the main psychoactive component of cannabis. While chemically similar, Delta 8 is reported to produce milder intoxicating effects in comparison. 

The human body has an endocannabinoid system that naturally produces endogenous cannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). They interact with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body and brain. They act similarly to phytocannabinoids from the cannabis plant but are produced on demand within the body’s endocannabinoid system. 

This crucial signaling system regulates various functions from mood, pain-sensing, and memory, to hunger, sleep cycles, and metabolism. So while we don’t biosynthesize THC and CBD found in medical marijuana, our bodies do endogenously synthesize our own cannabinoids as needed to maintain homeostasis.

While an occasional single alcoholic drink is unlikely to cause harm, breastfeeding mothers shouldn’t be consuming alcohol. Ethanol and its metabolites can accumulate in breast milk after drinking, potentially affecting infant development, sleep patterns, and feeding behavior if exposed. 

No amount of maternal alcohol intake has been established as definitively “safe” while nursing due to variations in alcohol metabolism and infant susceptibility. Drinking no more than 0.5 grams (one standard drink) 2 hours before nursing may help limit alcohol transfer, but experts urge maintaining caution over recommendations of specific “allowed” intake amounts for breastfeeding mothers.

Very limited human research looks at cannabidiol transfer into breast milk. One study estimating passive CBD exposure detected 2.5-8.5% of the maternal oral CBD dose reaching the breastfed infant, though most babies had undetectable or very low CBD levels in samples. Peak CBD breast milk concentrations occur 2-4 hours after ingestion by the mother. 

Another study found that 6 out of 10 breast milk samples analyzed had measurable CBD levels ranging from 2.8-9.4mcg/L. More research is still needed, but these early measurements indicate only a small fraction of maternal CBD intake may pass to the nursing baby through breast milk.

Healthcare experts recommend against smoking cigarettes while breastfeeding if possible. Hundreds of harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke pass through breast milk posing health risks for nursing infants, especially nicotine, which can negatively impact infant development, behavior, and cognition. 

Secondhand cigarette smoke exposure should also always be minimized around breastfeeding infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) notes that breastmilk remains the best source of overall nutrition and immunity for infants. So if reducing cigarette smoking isn’t feasible for you while breastfeeding, try following nicotine harm reduction techniques, such as smoking right after feeding the baby, wearing protective clothing, and using nicotine replacement products.

Hookah (waterpipe) is not considered safe during breastfeeding or pregnancy. Many toxic chemicals from hookah tobacco smoke dissolve into the bloodstream and can subsequently pass through breast milk, potentially causing adverse effects in breastfed infants. Hookah smoke chemicals transferred through breastfeeding include carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar, heavy metals, and carcinogens. Secondhand exposure from hookah smoking should also be avoided around nursing infants. 

Cannabis use is generally not considered safe for pregnant women. THC and other cannabinoids can cross the placenta, exposing the developing fetus. Several studies have linked prenatal marijuana exposure to lower birth weight, smaller head circumferences, and adverse neurological development and behavior effects later in childhood. Potential risks include issues with cognitive function, attention, memory, problem-solving skills, and hindered mental development. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends pregnant women avoid cannabis, although there are barriers to researching its effects. 

Some research indicates potential harm to the brain and cognition from heavy, long-term cannabis edible consumption. Frequent use may affect human brain structure and function in areas like the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus associated with memory, learning, and higher cognitive processes. 

Chronic, heavy teenage use is especially concerning as the brain still actively develops into the mid-20s. But many questions remain about specific impacts from edibles vs. other methods and about lower levels of intake. Microdosing cannabis is considered therapeutic for the brain, offering several benefits such as:

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Marijuana and Breastfeeding. (2023, May 2). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cannabis. (2023, November 15). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed®) - NCBI Bookshelf.

Djulus, J., Moretti, M., & Koren, G. (2005). Marijuana use and breastfeeding. Canadian Family Physician, 51(3), 349-350.

Navarrete, F., Salud, M., Gasparyan, A., Femenía, T., & Manzanares, J. (2020). Effects of Cannabis Use in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: Behavioral and Neurobiological Consequences. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 11, 586447.

Badowski, S., & Smith, G. (2020). Cannabis use during pregnancy and postpartum period. Canadian Family Physician, 66(2), 98-103.

Bertrand, K., Hanan, N., Honerkamp‐Smith, G., Best, B. M., & Chambers, C. D. (2018, September 1). Marijuana Use by Breastfeeding Mothers and Cannabinoid Concentrations in Breast Milk. Pediatrics. THC and Breast Milk. (n.d.).

Cannabidiol. (2023, October 15). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed®) - NCBI Bookshelf.

Garry, A., Rigourd, V., Amirouche, A., Fauroux, V., Aubry, S., & Serreau, R. (2009). Cannabis and Breastfeeding. Journal of Toxicology, 2009.

Joseph, P., & Vettraino, I. M. (2020). Cannabis in Pregnancy and Lactation – A Review. Missouri Medicine, 117(5), 400-405.

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