Marijuana and Milk? Here’s what you need to know about weed milk, a relaxing vegan drink
It’s true вЂ”В marijuanaВ milk is a thing.
Milk isn’t what it used to be. Though milk can certainly refer to the dairy product from a cow вЂ” or goat or camel вЂ” a whole range of vegan and lactose-freeВ nut milks and other alternative products look and often taste like the original moo juice.В
And now, branching out from cashews and almonds, cannabis is becoming the ingredient du jour to make vegan milk from.В
Yes, weed milk is happening.В
Rawligion,В a London-based health food and drink cafe вЂ” whose website, by the way, touts phrases like “eat sexy, feel sexy” вЂ” is taking vegan milk to a new level. It recently launched a new limited-edition drink called Relax, intended to work as a sleep aid and help reduce stress and anxiety with its proprietary mixture of hemp seeds, cashews and CBD oil, or cannabidiol, which comes from the cannabis plant.
Unlike THC, the chemical in marijuanaВ that causes a person to get high, CBD is nonpsychoactiveВ and often celebrated for its medical benefits. Think of it as medical marijuanaВ without the heady effects of smoking pot. CBD is still classified as a drugВ in the U.S., thanks to its marijuana-derived origins and what the federal government sees as the potential for abuse. It has, however, been shown to help stop seizures in kids with epilepsy, and research is ongoing about its medical uses, which are legal in some states.
Like drinking warm milk, downing a bottle of Rawligion’s Relax is more likely to make you pull the sheets over your head and rest your face on a pillow than enjoy a Phish concert.В
Though CBD is rarely seen in food or beverages вЂ” it’s the THC candy and cookie dispensaries want in their adult products вЂ” milk made from hemp is nothing new.В
Rawligion founder John Tabatabai told Mic via email that this fresh, nonpasteurized, hemp-based milk вЂ” which has about a 48-hour shelf life вЂ” was created with the “intention of creating a dairy-free, healthy drink which tastes great and has fantastic health benefits.” Though Mic has yet to taste Relax, Tabatabai said the beverage tastes “like a delicious milkshake” and indeed has relaxing effects. He said the response to the CBD-infused product has been “fantastic,” which is good news for those looking forward to similar products hitting the market.В
In the U.S., hemp milk can be purchased by the carton from Pacific Foods, which makes soy and almond milks. It’s also legally available in plenty of mainstream cafes and coffee shops, like New York’s Birch Coffee.В
Hemp milk has a substantial amount ofВ calcium, vitamins and magnesium. According to Livestrong, you can make it by blending hemp seedsВ вЂ” often found at health-food stores вЂ” with water and any desired sweetener, and then straining out the solids. The recipe is simple and offering up homemade hemp milk at your next party can definitely make for a great conversation topic.В
And because it doesn’t include CBD oil, your homemade hemp milk is definitely not weed milk, so feel free to drink it wherever you like without worry.
It’s true вЂ”В marijuanaВ milk is a thing. Milk isn’t what it used to be. Though milk can certainly refer to the dairy product from a cow вЂ” or goat or camel вЂ” a whole range of vegan and lactose-freeВ nut milks and other alternative products look andвЂ¦
Is It Safe to Smoke Pot While Breastfeeding?
Now that you’ve made it through pregnancy, you’ll probably be adding a lot of the things on the “off-limits” list back into your diet and your life. But while breastfeeding doesn’t come with all the restrictions that pregnancy does in terms of what you can and can’t do, one no-no that carries over is using marijuana.
Can you smoke weed while breastfeeding?
No, you can’t smoke weed while you’re breastfeeding. That’s because when you smoke or eat marijuana, pot’s main ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), circulates through your bloodstream and gets into your breast milk.
Wherever fat cells are present, the THC dissolves and sticks around for a while. (Breast milk, it turns out, has lots of fat, which is what helps baby grow so quickly.) That means that the THC in marijuana gets into your baby’s system when you’re pregnant, and also concentrates in the breast milk — where it can stay for up to six days —and passed onto your baby while you’re nursing.
The way that researchers study how most drugs move through breast milk is to look at different dosages of the drug to figure out how much of the drug ends up in the milk supply.
With marijuana, that experiment is tricky: There’s no standard “dose” of marijuana, since different people use different strains and preparations of the plant. But studies have shown that almost 1 percent of the THC in a joint ends up in breast milk, which baby excretes in his urine.
What’s more, animal studies have shown that marijuana can slow milk production. So if you’re new to breastfeeding and struggling to get your supply up, that’s probably reason enough to stay away from marijuana.
How can marijuana affect your baby if you’re breastfeeding?
Prominent health and medical groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) recommend that breastfeeding mothers stay away from marijuana because it might affect a baby’s brain development.
More About Marijuana and Babies
In fact, in light of the growing trend of pregnant women turning to marijuana for morning sickness and other symptoms and continuing the habit while nursing, the AAP issued its first official guidelines on marijuana use, pregnancy and breastfeeding in 2018. In their new recommendations, the group reaffirms that pregnant and nursing moms should not use marijuana in any form because it isn’t safe for them or their babies, both in utero and after they’re born.
Why? THC is known to bind to lots of protein receptors in the brain — that’s why it makes a person high. But those same protein receptors are known to play key roles in helping the brain develop properly, so researchers think that exposure to THC could alter brain development in subtle ways.
Studies surveying mothers about their little ones’ behavior found that babies exposed to marijuana through breast milk were more easily fatigued and had poorer suckling skills than their peers.
Research also showed marijuana use could have longer-term effects: Babies exposed to THC in breast milk had poorer scores on motor development tests — which assess a baby’s movements and responses to his environment — at age 1.
The studies on marijuana and breastfeeding have lots of caveats. They rely on questionnaires that could be answered incorrectly. And many mothers who smoke marijuana may expose their baby to THC not only through breast milk but secondhand smoke as well.
In fact, a 2018 AAP study in the journal Pediatrics found that many children whose parents smoke pot regularly tested positive for marijuana exposure. Because marijuana exposure in kids has been linked to a number of health conditions and risks, those findings suggest that not only is smoking pot unsafe during pregnancy and breastfeeding but near children.
Can you smoke pot around your baby if you’re not breastfeeding?
Though controlled studies on the subject are still sparse, those out there suggest enough risk that most health care providers will tell you to not use marijuana while breastfeeding.
And even if you don’t breastfeed, there’s reason for both you and your partner to avoid marijuana. Not only can THC affect your baby if he ingests it through your breast milk, but there’s some evidence that the babies of moms and/or dads who smoke pot may have a higher risk of asthma and other respiratory problems, middle ear conditions, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
This could be caused by breathing in secondhand smoke, and some experts suggest that parents’ ability to care for a child may be impaired when using marijuana. For those reasons, ACOG released an updated policy statement in 2017 urging pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid using marijuana.
If you’d still like to use pot while breastfeeding, talk to your doctor. But most experts agree, it’s generally safest for your baby if you stay away from marijuana when you’re nursing — and at home in general when you have little ones in the house.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect the First Year . Health information on this site is based on peer-reviewed medical journals and highly respected health organizations and institutions including ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists), CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), as well as the What to Expect books by Heidi Murkoff.
Is It Safe to Smoke Pot While Breastfeeding? Now that you’ve made it through pregnancy, you’ll probably be adding a lot of the things on the “off-limits” list back into your diet and your life.