As a woman steps into the shoes of motherhood, what accompanies are joy, excitement, responsibility, fear, uncertainty, and anxiousness. It involves a jumble of emotions. When such clutter of feelings negatively hits you, it can form depression. In the case of new moms, the term is postpartum depression (PPD).
Do not confuse it with baby blues, as postpartum depression involves many severe symptoms. Baby blues are a common form of depression that happens after childbirth. Some symptoms are:
- Mood swing (sadness, anger, overwhelmed)
- Sleep disturbances
- Loss of appetite
These are normal to occur due to changes in lifestyle. But for PPD, the situations are more intense. Here are some acute symptoms:
- Difficulty in connecting with your baby
- Becoming pessimistic
- Excessive crying
- Thoughts of harming the baby
- Guilty and uselessness
- Thoughts of suicide
- Retreating from family or spouse
- Severe irritation and anger
Treating Postpartum Depression with CBD
When it comes to treating postpartum depression, people adopt numerous processes. Some traditional methods are – counseling, therapies, medications (SSRI), and relaxing techniques (yoga, meditation). Cannabis is one such herbal alternative which is already creating ravage among enthusiasts due to its medicinal properties.
How can cannabis help in dealing with postpartum depression?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana and hemp, contains over 100 chemical compounds (phytocannabinoids) with different properties in each. Among these, THC is the most dominant in the plant, followed by CBD. Medical genre prefers to make use of CBD rather than THC, due to variations in its psychoactive potency. CBD does not have mind-altering effects on the human brain.
It won’t be wrong to blame the hormones behind PPD. The female body experiences hormonal changes during periods and pregnancy. Such changes cause psychological and physical disturbances. The PMS symptoms are an example of a hormone change effect. Similarly, during pregnancy, the estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid levels shoot up to facilitate the labor process. The level changes at once after childbirth. Women experience severe mood swings as they do during menstruation due to the sudden fall. Let’s understand the symptoms of each separately:
Estrogen – The hormone regulates the menstrual cycle and also affects the human body and the brain. It holds the responsibility to alter emotional behaviors during the cycle. When estrogen hormone levels subside, consequently anandamide levels also drop. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter that controls the neural generation of pleasure, mood, appetite, feelings of happiness, etc. it is an endocannabinoid.
Progesterone – Low progesterone levels include symptoms like headache, migraine, allergy, weight gain, anxiety, and depression. The levels surge in the early stages of pregnancy. Doctors prescribe synthetic oral medications which can somewhat concern the innate chemistry.
Thyroid – Thyroid produces hormones that control how our body uses or stores energy. Low thyroid level symptoms are fatigue, hair loss, constipation, trouble in memory, depression, irritation, and pain. There are oral medications or replacement therapies. But these can come with certain side effects like heart rate increase, headache, diarrhea, weight loss, or fever.
Take note of the symptoms of postpartum depression. CBD can potentially mitigate some of these. It can support the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the human body in bringing normalcy to the levels. The ECS is responsible for controlling appetite, mood, energy, memory, immune system, and overall maintain homeostasis. Endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are present in the brain, tissues, immune cells, and glands.
CBD and Anandamide- CBD can overcome the deficit of anandamide. It can boost the levels by allowing it to stay active in the ECS. Cannabinoids of cannabis sativa plants work as a FAAH inhibitor, which otherwise degrades the endogenous neurotransmitter. You can take CBD through a vaporizer or sublingually to gain its benefits straight away. Furthermore, balance in the neurotransmitter can modulate your appetite issues. A study suggests that intrahypothalamic anandamide can boost hunger by encouraging the CB1 receptors of the ECS.
CBD and Progesterone- Gonad is a gland in the endocrine system that produces both estrogen and progesterone hormones. Studies highlight that cannabinoids play a role in influencing endocrine system disorders. CBD oil can help stimulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA), which is dependent on the CB1 receptor for signaling to inhibit stress in the endocrine system.
CBD and Thyroid- Research on CBD reveals that the cannabinoid can help regenerate ECS deficit and has the efficacy to treat thyroid disorders. You can find several CBD-rich strains that can balance the metabolism of your body. The Journal of Endocrinology supports that the ECS receptors transmit signals to the glands and influence its performance.
CBD and Pain- Women with PPD have been using CBD oil to treat pain and inflammation. It is anti-inflammatory and delivers pain-relieving benefits. CBD binds with the receptors in the brain and immune system to block the signaling of pain. A study confirms that the topical application of CBD can reduce pain and inflammation.
CBD and Anxiety- CBD oil is a natural way to treat anxiety. Users experience immediate relief when they vape cannabis. Vaporising has fast effects on the body as it directly soaks into the bloodstream. Edibles can take a long time as it passes through the digestive tract and then reaches the target areas. Women who have concerns about the potency of THC and CBD can try using CBD isolate products. You can mail order marijuana from the comfort of home. Consider checking the labeling of these products.
CBD and Insomnia- It has been in use to curb sleeplessness for centuries. People with anxiety also find relief from sleep disturbances. A study claims that CBD can improve sleep disorders. People with insomnia or disturbances in sleep can take a light dose of CBD oil at night. Be careful about the dose always.
Those willing to give cannabis a try for treating postpartum depression can do so. But remember to cross-check with your physician if you are under certain medications. Also, if you have never experienced cannabis, start with a low dosage to understand how it reacts to CBD. Depending on your symptoms, it is essential to find the right products and the methods of ingestion.
Written by: Rebecca at cannabis2biz.com
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