The global acceptance being enjoyed by cannabis has increased the demography of people that use the medicinal herb. Gone are the days when those who use cannabis are known as stoners and potheads, now, professionals, elites, and parents all use cannabis for different reasons.
The increase in the number of legal markets has also resulted in more women using cannabis for a myriads of reasons. With the peculiarities of women as mothers and the scenario of pregnancy, different questions are being asked on how marijuana and its cannabinoids can be beneficial to moms especially after pregnancy.
General use of marijuana and CBD by women
Marijuana has been beneficial to women in a number of ways. Aside from the euphoric high promoted by THC, marijuana strains high in CBD help to promote calm and relaxation from stress, relief from pain and overall wellness. CBD oils and tinctures have also been used to reduce inflammation, promote quality sleep and boost mood. These are the common effects of CBD and marijuana that are well-known, however, works of research are ongoing into the possible usefulness and effectiveness of CBD during the postpartum period. Dr. Marina Yuabova FNP, DN, and an Associate Professor in Health and Science Department at CUNY is spearheading an inquiry into this application for CBD lotions and creams.
CBD has already been properly established as a remedy for pain. The incorporation of medical marijuana in a number of states has also promoted the reality of CBD as a substitute for opioids. Some studies are tapered along this line as they seek the full incorporation of CBD use for pain as a solution to the opioid epidemic. This was supported by a recent study by the University of Washington where the usefulness of CBD in decreasing overdose and dependence risk of opiates was weighed. Some other studies however are not in total agreement with this position as they claim CBD still has a long way to go before it becomes an alternative to opiates
Marijuana and CBD in Postpartum Depression
The postpartum period for women is very delicate as it comes with a myriad of emotional and physical strains on the body. The joy of a given birth after about 9 months of pregnancy truly is a sight for every mother but some hormonal effects take place after birth that are not so palatable. Anxiety and depression are two of the major concerns that plague the postpartum period which is why different studies have been carried out on the effect of CBD oil and marijuana to remedy the situation.
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Marijuana for example is known to be effective in dealing with depression thanks to the entourage effect of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in the plant matrix. This has led to its use in a number of mental health disorders like PTSD and major depression. This serves as the basis for inquiry into its use for postpartum depression but the available research is still limited in terms of accurate dosage and frequency of use to attain this effect. Another worrisome angle is the fact that such mothers can also develop apathy and lack of motivation by using marijuana making the use of marijuana very complex for postpartum depression.
CBD oil on the other hand is more directed towards dealing with issues of anxiety. Though an extract from marijuana itself, isolated CBD has a better spectrum of activity in terms of promoting relaxation and calmness. This is the basis for which CBD oil has been purported as a solution to anxiety problems that plague some mothers after giving birth.
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Unfortunately, the lack of concrete clinical evidence and concrete research is still limiting the use of CBD for this purpose on a large scale. It should be noted that some will also argue that this is hormonally driven thus making the use of CBD seem less effective. Though iy may be valid, these questions can only be answered with concrete clinical studies.
Arguments for and against marijuana and CBD
Breastfeeding women are naturally advised to stay off marijuana products because 10 to 30% of the concentration of THC in the body is delivered into breast milk. This is then aggravated by the fact that some studies have shown that THC in infants can give rise to issues like gross motor delay in children. CBD oil on the other hand is less contraindicated because it does not sip into breast milk and it has not been linked to dependence or abuse. One major issue that hangs over the head of CBD oil use is the production process as some are known to contain residues of pesticides and extraction materials.
The need for more studies and extensive works of research
The lack of sufficient medical research also limits how much marijuana and CBD oil can be used to help mothers dealing with postpartum anxiety and depression. The absence of results on interaction between marijuana products and prescription drugs like antidepressants limits the scope of medical recommendations that can be offered. With so many unknown variables and different pointers for and against the use of marijuana and CBD oil for lactating mothers due to their infants, it is hard to draw a concrete conclusion. One thing is for sure, there is a need for more studies to show how CBD oil or marijuana can be used to help women dealing with postpartum issues.
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Another issue that is limiting this scope of CBD and marijuana use is that many women are still reserved to discuss cannabis use with their physicians. Such reports are important as they serve as anecdotal evidence to help physicians understand the full scope of the role CBD and marijuana play with mothers having postpartum depression.
Postpartum anxiety and depression are common issues that trouble moms after the joy of birth. Though hormonal, the usefulness of CBD and marijuana in dealing with similar conditions shows it can also be effective in this case. With more studies and detailed research, science is bound to make headway on how CBD and marijuana can be used to alleviate the problems of postpartum anxiety and depression.
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.