Motherhood is hard. Marijuana can help.

As more states legalize marijuana and THC becomes more available in friendly, edible forms, more parents are using it to numb the anxiety that comes with raising children. For the one in seven women who develop postpartum depression, THC can be a tempting solution. However, unlike alcohol, which is undetectable in breast milk 2-3 hours per drink after it is consumed, recent research on THC in human milk following cannabis use revealed that traces of THC remain in breast milk even 12 hours from consumption with no clear peak point.

Last month, Washington State University led research published in the Journal of Breastfeeding Medicine, where they observed 20 breastfeeding participants who frequently used cannabis, defined as more than 1 time per week. The women were less than 6 months postpartum, feeding their infants breast milk five or more times per day, and were not using any other illicit drugs. Participants shared a baseline milk sample after 12 or more hours from abstaining from cannabis and five milk samples at set intervals over 8-12 hours after initial cannabis use.

The goal of the study was to understand the life cycle of THC concentrations in human milk, as well as to identify possible associations between the THC concentrations and body mass index (BMI), rate of postpartum weight loss, time postpartum, and the frequency, amount and type of cannabis used. After processing the data, the overarching headline reads: It Depends.

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New York Family