Cannabinoids in Breast Milk – Endocannabinoids’ Role in Conception & Breastfeeding

Cannabinoids in Breast Milk – Endocannabinoids’ Role in Conception & Breastfeeding

Is there evidence to support the claim that there is such a thing as CBD in breast milk?

Scientists have discovered cannabinoids in breast milk – so the answer is yes there is evidence of cannabinoids/CBD in breast milk – absolutely!

Cannabinoids in Human Breast Milk

Human breast milk is rich in cannabinoids similar to CBD. We humans naturally produce our own version of cannabinoids, as do most animals. These internally-produced cannabinoids are known as endocannabinoids. They interact with many essential systems and pathways in the body including what is known as the Endocannabinoid System. Believe it or not, a large concentration of these cannabinoids that we produce are found in human breast milk. 


The most abundant cannabinoid found in breast milk is called 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). This endocannabinoid also stimulates the same cell receptors that THC does.

Even more interesting is that 2-AG appears to be critical in keeping newborns alive. It stimulates the suckling response and tongue muscles. CB1 receptors in the brain control these functions.

Without these endocannabinoids, babies may develop a disease called “non-organic ability to thrive”. This condition occurs when a baby cannot consume enough food to sustain itself.

Children might even be less prone to the psychoactive side effects of THC than adults.

There is much that is not known, but novel findings suggest that decades of anti-drug “research” might in fact be wrong.

How and why would that be the case?

Scientists in the 1970s started learning that endocannabinoids are involved in a variety of fundamental biological processes, including those related to food and appetite. 30 years later they discovered endocannabinoids in human breast milk. Naturally, this led researchers to investigate further. What they found out is fascinating!

They performed experiments to determine what effect cannabinoids have on the stimulus for newborns to start drinking milk. The results were clear. Cannabinoids are critical for the development of a newborn’s appetite. Without it, they may not have the urge to suckle milk and could very well not survive.

We used to think that a newborn suckling for milk was a purely instinctual reaction, but now we understand that it is at least in part triggered by the activation of the CB1 receptor. That happens to be the same receptor that is activated when THC is consumed and people get the ‘munchies’.

But it’s not just about newborns learning to feed, it’s also about the critical influence that cannabinoids play in pre and postnatal development. Cannabinoids support the healthy development and functioning of the nervous system, immune system, brain neurons, and more.

What does that mean?

A common question that gets asked is, is CBD safe for children? The research certainly indicates that cannabinoids like CBD are essential for full bodily functioning at every stage of life, and that they’re fundamental to the healthy development of human beings.

All humans are born with cannabinoid receptors for a reason. These cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body on our organs and brain. Studies have even shown by 14 weeks into gestation a fetus has already developed CB1 receptors! Cannabinoids are an absolutely vital component of a healthy fully functioning human body.

It makes perfect sense that something so critical to our wellbeing would be found in high concentration in human breast milk – a fluid that evolved over millennia to be the perfect source of nutrition for the newborn baby of that species.

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