Can I Smoke Weed Postpartum? Are you breastfeeding?

By Babe | Illustration by Ana Hard

So it’s been a long pregnancy, and you’ve likely given up some of those feel-good hobbies that come along with bringing a healthy baby into this world, like drinking and smoking or consuming weed. Now, your baby is successfully in the outside world. Congrats! Maybe you’re at a party for the first time in a million years, or maybe you’re just on the couch exhausted, sore and looking for a little high. You can’t help but wonder: can I smoke weed postpartum?

Well, it mostly comes down to this one question. Are you breastfeeding?

If no, then there’s no inherent risk to your baby, other than possibly getting too high and disassociating from your reality. But we trust that the little bite of an edible you’re referring to is just enough to make that new Netflix show a little funnier after a long day of dealing with a newborn. If your weed consumption is to the point where you forget what you’re doing, or what you just did, or you pass out unexpectedly, (especially if you’re co-sleeping), then it becomes a question of safety and you should check your intake or speak to a professional. 

Now, if you are breastfeeding, take note.

According to the CDC, there’s not enough data around consuming weed and nursing to say yes or no in regards to safety. Chemicals from marijuana in any form (including edibles, oils, or other concentrates) can be passed from a mother to infant through breast milk. These chemicals have the potential to affect a variety of neurodevelopmental processes in the infant. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active component of marijuana, is stored in body fat and is slowly released over time, meaning an infant could be exposed to an unknown amount for an extended period of time. In addition, some products, including cannabidiol (CBD) products, may contain other contaminants (e.g. pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus) that could be dangerous to a mother and her infant.

So, can you consume weed while breastfeeding? In our humble opinion, until there’s more of a definitive study to draw from, and in order to limit potential risk to the infant, we recommend you abstain from marijuana or marijuana-containing products in any form, including those containing CBD, while breastfeeding.

Now, if you’re reading this and are still going to use marijuana or CBD while breastfeeding, you should significantly reduce your intake. Also, to minimize secondhand smoke exposure, don’t smoke around your baby. If you’re leaning on marijuana for your postpartum or anxiety issues, try talking to someone instead. While we’re all for a little hit of the doobie (outside of breastfeeding, that is), it’s not a long lasting way to deal with your emotions. But speaking to a professional can be.

Lastly, if consuming cannabis is a non-negotiable, then switch to formula.