How Cannabis Can Be a Safe Treatment for PPD

How Cannabis Can Be a Safe Treatment for Postpartum Depression

Motherhood is a beautiful experience with every phase and has its own set of perks and challenges. New moms go through a variety of physical and psychological changes, from excitement and happiness to fear, anxiety, and even depression.

It’s normal to have these emotions flowing after childbirth, especially during the first three days after giving birth. Unfortunately, some new mothers undergo severe depression that’s persistent for a few months, known as postpartum depression (PPD). As per reviews, 85 percent of women experience postnatal blues during the first ten days of delivery. In this article, we will be discussing PPD and how cannabis can be a safe treatment.

What is PPD?

How Cannabis Can Be a Safe Treatment for PPD
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Postpartum depression, which is a form of depression, occurs following child delivery due to hormonal imbalances. During pregnancy, the estrogen and progesterone levels are at their peak. After childbirth, there is a sudden drop in these hormonal levels to the same levels as pre-pregnancy. As per researchers, this drop in hormone levels to normalcy is the reason for PPD. Its symptoms include crying, experiencing anger, overeating, feeling moody, becoming sad, and not feeling attached to the baby. In the worst cases, some women start hallucinating, grow suspicious, and develop thoughts of hurting the baby.

Postpartum depression is not a weakness or a flaw and is entirely curable after starting prompt treatment. Though over-the-counter medications might work for PPD, a woman can build up a tolerance over the long run, thereby diminishing their effectiveness. That is why women are looking for holistic approaches to cope with PPD. One such alternative approach to treat PPD is using a herb called cannabis. To understand how cannabis helps PPD, it is essential to first realize what cannabis is and how it functions in the body.


How Cannabis Can Be a Safe Treatment for PPD

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Cannabis or marijuana is a plant-based supplement derived from Cannabis sativa, consisting of two main elements Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabinoids (CBD). Tetrahydrocannabinol is the mind-altering component that gives a psychedelic effect, whereas CBD does not produce a “high” effect, making it ideal for treating various health conditions without giving a euphoria.

The list of health benefits offered by various cannabis strains is ever-growing. It can be effective in healing many mental and bodily health maladies like arthritis, cancer, insomnia, and depression.

Cannabis Mechanism in the Body

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in the functioning of the body. The ECS has two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2 that react with the cannabinoids present in cannabis. These reactions enhance various functions like sleep, mood, appetite, and inflammation. Some of these symptoms alleviated by cannabis are common to PPD. Continue reading to learn about cannabis for PPD.

Using Cannabis for PPD

Cannabis could be a safer substitute for commonly prescribed anti-anxiety and anti-depression drugs. Here are a few ways cannabis comes to the rescue for a new mother grieving from PPD.

1. Uplifts Mood

Estrogen and progesterone are the main pregnancy hormones. During pregnancy, a woman produces more estrogen than she produces in her entire life when she is not pregnant. It helps increase blood flow in the uterus, assists the transfer of nutrients, and supports the growing baby. When the baby is born, there is a sudden drop in estrogen, which causes mood disturbances. It occurs due to the low levels of anandamide, which is an endocannabinoid that helps regulate mood and appetite. Therefore it becomes challenging for new moms to work with deficient anandamide. That’s when cannabis comes into the picture.

The THC in cannabis has a similar structure as anandamide, which allows it to interact with the cannabinoid receptors throughout the body and helps in normal brain function. CBD, on the other hand, helps prevent further breakdown of the natural anandamide in the body. As per a 2018 review, the CBD in cannabis can also enhance the emotional state by positively interacting with the serotonin receptors in the brain. The best part of CBD, unlike other prescription drugs, is it doesn’t cause any side-effects like sleep disorder or irregular appetite. This way, consuming cannabis can be a safe treatment for new moms to reduce mood swings.

2. Treats Sleeplessness

Stress is the biggest trigger of sleeplessness or insomnia. New moms undergo huge stress involving sleepless nights caring for the baby, hormonal changes in the body, and changes in their biological clock. Additionally, the reproductive hormones modulate the brain neurotransmitter (responsible for sleep quality), which causes significant sleep disorders. Sleep quality and quantity are significant risk factors for depression, which in turn can aggravate sleep disorders. According to a PubMed article, new moms with depressive indications experience poor sleep quality, less rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and longer sleep latency. Another pediatric report states that the infants of depressed moms might also experience poor sleep quality, which again is a trigger to maternal depressive symptoms. Treating sleep disorder by a holistic approach, like using cannabis, can prevent the onset of PPD.

Cannabis is an age-old remedy for sleep and insomnia. The cannabinoids in cannabis can regulate the ECS in the human body to induce sleep. As per a 2011 report, people with insomnia reported that after taking cannabis, they could fall asleep faster, thus reducing sleep latency. The CBD in cannabis can also help build a consistent sleeping pattern. Another study indicates that CBD in cannabis improves the quality of REM sleep and blocks nightmares in people with anxiety issues. With studies showing the benefits of cannabis in treating insomnia, accompanied by the centuries of usage, cannabis can safely treat sleeplessness in women with PPD. If your State permits, it is a great and economical idea to grow cannabis at your home. Buy organic seeds from a high-quality selection of outdoor cannabis seeds and cultivate cannabis buds on balconies or in mini gardens.

3. Physical Symptoms

There is a misconception that PPD affects only mental health. However, PPD can exhibit physical symptoms too, nausea being one of the common physical signs that women experience after childbirth. In fact, as per an article, there might be a link between nausea and vomiting during PPD. Excessive nausea and vomiting can lead to weight loss and electrolyte imbalance in the body, causing more physical and mental stress.

According to a Journal, Cannabis can provide relief from nausea and vomiting by interacting with the ECS in the body. Tetrahydrocannabinol has a positive effect on gastrointestinal activity with the help of CB1 receptors and reduces intestinal motility. Another 2012 report states that CBD also shows antiemetic properties by binding with the body’s 5-HT1A receptors. New moms can use cannabis in the form of tinctures and vaporizers with a CBD to THC ratio of 3:1. Cannabis is an excellent choice to treat nausea during PPD.

4. Anxiety

Anxiety is common in new moms and is heightened in women with PPD due to overwhelming responsibilities, lack of sleep, and hormonal changes. Almost 10 percent of women with PPD develop anxiety signs. Anxiety can lead to nervous thoughts, avoiding interactions, restlessness, and guilt. It is essential to recognize these signs before they worsen. There are many drugs to treat anxiety, but they often have side-effects like sexual dysfunction and the chances of addiction. However, cannabis is devoid of such side-effects and can be a safe option to alleviate anxiety.

A report on mental health states that CBD binds with the ECS receptors and can intensify the functionality of various organs, aiding in hormonal balance, which increases brain serotonin levels. A neurotransmitter called the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) reacts with CBD to maintain calmness during an anxiety attack. Another study states that CBD can help in neurogenesis. Anxiety can damage the neurons and pleasure centers in the brain. Using cannabis with a higher concentration of CBD helps the regeneration of new nerve cells in the brain’s hippocampus region. Cannabis thus improves the emotional health of moms suffering from PPD.

5. Improves Appetite

Loss of appetite after childbirth is normal, but if it continues for more than three months, it can lead to PPD. Most moms ignore it thinking it as insignificant. However, a lack of appetite makes a new mom deficit of essential nutrients for breastfeeding the little one. It can also cause fatigue and tiredness, which leads to mood swings.

A ScienceDaily report states that cannabis can be effective in altering appetite behavior and bring back the lost appetite. Cannabis has a direct effect on the hunger-controlling areas of the brain and initiates hunger mode by activating appetite hormones like ghrelin. When the stomach is empty, ghrelin signals the brain that it’s time for a meal. As per an article in the Washington Post, the THC in cannabis can boost the dopamine levels that enhance the pleasure of eating. It can also improve the taste buds and smell sensations that influence a person’s desire to eat.

However, mothers who are breastfeeding should not use cannabis. A journal reveals that it can be unsafe for the breastfeeding baby, causing sedation and muscular tonus.

Administering Cannabis

Now that we have covered the positive impacts of cannabis for women with PPD, it’s time to consider how to consume cannabis. First of all, consult a healthcare professional to understand the benefits and risks of cannabis for treating PPD.

Cannabinoids tinctures are great for first-time cannabis users that give immediate relief after administering. Other popular methods of cannabis consumption are gummy bears or soft gels that take approximately 90 minutes to show results. Marijuana edibles like marijuana-infused chocolates, raw seeds, and drinks are also available for consumption in legalized states.

For new moms experiencing skin irritation, they can use CBD-oil based products and CBD creams for topical applications. For relief from nausea and sleeplessness, vape CBD oil to inhale its benefits, which is also a much safer method than smoking. Using cannabis products lets the new moms enjoy their post-childbirth phase with much ease and comfort.


To summarize, PPD is a dangerous condition, and people often ignore the signs or suffer in silence. It is a difficult phase that can withhold a mother from enjoying being a new mom or build a connection with the child. In the critical stage of motherhood, do not succumb to depression. While over-the-counter drugs might alleviate the depression symptoms, they have side-effects too. Cannabis gives a choice for new mothers to win over depression without any significant side-effects. Many new moms who have tried cannabis say that it dramatically treated their PPD by enhancing the mood, instilling tranquillity, and eradicating negative thoughts. Thus, cannabis can effectively treat the above mentioned postpartum signs without causing addiction. It can also be grown indoors or outdoors, which is economical and easy. Lastly, don’t forget to share your learnings of PPD and cannabis with your friends and family members who recently became new moms.