May 16, 2016 9:56 AM

Can Marijuana Help Deal With Postpartum Depression?

Can a woman who just gave birth use medical marijuana for treating depression? This question is just as controversial as the possibility of using cannabis during pregnancy. Some women claim weed helps them manage unpleasant side effects of being pregnant, including morning sickness and mood swings. Others, however, are afraid that using cannabis may be too dangerous for their babies' health. MJWellness will tell you more about the pros and cons of using medical weed after delivery, so you can make a conscious decision.

Is it really depression?

Most women face similar problems after giving birth: they suffer from lack of sleep, they cannot find a right way to manage their time, their hormones are changing all the time, causing significant mood swings. But even if you face all these symptoms it does not mean that you have postpartum depression. Most likely, you have what they call “baby blues.” So, all you need is a few more weeks to realize that you are a parent now, and some extra help and support from your loved ones.

Postpartum depression, on the other hand, has a bit different nature. Statistics shows that up to 20% of women in the general population may face postpartum depression. The numbers are even higher for those who already have a mood disorder—up to 67%.

In contrast to baby blues, postpartum depression can last for weeks if not for months. The most common signs of this condition are social withdrawal, reduced interest in work or hobbies, and the constant feeling of guilt. No one knows what exactly causes postpartum depression, but some scientists think that it may be caused by a combination of several factors, including genetics, and the environment. And most importantly, according to Karen Kleiman, the founder of The Postpartum Stress Center, postpartum depression can emerge after a delay—in the few weeks after the delivery or even in the first postpartum year.

Doctors say that postpartum depression is clinical depression, so it needs special treatment just like any other type of depression does. But can you use cannabis to manage your postpartum depression?

Can medical weed treat postpartum depression?

Cannabis is well-known for its antidepressant effects. Moreover, some marijuana strains are believed to be extremely helpful for people with depression or other mood disorders. But when it comes to a mother with a newborn, you have to be even more careful than usual.

There are many chemical compounds in cannabis, but the two of them—THC and CBD—are the most widely recognized. THC is the one with psychoactive effects, so you better think twice before using it during pregnancy or after giving birth. Especially considering the fact that too much THC may cause even a more severe depression, as one 2007 study says.

CBD, on the other hand, has no psychoactive effects, so it may be considered as less dangerous for both mother and her baby. Moreover, according to a number of studies, CBD is quite an effective antidepressant and can help you get rid of anxiety.

But since there are still no studies proving that CBD is not harmful to nursing mothers, we cannot say for sure whether it is safe for you and your child to use medical marijuana instead of your regular antidepressants. Consult your doctor and chose the option that will work best for you.

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