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When you have a baby, it is meant to be one of the most joyous experiences of your life. But this is not always the case. For millions of women around the world, the month after the birth of their child are extremely bleak due to postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. After these women have, for decades, been prescribed often unsuccessful, conventional prescription drugs, it is starting to appeal medical cannabis could be a viable alternative to treat postpartum depression and anxiety.
Much like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety (PPA) tends to involve physical symptoms, such as shifts in eating and sleeping, dizziness, hot flashes, rapid heartbeat, and nausea. For a majority of sufferers, these symptoms kick in sometime between birth and the baby’s first birthday, but in specific cases, they begin much earlier. According to Ann Smith, CNM and President of Postpartum Support International, “Twenty five to thirty five percent of postpartum anxiety cases begin during pregnancy.” Smith clarifies that while women start feeling on edge shortly after giving birth, a particularly trying life change, weaning, etc. can trigger PPA months later.
Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety can be comorbid but the general separation is whether the majority of your symptoms are obsessive and overly cautious and nervous, as with anxiety, or emotional detached and lethargic, as with depression. The symptoms of the two diverge.
Postpartum Anxiety Symptoms:
Postpartum Depression Symptoms:
If you are having these symptoms, it is possible you are experiencing common illnesses that 15 to 20% of new mothers have. There is help available. This is a list of postpartum depression treatment specialists and programs and postpartum depression support groups. We find that if possible it helps to see someone who has more experience treating women with these illnesses. You should reach out first and foremost to trained professionals.
The cannabis plant–particularly the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD)–is well known for its antidepressant effects. New mothers are recommended to stay clear of any strain with high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD, however, has shown great potential as an antipsychotic, antidepressant, and anti-anxiety medication. CBD is able to do this all without the psychoactive “high” associated with THC. There are many novel studies on marijuana’s impact on depression and anxiety.