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Can cannabis treat Postpartum Depression?



Can cannabis treat Postpartum Depression?

Pregnancy and motherhood is a life-altering event, impacting your life and body to a great extent. It can leave you prone to the struggles and challenges that come with it. Thousands of mothers around the globe find it difficult to adjust to the new reality of their lives and end up suffering from postpartum depression.  Research by Postpartum Progress states that every year, over 8 million women go through mood swings and depression post the delivery of their baby.


What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is a depressive disorder affecting women during the first six months after they have given birth. It is a major psychiatric issue plaguing pregnant women and new mothers. Significant psychological and physical changes during or after the pregnancy can lead to postpartum depression. Some of the sociological factors can be:

  •       Low income
  •       Young maternal age
  •       Past alcohol abuse
  •       Marital conflict
  •       Depressive disorders either before or during pregnancy
  •       Medical complications either in pregnancy or during birth
  •       Lack of social support
  •       The occurrence of stressful events during pregnancy
  •       Immigrant status  
  •       Anxiety-related disorders during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a tumultuous time for expecting women. It entails hormonal changes during and after pregnancy. The frequent hormonal changes can induce mood swings, erratic behavior, and depressive thoughts. More than 80% of mothers face the blues in the first couple of weeks after giving birth, which is evident from research by The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Soon after birth, women experience a significant drop in the level of progesterone and estrogen, and it is responsible for causing a period of anxiety, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and depression.


Although most women face changes in mood, if it persists for over a month after delivery, it is most likely that you suffer from the disorder. You can face symptoms like:

  •       Anger
  •       Numbness
  •       Suicidal thoughts
  •       Feeling defeated or overwhelmed
  •       Not bonding with the baby
  •       Lack of appetite
  •       Lack of sleep


Can cannabis treat Postpartum Depression?

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How to treat postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is quite common among new mothers, and the doctors recommend pharmaceutical drugs like Ambien, Prozac, Xanax, and Valium. These drugs help by counteracting anxiety and depression. The medicines are effective in keeping the symptoms of postpartum depression away and encourages sleep. But we cannot ignore the fact that these have their own set of side-effects, ranging from cognitive impairment, irritability, and even blurred vision. With prolonged usage of synthetic drugs, one can also become addicted to it.

In the initial phase, the medicines work perfectly fine. But, as time passes, our body becomes accustomed to medications and build a tolerance for them. The effectiveness of these medicines decrease and leave women with no viable option in hand. Consequently, women are looking for better ways to handle postpartum depression and cannabis is emerging as the top choice. Read on to find out if cannabis can help you.



How can cannabis help with it?

Current research suggests that mothers who breastfeed must avoid ingesting cannabis, for cannabinoids can easily pass on to the children through breast milk. To avoid any adverse effects on their child, they must avoid using it.

But, when it comes to women who are suffering from postpartum depression and don’t breastfeed, cannabis can be very effective. A study by the University of Mississippi proclaims that cannabis is an anti-anxiety and antidepressant for people of all ages. If taken under proper guidance and in measured doses, it can be a better and safer alternative to other medicines.

We all know that cannabis seeds can help you relax, but it is a god-sent help for new mothers. The root cause of postpartum depression is hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone. Right after a woman gives birth, she experiences erratic mood swings, irritability, and depressive thoughts, which is due to the low level of progesterone and estrogen. It is quite similar to what goes on when a woman is on her period.

Mood swings and irritability stem from low estrogen levels, which implies a low level of anandamide. For the ones who are unaware, anandamide is the bliss molecule which is responsible for regulating your mood and appetite. It creates a feeling of joy and gives a boost to your appetite. It is quite similar to the runner’s high or how you feel a rush of happiness after taking the first bite of chocolate.

New mothers are generally going through a disturbed hormonal level along with a low level of anandamide. Cannabis can help in restoring this balance. Cannabis contains over 80 identified compounds, Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC being a prominent one. THC is strikingly similar to anandamide in terms of chemical structure. It interacts with receptors present in our body like anandamide. On the other hand, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, and it facilitates the breaking down of natural anandamide in the body. In other words, while THC replaces anandamide in a mother’s body, CBD helps to preserve whatever natural anandamide is present. CBD helps in pain management and CBD for pain is really effective. Besides that, cannabis can improve sleeping schedule, appetite and get control over anxiety.


Postpartum depression can be a stressful and life-wrecking experience. It can turn the bliss of motherhood into a nightmare very easily. New mothers depend upon shatter or other strains to organically treat the symptoms. 

Barjunaid Cadir is a Content Writer in The Weekly Trends, Web Developer, SEO Content Manager, LinkedIn Specialist, Social Media Manager, and a University Researcher at Anadolu University in Eskisehir, Turkey.