Medical Marijuana for Postpartum Depression

Motherhood is a blissful phase of life but can be overwhelming. For mothers not breastfeeding, marijuana can be an effective solution for postpartum depression.

Medical Marijuana is slowly reaching people far and wide. The natural compounds derived from Cannabis are gaining popularity across the world. The cannabinoids and terpenes are the reason behind the various properties and benefits associated with cannabis. Today we extract these substances separately to offer different types of treatments and benefits to people. The two compounds, THC and CBD interact with the body differently to make sure you receive various health benefits and good treatments for various ailments. These ailments can be both physical and mental health problems, and medical marijuana is understudy to prove its efficiency towards curing them.

What is Postpartum Depression?

Motherhood is a blissful phase of life that is equally overwhelming. The transition that our bodies go through during and after the pregnancy is a lot to understand and accept. While celebrations are extended to embrace the joy of bringing a new life into this world, the mother goes through a tough phase in adapting to the new life. Every mother goes through the “baby blues” phase either during or after the pregnancy. However, the extent by which this affects the mother’s health and whether they overcome this feeling depends on their treatment methods and mental health.  

cannabis and post postpartum depression

Studies show that almost one out of seven women go through postpartum depression. Postpartum depression refers to a depressive psychotic disorder that occurs within the first few months of giving birth. There are no hard reasons behind what could cause it, although the fluctuation of hormones during this period is usually posed as the culprit. Mood swings, anxiety, depressive thoughts, erratic behavior, sleep issues are common signs observed in women suffering from PPD. Loss of Appetite, suicidal thoughts, fear of not bonding with the baby, feelings of anger and frustration are also observed in some women during this time. If such signs exist in new mothers longer than a month post-birth, then chances are that they might be suffering from Postpartum Depression.

Current Treatment Methods

PPD is not a new term in the medical community. But, only a few women approach for treatments due to lack of diagnosis and social stigma about not being a good mother. In most cases, physicians prescribe Xanax, Prozac, Ambien, Ativan, and Valium. These drugs aim at coping with depressive thoughts and anxiety and encourage sleep. But these drugs also come with a long list of side effects including irritability, cognitive impairment, and blurred vision. They also pose a risk of addiction or dependency among women. With such incompetent solutions to solve such a common problem, people around the world have been seeking help from the miracle drug of the medical industry, Marijuana.

Marijuana – Effective and Safe Treatment for Depression  

Cannabis has been a recent rage in the medical community to treat mental ailments. Depression and anxiety are among the most common mental disorders faced by people. Some suffer from these issues, even for a lifetime. It not only affects their mental health but could also have a toll on their physical health, and overall well being. Currently, there are various pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for managing these issues. Yet a common problem among these drugs is the embedded side effects that include sleepiness, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, and the threat of addiction.

 A study conducted in 2014 was among the first few to initiate the use of cannabis to treat depression and anxiety.  CBD, an active ingredient in cannabis can help bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body, which are a part of the endocannabinoid system. They enhance the functioning of various organs and help balance hormone levels, thus increasing serotonin levels in the brain. This creates a sense of euphoria and calmness in individuals and helps in their emotional well being.

cannabis and post postpartum depression

A study in 2018 supported the same with evidence after tests on animals. Long-term usage showed that the compounds in Medical Marijuana were capable of reducing stress levels and acting as an efficient anti-depressant. Thus CBD can efficiently help in treating anxiety and depression in the body naturally.   

Also, for new mothers, the imbalance in estrogen and progesterone levels in the body cause mood swings. This leads to low anandamide levels in the body. The drop in levels of this “bliss ” compounds in the body leads to feeling numb, dull, and sad. Apart from CBD, the THC or the psychoactive compound in marijuana is also efficient in interacting with the body. Its chemical structure is similar to those of anandamide, and thus it duplicates the levels of this compound in the body by interacting with the receptors. 

CBD and THC work in unison in the body for new mothers to ensure they curb depression. While THC replaces and takes up the functions of anandamide, CBD helps to preserve the natural levels of anandamide. Cannabis from high-quality marijuana seeds can thus help mothers suffering from PPD to battle and overcome the same.

Medical Marijuana for Stress and Anxiety

While the use of treating postpartum among women could be new, medical marijuana has been becoming popular among women groups for various reasons now. Marijuana has been proven efficient for treating anxiety disorders. A study published in the Journal of affective disorders suggests that smoking cannabis can help reduce stress levels and also help cope with anxiety and depression. It balances the chemicals in the body to create a sense of euphoria.  More women are trying to use this plant to treat common problems such as mood swings and insomnia which is also common during PPD. Certain THC dominant varieties also relax your sore muscles and body to help achieve a good night`s sleep. Cannabis is also known for causing  “munchies” or for enhancing appetite. This could be useful for women who are suffering from the loss of appetite during this period. There are various trusted online sources like FairCannaCare that can cater to you with high-quality marijuana products for therapeutic use.              

Breastfeeding and Medical Marijuana Usage  

One of the impending questions among new mothers about marijuana usage is its effect on breastfeeding. Doctors even double-check before prescribing general medications to mothers who are breastfeeding to ensure there is no effect on the baby. Although there is a stigma around the usage of marijuana during breastfeeding, there is no hard evidence to prove if this could have any potential side effects. There are studies in progress to know if marijuana usage is safe during this time. Yet, the absence of conclusive evidence to prove either point means one might need to wait it out till science proves anything further. For mothers who are not breastfeeding, marijuana could be the best solution to treat postpartum depression naturally without having to worry about side effects.

Currently, there are various ways of using medical marijuana to treat PPD. Marijuana edibles, drinks, or even raw seeds are available at dispensaries in legalized states. Apart from these, CBD oil-based products are also becoming popular, which can also be efficiently used by new mothers. Medical marijuana could be the miracle that mothers can use to enjoy the bliss of childbirth with ease and comfort.

If you are a mother going through postpartum depression, or if anything feels off during or after your pregnancy, please do not be afraid to seek help. Whether you wish to use medical marijuana or an alternative option, it is best to speak with your doctor.

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