Pregnancy can be a delightful time. Bringing a new life into the world is a magnificent experience. However, not every new mom goes through that blissful period feeling happy. Studies show that 50-75% of new mothers experience the baby blues after giving birth, while up to 15% of them develop postpartum depression.
But did you know that new dads can get postpartum depression too? Between 2-25% of men develop the symptoms either while their partner is pregnant or after giving birth. This percentage can double (50%) if the mother develops postpartum depression.
While there are many treatments for PPD, they come with several side effects, so depressed moms are increasingly looking into other ways to get better. One such way is cannabis. Read on to find out of this natural option is right for you or someone you know. Be sure to select highly rated and award winning auto-flowering seeds, if you do.
We have done some research, so read on to explore the findings.
What Are the Symptoms of Postpartum Depression?
Before we get into how cannabis can treat PPD, let’s go over the symptoms. It’s good to know how to recognize them before getting any treatment, because you may simply be feeling slightly down and not actually having PPD.
The baby blues, or postpartum blues, is a condition that typically lasts about two weeks after delivery. It manifests through sadness, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, sleep troubles and crying for no reason. You don’t need any treatment for this, as it’s only temporary.
Postpartum depression is a condition that develops about a month after childbirth and can last a year or even longer. The common symptoms include:
- Severe mood swings
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Feelings of guilt and helplessness
- Irritability and anger
- Failing to bond with the baby
- Frequent crying
- Too much sleep or insomnia
- Fatigue and numbness
- Decreased or increased appetite
- Suicidal thoughts
If you have these symptoms, chances are you have PPD, and cannabis might help.
Cannabis can be a Safe and Effective PPD Treatment
The pharmaceutical drugs that doctors often prescribe for PPD come with several side effects, such as addiction and cognitive impairment. Cannabis is a significantly better and safer alternative.
It all comes down to hormones, which cannabis can regulate.
After having a baby, the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and anandamide in your body decrease, so mood swings and sad feelings can occur.
Anandamide is an endocannabinoid responsible for making you feel joyful, happy, and euphoric, as well as for regulating your appetite. Cannabis can increase the levels of anandamide in your body.
That’s because THC from the cannabis plant replaces anandamide in your body, as its structure is almost the same as this endocannabinoid. And CBD from cannabis makes sure the anandamide that your body naturally produces doesn’t break down. It also stimulates the production of serotonin in the brain.
What’s more, CBD comes with other health benefits too, such as improving sleep, increasing appetite, and reducing anxiety, stress, and fatigue.
What Does Science Say?
There are no studies on cannabis as a treatment for postpartum depression yet. However, many studies have shown the positive effects of CBD when it comes to alleviating many symptoms associated with PPD.
One study found that CBD can reduce panic disorders and anxiety. Another study revealed that CBD could reduce psychotic symptoms. This is very promising for postpartum depression because the more severe form is postpartum psychosis.
A 2018 study showed that CBD has anti-stress and anti-depression effects, and can help treat sleep disorders.
It’s important to know that cannabis can’t treat PPD per se, but it can dramatically relieve its symptoms.
Breastfeeding and Cannabis
If you’re breastfeeding, you shouldn’t use cannabis. Many studies have shown that cannabis can get into breast milk; that is, about 2.5% of its active ingredients could reach your baby’s body.
That could have negative effects on your baby’s health, including the development of motor and cognitive functions. However, there are no studies to definitively prove the long-term effects of cannabis on the development and overall health of babies.
Therefore, it would be best to avoid cannabis while breastfeeding. If you’re not breastfeeding, make sure you consult with your doctor before turning to cannabis.
As you can see from the scientific studies, cannabis can be your safest and most effective option for treating postpartum depression.
If you decide to use it, make sure you do it responsibly so that you can be a fully-functioning mom. There’s also a plethora of CBD products that don’t contain THC – the compound responsible for psychoactive effects, that is, getting you “high.”
THC would definitely be of additional help, given its chemical structure similar to anandamide. Even if you stick only with CBD, you can ease postpartum depression symptoms.