I suffer from PTSD and have crippling social-anxiety. This doesn’t make me a bad person or mom but apparently…my medication does. Towards the end of 2014, I made the switch from ‘pills to pot’. After discovering I was pregnant mid-2016, the first question that came to mind was… “can I continue medicating with cannabis while pregnant”? This question is on the minds of many mothers and with the lack of studies, education, and the social stigma, the answers are far from view. I decided to halt my medication while pregnant and as a daily substitute, practiced yoga and meditated. Although yoga and meditation helped in some ways, I missed the calm sensation achieved when medicating with the cannabis plant.
I started a group, (Cannabis and Motherhood) where Mothers and those interested in discussing these topics can speak freely and share experiences medicating while pregnant or breastfeeding, their own personal struggles with judgment, CPS involvement, and the unknown.
This is the controversy. There isn’t clear evidence that confirms cannabis as a safe and healthy alternative during pregnancy or breastfeeding. How do the cannabinoids affect the fetus and or infant? Are there negative effects? Positive? Could THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid potentially cause birth defects, psychological damage or stunt growth? What about CBD the non-psychoactive cannabinoid? Unfortunately, there are no definite answers. With the data and studies conducted thus far the answers are beginning to come into focus and as mothers begin to be more open with their consumption, the stigma is dissipating and the conversations starting.
One week after giving birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl I continued medicating with the cannabis plant. Keeping to my routine by medicating with CBD the non-psychoactive cannabinoid during the day and (CBD has the potential to treat many common health issues, including anxiety, depression, acne and heart disease.) THC the psychoactive cannabinoid at night. (THC had the potential to reduce pain, helps with insomnia, stimulates appetite, May Inhibit Tumor Growth and Help Prevent Cancer) I am back where I should be and I’ve never been better. The medicinal benefits CBD and THC provide are seemingly endless.
What does this mean for you? So, is it okay to medicate with cannabis while pregnant or breastfeeding or even postpartum depression? First off, take in consideration on why you use cannabis or would like to start. Take a step back and weigh out the pros and cons of your consumption, whether you are medical patient or recreational consumer, it is still important to know how frequently you consume, what you consume, and has it been tested? This is important to do even if you are not pregnant/breastfeeding, to ensure the greatest medicinal benefits or high.
There is still hope. Humans have been consuming cannabis for thousands of years. There is scientific evidence that proves cannabis to be an effective and stable medicine for Chrons disease, cancer, autism, Alzheimers, epilepsy, numerous aliment/diseases. In moderation and tested products, cannabis balances a deficient *endocannabinoid system resulting in a *homeostasis optimizing the bodies functions and conditions. I wouldn’t be surprised if one-day cannabis replaced the synthetic drugs prescribed to pregnant and breastfeeding women and in no way affected negatively for a mother to be and her baby/newborn. The answers are still unclear but the conversation is starting and cannabis may be the solution.
*Endocannabiniod System- The endogenous cannabinoid system, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiologic system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. In each tissue, the cannabinoid system performs different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, the maintenance of a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.
*Homeostasis- The nervous and endocrine systems exert the ultimate control over homeostasis because they coordinate the functions of the body’s systems. Regulation of body temperature, blood pressure, pH, and glucose concentration are four examples of how the body maintains homeostasis.
Longtime Cannabis advocate and educator; Keira founded Cannabis & Motherhood 2017, after discovering she was pregnant. Her focus is to promote cannabis as an alternative medicine for women, provide resources, and build open-minded communities to all that pertains to cannabis and women’s health.