The effects of postpartum depression (PPD) on the whole family are substantial. There are “tens if not hundreds of millions” of women suffering from PPD around the world, and sadly, this number only reflects the women who reported their symptoms.
Studies show that half of the fathers whose partner is going through PPD end up having depressive symptoms. So it is safe to say that addressing this disorder should be a top priority for a family to remain strong and healthy.
PPD affects mothers who gave birth, those who suffered a miscarriage, and others who had a difficult pregnancy. While most women can suffer from “baby blues” for up to a few days, PPD is a major depressive disorder that, if left untreated, can have lasting effects on the mother.
PPD is relatively new on the scene
Talk and treatment of PPD are relatively new. It was only in the 1980s that awareness around this disorder arose. Since then, mothers have been offered different treatments, some with more negative side effects than others.
Psychotherapy is one option women with PPD can consider. Prescription drugs such as Prozac, Valium, and Xanax have also been used by doctors to treat this disorder. However, these drugs come with dangerous side effects ranging “from irritability to blurred vision and cognitive impairment.”
One new treatment for mothers with PPD that is not showing evidence of adverse side effects is CBD.
CBD and motherhood
The first thing to keep in mind when it comes to CBD and motherhood is that no professional will endorse a mother using CBD while breastfeeding her baby, as THC or CBD whether inhaled or ingested will get to the baby through breast milk, explains Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D., executive director of the outpatient treatment facility Innovation 360.
So if you decide to take CBD, switching to a formula is strongly recommended.
Since cannabis is still illegal in many countries, performing research on humans is a huge challenge. While research is in its early stages, professionals have seen the benefits of CBD on patients. “In small studies, CBD seems to show quick responses,” Dr. Gilliland explains. “When it comes to PPD, we need a quick response because new mothers have a lot to do with a newborn baby.”
Dr. Patricia Frye, the Chief Medical Officer at HelloMD, has also highlighted cannabis seeds to help mothers with PPD, but she believes that it should not be the only solution. “Besides using cannabis, it is essential for the patient to be under the care of a mental health provider.”
Cannabis is derived from industrial hemp plants. The word cannabis comprises two types of plants — marijuana and the hemp plants.
When it comes to medical marijuana, your doctor is likely referring to the cannabis Sativa species, which is a THC variety that is known for making you high.
When it comes to hemp plants, the more popular version is the Lazarus Naturals CBD variety. Hemp plants contain more CBD than THC, and they will not make you feel high.
As a result, it is highly unlikely that a person will become addicted to CBD, thus creating a safer option for women going through PPD.
Thanks to the growing popularity and the significant benefits CBD has shown, there are now various reliable CBD producers who sell quality hemp-derived products such as CBDFx UK.
The benefits of CBD
Published research on CBD’s “ability for treatment of PPD is scarce,” notes Felice Gersh, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist. However, what researchers know is that CBD may play a considerable role in boosting mood thanks to “its capacity to turn on or off certain receptors of the ECS.”
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is essential in our bodies. It helps us manage pain and stress. It balances our temperature and appetite. It helps us with our sleep, mood, and fertility. When women give birth, their estrogen and progesterone levels drop significantly and it affects their mood.
CBD pills to help with pain affect the receptors involved with serotonin- a powerful neurotransmitter related to mood. There are endocannabinoid receptors throughout the brain, and CBD has the potential to enhance brain health function and calm nerves,” Dr. Gersh explains.
Research has also shown that the binding of postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors of women with PPD “is reduced in postpartum depression by a similar magnitude as shown in other depression samples in brain regions critical to mood regulation.” As a result, they aren’t able to produce that feel-good factor. CBD can activate this “happiness pathway” by “enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling”.
How to take CBD safely
Before you purchase your medication, it is essential that you seek professional advice so you can be guided as to the right dose and strain for you. Self-diagnosing yourself for PPD isn’t recommended either. It is better to seek a professional who will diagnose you and suggest the ideal treatment for your circumstances.
CBD will make you feel more relaxed. It will help you sense joy once again and minimize those negative feelings which were consuming your attention. This medication will allow you to feel more at ease so that you can dig deeper and understand why you started suffering from PPD.
CBD should not be the only answer to your PPD. Talking to a mental health professional who can help you dig deeper and resolve your issues is an essential part of your journey towards a healthier and more stable mental state. This way, you can take better care of yourself and those around you.