Hey, it’s 4/20! Let’s talk about CBD and fertility!
Have you been known to enjoy a CBD latte on occasion? How about a delicious brownie with a few milligrams of CBD in it? CBD has a number of medical and therapeutic properties, but we often hear the question, “Can it impact my fertility?”
We’re going to give you the lowdown.
Before you set out down the Google wormhole, CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring chemical in the marijuana plant. There’s no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in CBD — that’s the component in marijuana that gets you high. You can’t get addicted to CBD, although you should know it’s not always clear how much CBD is in a product, or whether or not those products also contain traces of THC. CBD is available in many places in the US, usually in the form of an oil capsule, an extract, or a vapor, but its legality is constantly in question.
In addition to addressing anxiety and other related conditions, including PTSD and Seasonal Affective Disorder, CBD has also been shown to be effective in treating Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two childhood epilepsy syndromes, which typically don’t respond well to anti-epilepsy drugs. Epidiolex, an FDA-approved medication for these conditions, contains CBD. CBD might also be good for relieving chronic pain, but more studies need to be done to verify this and to know which doses might work for certain syndromes.
CBD does have some side effects. It can make you nauseous, irritable, and tired, and also result in dry mouth, diarrhea, and it can also interact with some medications, so you should talk to your doctor if you’re planning on using CBD.
What about fertility?
Smoking is a no-no if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, and we don’t know a ton about vaping’s impact on fertility, but it doesn’t look good, especially when it comes to how it affects sperm. The American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (ACOG) suggests that pregnant people avoid smoking marijuana (it can result in low birth weight or stillbirth,and impede fetal brain development, but we’re also lacking conclusive information on whether or not you should smoke it if you’re considering getting pregnant in the future.
But CBD? According to Angela Gilliam, Community Manager at Verified CBD, “CBD oil has shown some promising benefits in terms of fertility in both genders.” CBD activates your body’s endocannabinoid system, a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors. The system regulates processes like fertility and pregnancy, as well as post- and prenatal development. A 2012 study also linked the endocannabinoid system with increased female sexual arousal.
Cannabinoid receptors have been detected in sperm, and one in particular, GPR18, has been found to activate sperm cells, which seems to improve the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. There are also endocannabinoids in the female reproductive tract, which suggests that they could play a favorable role in ovarian function and might help regulate follicle maturation, an important aspect of fertility.
The bottom line
So how should you think about CBD and fertility? You probably know what we’re going to say — it’s complicated. Data suggests that the endocannabinoid system is intimately connected with the female reproductive system, and a 2019 study confirms that the system plays a role in the progression of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but overall, we still don’t know a ton about the impact of CBD on fertility, so you might want to steer clear of it if you’re thinking about trying to get pregnant in the near future.
Right now, though, the Modern Fertility test is here to give you information on your hormones and what they might look like as you get older, so you can get a sense of what could happen to your fertility later in life and think about how to strategize. We’ll also give you tips on how to talk with your doctor and your partner, and give you access to a community of other people looking to know and understand their bodies and their futures.
CBD has a number of medical and therapeutic properties, but we often hear the question, "Can it impact my fertility?" We're going to give you the lowdown.
CBD Oil and Fertility: What You Need To Know
CBD Oil and Fertility: What You Need To Know
Infertility is something both men and women struggle with. So, does CBD oil help or hurt your chances at pregnancy?
CBD oil has been praised for its many potential health benefits and its use in the treatment of several chronic and acute conditions. However, despite CBD oil’s growing popularity, there are still a number of unanswered questions like, does CBD oil affect fertility?
Currently, there’s a lack of evidence to definitively state whether CBD oil has a positive or negative effect on human fertility. While products derived from cannabis are now legalized in most states, there are ethical implications of conducting tests on individuals who are trying to become pregnant. Because of this, we may not have a conclusive answer as to whether CBD oil impacts fertility for years to come.
While using CBD oil may indirectly help with conception-related issues that aren’t physical in nature (e.g. sleep and mood ), there are also studies that have shown CBD oil consumption could negatively affect fertility . In short, the jury’s still out on whether using CBD oil could positively or negatively affect one’s ability to get pregnant, which is why it’s important to do as much research as possible on CBD oil and fertility before making a final decision.
Below, we’ll go over what we currently know about CBD oil’s potential benefits and risks as they apply to human fertility. With this information, you can decide on the best path forward for you and your partner.
Save 20% on this Top Rated CBD
Not sure which CBD brand to trust? Learn 10 reasons why CBD Living is our top choice and SAVE 20%!
CBD Oil and Fertility in People Without a Medical Explanation
For some people, conceiving is difficult for reasons that aren’t purely medical. Sometimes there are lifestyle factors or mental roadblocks that get in the way of successful conception; in these cases, CBD oil may be able to help.
CBD Oil May Improve Fertility Through Sleep
Researchers believe there may be a correlation between insomnia and low fertility rates, with a studies suggesting the link is so strong that sleep disorders could be considered comorbid with bot h male and female i nfertility.
CBD oil can do a number of things to improve sleep quality, including regulating the production of catabolic hormones like cortisol. Cortisol is often referred to as a “stress hormone” because it is released when the body feels threatened by real or perceived danger. Cortisol can prevent the onset of sleep, or stop us from sleeping deeply, limiting the REM sleep that our body needs.
As an anti-catabolic supplement, CBD oil interferes with the secretion of cortisol, allowing for a better, deeper, and more restful sleep, ac cording to a study perf ormed at the University of San Paolo, Brazil. With this in mind, it’s possible that CBD use could improve a person’s sleep, thereby improving their chances of conceiving a child.
You can learn more about CBD oil and sleep in our post about CBD and its effects on sleep and insomnia.
CBD Oil May Improve Fertility Through Mood
You may have heard about people with ongoing fertility struggles suddenly—and “miraculously”—conceiving successfully without much explanation as to why
Believe it or not, your mood and mental wellness can play an important role in pregnancy and fertility. Studies on both male and female test subjects have found links between poor mental health and decreased fertility rates, finding a possible correlation between stress, anxiety, and depression’s effect on the release of hormones that regulate ovulation in women, and sperm production in men.
The role CBD oil can play in elevating a person’s mood is due to its impact on a range of neurotransmitters, most notably anandamide and adenosine.
Anandamide is commonly called the “bliss molecule” and is responsible for feelings of joy, happiness, and motivation. CBD oil acts as an anandamide reuptake inhibitor , stopping the neurotransmitter from being reabsorbed and thus increasing the amount which is present in the brain, resulting in an improved and elevated mood.
CBD oil works similarly on the reuptake of adenosine. While this process is much less understood, it is believed that adenosine receptor A2A , when triggered, plays a role in anxiety and depression. By inhibiting the A2A receptor, mood is elevated and depressive symptoms are reduced.
While CBD oil may provide part of a solution to mood-induced fertility issues, there could still be a myriad of other factors at play affecting a person’s ability to get pregnant.
How CBD Oil May Help with the Main Causes of Infertility
Two primary and manageable contributors to infertility are obesity and smoking. Luckily, CBD oil can help in reducing and ultimately putting an end to both of these afflictions.
CBD oil has been known to reduce addictive behaviors and can help people quit nicotine. CBD oil can also improve sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, and reduce the pain associated with working out—all risk factors for weight gain.
CBD Oil and Fertility: The Risks
Unfortunately, when it comes to fertility, CBD oil is not without its risks.
A number of studies conducted on animal test subjects have produced results that suggest CBD oil may actually inhibit fertility. One study on male mice found a 30% reduction in fertility rate in the group that had been treated with cannabidiol (CBD oil), while another trial of CBD on sea urchins found that “cannabinoids directly affect the process of fertilization in sea urchins by reducing the fertilizing capacity of sperm.”
While there isn’t a definitive correlation between these studies and the effects of CBD oil on humans’ fertility, it’s worth taking into account when considering your options.
CBD Oil and Fertility: The Jury’s Still Out
Deciding whether or not to use CBD oil when trying to become pregnant is complicated.
While CBD oil is typically considered to be very safe, with the World Health Organization (WHO) stating CBD oil is generally well tolerated, more research is needed on the effects of CBD oil on fertility rates in humans, specifically.
At this point, it’s best to speak to your doctor about all of your options when it comes to infertility treatments. Together you can decide if CBD oil is right for you and your family planning goals. You can also consult with a cannabis doctor who specializes in using cannabidiol as a medical treatment option.
If you found this article helpful, you may also be interested in learning about:
- Does CBD Oil Have Any Known Side Effects?
- Can You Use CBD Oil While Breastfeeding?
- CBD Oil for Premenstrual Syndrome
- CBD Oil for Nausea
- CBD Oil for Anxiety
- CBD Oil for Diabetes
- How CBD Oil Can Help People Quit Cigarettes
Sometimes, when trying to become pregnant you need all the help you can get. Here is what the science says about CBD Oil and your fertility levels.