CBD for Parenting Stress: Benefits and Risks

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CBD vs Alcohol for Parents: Managing Stress and Breaking Stigma

Parenting is rewarding, but it can also be incredibly stressful. As a parent, you need to take care of yourself and manage your stress levels to provide the best possible care for your child(ren). Unfortunately, there is still a stigma surrounding parents who use CBD to manage their stress, sleep, and anxiety, despite the fact that it is a safe and effective way to do so.

A parent who chooses to consume cannabis should not be treated any differently from one who reaches for an afternoon glass of wine. It's unfair that society's negative attitude towards cannabis consumption forces moms and dads to hide their use. This stigma is largely due to the negative associations with cannabis use, which were more about controlling certain populations than drug control. Much of the misinformation and propaganda behind the War on Drugs has been debunked.

CBD is not the same as THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. CBD is non-intoxicating and has no known adverse effects, making it a safe and effective option for parents who want to manage their stress and anxiety.

On the other hand, alcohol gets a free pass. Parenting Drinking Culture is widely accepted. The 'Mommy/Daddy needs a drink' trope started as a humorous way to say, 'Parenting is hard, and I need to relax.' Society applauds the parent who takes a drink to ease the stress, calling it #selfcare. However, alcohol is toxic, and unlike cannabis, taking too much of it at once can be fatal. Over time, it can cause diseases, interact with medications (which can also be fatal), lead to violent behavior, and impair your ability to function.

Will Taking CBD Impair my Ability to Care for my Child?

CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not produce the "high" associated with THC, another compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD does not impair cognitive function or motor skills, so it should not interfere with a parent's ability to care for their child.

That being said, it's important to note that everyone reacts differently to CBD, and some people may experience mild side effects such as drowsiness or changes in appetite. For this reason, it's important to start with a low dose of CBD and gradually increase it as needed, while paying attention to any changes in how you feel.

How to Choose the Right CBD Dosage and Method for Consumption

Start with a low dose and gradually increase until you find the optimal dosage for your needs. Note down how this affects you. If you feel relaxed but not sleepy you have found your dose. This will help you avoid taking too much and experiencing unwanted side effects.

Choose the right form: CBD comes in many forms, including oils, capsules, edibles, topicals, and more. Consider your preferred method of consumption and how quickly you want to feel the effects. For example, edibles can take longer to take effect but can provide longer-lasting relief, while sublingual oils can take effect more quickly but may not last as long.

Consider the concentration of CBD: The concentration of CBD in a product can vary widely, from as little as 100mg per bottle to over 5000mg per bottle. Consider the concentration of CBD when choosing a product and make sure it aligns with your dosage needs.

What are the Potential Negative Side Effects of Taking CBD?

The vast majority of CBD users experience little to no side effects as CBD is generally considered safe and well-tolerated. 

But below are anecdotally reported side effects:

  1. Dry mouth: Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can help.

  2. Changes in appetite: Some users may experience changes in appetite, either an increase or decrease in hunger.

  3. Drowsiness: CBD has a relaxing effect on the body and may cause drowsiness in some users. 

CBD can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, and can increase or decrease their effects. It's important to talk to your healthcare provider before using CBD if you are taking other medications.

Is CBD Legal for Parents to Use?

In general, Yes. CBD which is derived from hemp plants and contains less than 0.3% THC is legal at the federal level under the 2018 Farm Bill. But as with everything in the US, it's always a good idea to check the laws in your specific state before using CBD.

Can CBD Improve Sleep Quality?

Sleep quality is important for parents, as it can be difficult to find enough time in the day to get a full night's rest. Even if a parent is only able to sleep for a few hours, it's important that they get a deep and restorative sleep during that time.

While CBD is sometimes used as a sleep aid, its effects on sleep go beyond simply inducing drowsiness. As more studies have emerged, it has become clear that CBD has the potential to improve the overall quality of sleep.

In a 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal, researchers examined the effects of CBD on sleep quality in a sample of 72 adults. The participants were given 25mg of CBD in capsule form each day. After the first month, 66.7% reported improved sleep scores. They were scored by combining the total time in REM, or Deep Restorative Sleep.

2018 study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology examined the effects of CBD on rats with sleep apnea. The results showed that CBD improved sleep quality by increasing the duration of deep sleep (also known as REM sleep) and reducing the number of sleep interruptions.

Can CBD Reduce Parenting Anxiety and Stress?

Parenting comes with anxiety and stress, and the management of it can have a significant impact on the quality of their parenting. CBD has been found to have anti-anxiety and stress-reducing properties, which can help manage these symptoms and allow parents to better focus on caring for their children.

One study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that CBD reduced anxiety and cognitive impairment in patients with social anxiety disorders —including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and panic disorder.

CBD has also been found to have stress-reducing properties. A study published in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology found that CBD reduced cortisol levels (a hormone associated with stress) in response to stress-inducing tasks in healthy volunteers. 

Should Parents Choose CBD to Improve their Quality of Life?

As a society, we must allow parents to explore and determine their own version of self-care. CBD is a healthier alternative to alcohol for relaxation, yet it still carries a stigma. Breaking the stigma will take a generation of informed, responsible consumers, showing their peers that CBD products can be enjoyed in a healthy way.

Parenting can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, but CBD can help parents manage these symptoms. Which will provide a more positive and nurturing environment for their children. By starting with a low dose and choosing the right method, parents can safely incorporate CBD into their daily routine.