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Cannabis and Mental Health: Addressing Postpartum Depression

Guest Post
by Tammy Taylor

Childbirth is a miracle, and motherhood is a gift like no other. But that doesn’t mean it all comes easy to a woman. Unlike common knowledge, pregnancy and childbirth is not the only critical time of motherhood. In the early days, post-childbirth women tend to feel stressful due to the distinct challenges of the new responsibilities and the fluctuating hormone levels. Although our body physically prepares to take care of a child post-birth, a mother needs to get mentally prepared to enjoy her time with her new-born thoroughly. The reality of post-birth indicates that about 15% of all women giving birth in the United States suffer from Postpartum Depression. Cannabis shows the promise of another treatment option through CBD and THC delivery to treat PPD in new mothers.

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What is Postpartum Depression?

Baby blues or feeling overwhelmed post-childbirth is natural. Typical symptoms of anxiety, mood swings, sleeplessness tend to remain for the first three weeks post-childbirth. But if women suffer from prolonged feelings of sadness indicating depression, sleeplessness, mood swings, irritability, and any abnormal mental disturbance, it is indicative of postpartum depression. In some cases, new mothers also tend to face difficulties in bonding with the baby, reduced interest in activities, lack of self-care, overwhelming fatigue, loss of appetite or overeating, feeling hallow and worthless, recurring thoughts of suicide or death or severe cases of a panic attack and anxiety.

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Up until a few years ago, the lack of knowledge about the condition most women embraced motherhood with complete ease naturally with no resistance at all. Due to this, many cases of PPD went unregistered. But today, more women are willing to seek a full range of options to help to cope with the conditions and to cherish a new beginning with their child.

Postpartum Depression Care

Modern medicine has enabled effective medication and therapies to treat PPD and related symptoms. Medications are useful for women facing extreme cases of PPD to ensure it does not affect the health of the mother and the child. Yet the challenges and risks of treating PPD patients with these medications seem to leave women skeptical about accepting the solution. These medications could make the mothers feel drowsy, lightheaded, divert their concentration, and have side effects on the new-born, especially if the mother is breastfeeding. The emergence of cannabis and its effectiveness to treat mental ailments has been a turning point in the area of Postpartum care. The treatment indicates a safe and effective alternative to new mothers who can now embrace the treatment without doubts about their child’s health and development.

Cannabis for postpartum depression?

Cannabis is becoming increasingly popular for treating mental ailments such a depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia. The plant contains cannabinoids that are similar to the chemicals in our bodies. These cannabinoids bind at the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system to enable a chain of chemical reaction that regulates sleep, appetite, mood, inflammation. Hence cannabis shows potential in countering the various symptoms of PPD and help a new mother feel at ease. Varying strains of cannabis such as bubba kush strains offer a mixture of properties such as energy-boosting, relaxing and calming, anti-anxiety, and stress relieving benefits that enable women to utilize the plant to get through a stressful time.To reap benefits instantly, one can buy marijuana from reputed cannabis store or try CBD from EzraHelps.com where he can advise you on usage.

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One of the most frequently asked questions about cannabis usage after birth is its effect on breastfeeding. The early years are critical for the development of the child, and exposure to cannabis could feel like a threat during this stage. And simply because more women are smoking cannabis during or after pregnancy, it is not possible to accept that it is safe. The dangers related to the use of marijuana during pregnancy or post-birth is mostly related to the presence of the active cannabinoid THC. The chemical initiates psychoactive properties that could enter the bloodstream of the baby through breastfeeding and affect the health and wellness of the child. Although the data is inconclusive regarding the deleterious effects of THC on the fetus, the emergence of CBD and CBD infused products offers a non-toxic and potentially effective method of cannabis use among new mothers. CBD or cannabidiol is yet another major active cannabinoid of the cannabis plant that does not have any intoxicating properties. The interaction of the chemical enables the body to reduce inflammation, pain, and improve appetite. It also has a body and mind relaxing properties that will ensure the mother receives enough sleep and rest to care for the baby and herself.

What does the science say?

The use of cannabis-based treatments for PPD is still a new area of research. While there isn’t much study material available to understand the validity, the initial test results and the body of research about the effectiveness of CBD to treat mental ailments such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia in users opens a promising avenue of possibilities.

A study published in 2019 in the Permanente Journal shows improvement in the condition among anxious sleeper after usage of CBD. 79% of the users showed decreased anxiety levels, and 66.7% showed better sleeping patterns within the very first month of CBD use. A review of 2015 suggests that CBD can have powerful anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties that can benefit new mothers suffering from PPD. Another review from 2018 shows that the short-term, as well as long-term engagement of CBD based medication, can help reduce stress levels and enable better anxiety management. So far, online testimonials of new mothers coping with PPD using CBD have been a promising front for the emergence of such medication. They share how the compound helps them regain their regular diet and sleep patterns. They explain the effectiveness of CBD that helped them cope with depression and panic attacks. Ezra’s line of CBD products can offer this help.

The best strains and methods consuming Cannabis to cope with PPD

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The method of ingestion plays a crucial role in determining the safety of cannabis use. CBD ingestible oils and tinctures can be a safe and efficient way of ingesting CBD, compared to smoking or vaping among new mothers. It reduces the risk of side effects possible from these methods. The next important factor for giving the right cannabis treatment for PPD patients is to keep THC levels in check. A whole plant or full-spectrum CBD can have trace amounts of THC but products with the legal <.3% of THC are considered non-intoxicating and do not have high enough levels of THC to show effects on mother or baby.

The body of research to prove the efficiency of CBD in this application is currently expanding. Ezra always recommends approaching your healthcare provider to understand the safety and dosage limits applicable for you before you begin cannabis-based treatment for PPD. If your doctor has questions, Ezra is available to discuss his work with hundreds of clients and go over the data.

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