By Wendy Colson, RN, IBCLC, RLC
By now, you’ve heard the buzz about CBD and have likely seen it spring up in products you use in your everyday life from lip balm to body wash. Wondering if CBD can be a tool in your motherhood journey? Read on to find out why you may want to ditch your wine and try something new:
No shame if you had to look up the definition of CBD and what it actually means. CBD is short for cannabidiol which is one of the many (there are over 150) naturally occurring compounds in flowers and leaves of the hemp plant known as “cannabinoids.” To make the distinction, cannabidiol is not marijuana or “weed” since it is a naturally occurring compound and is required to have <0.3% of THC which is the active compound in marijuana that provides a high leading to impairment. And yes, it is legal!*
So how can CBD help moms?
There is a growing body of evidenced based research on the usage of CBD for many health ailments and research continues to grow. Some of the benefits we know of include CBD’s role in regulating sleep, reducing inflammation, and providing mood and body homeostasis overall (aka balance).
After birth and into motherhood, the shift of hormones, lack of sleep, irregular nutrition can all lead our body to be in an inflammatory state from stress. We know that the stress of motherhood doesn’t stop with the physical demands on our bodies. It’s also carrying the “mental load” of remembering to restock the house, scheduling that appointment, and finding the time to make days special for our kids.
When raising our families, many mothers feel the burden of carrying this load, we know moms turn to wine to achieve a sigh of relief. That 5pm glass of wine at the witching hour may seem like a lifeline in the moment, when bedtime lasts too long, and the crash hits, it can make exhaustion, fatigue and irritation worse. With the increasing awareness of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders impacting more and more women, alcohol can be problematic given the level of impairment, dehydration, excess energy consumption, and decreased mental clarity that come with it.
Since CBD does not contain THC there is no impairment, which means you can safely use it when you wake up in the morning as you are getting the kiddos ready for school chaos or as part of your evening wind down routine with the kids to stay calm.
CBD is growing acceptance as a complementary treatment for stress since it uses natural processes in the body that reduce inflammation overall and support better mood. This means, mama gets a longer fuse at the end of a busy day without experiencing that crummy feeling the next morning.