CBD Oil And Fertility

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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. Does CBD help with fertility? Read more to see the latest information regarding CBD and the ability to create a family and reproductive functions.

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?

Written by Cathy Rozyczko — Edited by Jason Brett on September 27, 2021

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.

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

Sources:

  1. Damayanthi Durairajanayagam (2018) Lifestyle causes of male infertility – National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5922227/#b0520
  2. (2018) Reproductive health and mental health – Office on Women’s Health https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/living-mental-health-condition/reproductive-health-and-mental-health
  3. Koji Yamada Involvement of adenosine A2A receptors in depression and anxiety – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25175973/
  4. Renata K Carvalho et al. (2018) Chronic cannabidiol exposure promotes functional impairment in sexual behavior and fertility of male mice – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29936126/
  5. H Schuel et al. Cannabinoids reduce fertility of sea urchin sperm – National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3030370/
  6. (2017) CANNABIDIOL (CBD) – World Health Organization https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf

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CBD and Fertility

The legal status of marijuana is complex and varies by state. Federally, it’s still illegal but in 2015 the FDA approved research on CBD. Currently, CBD is regulated as a supplement which makes it relatively easy to obtain (easier than Marijuana) but makes it medically more ambiguous as supplements don’t have strict regulations about concentration, dosage, etc. As CBD becomes more widely acceptable and researched, more and more are looking to it as a viable fertility supplement.

So much is still unknown at this point. More research needs to be done. But here’s what we’ve learned so far about how CBD impacts fertility.

What is CBD?

THC ( tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most active compound in marijuana. It’s what is responsible for causing the “high” typically associated with smoking marijuana.

CBD is short for cannabidiol and it is derived from the hemp plant. It is one of the active compounds in marijuana. It doesn’t cause any high and, so far, there is no evidence that CBD has harmful effects on health. In fact, CBD is reported to have therapeutic uses for a range of ailments, including:

  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Chronic pain
  • Cancer symptoms

We know very little right now about CBD affects fertility and pregnancy. Research on marijuana use has shown that smoking marijuana can decrease ovulation and IVF success. Research has also found that marijuana has a negative impact on male fertility, including significant reduction (30%) in sperm concentration and count. All of this research, however, included marijuana with THC.

CBD has been studied much less and despite all the health claims coming from CBD dispensaries and online forums, there simply isn’t enough research to confirm that CBD can boost fertility or resolve infertility. There also isn’t enough research on its impact during pregnancy.

Right now, CBD is classified as a supplement. Supplements are not given a high level of scrutiny, which means labels can be misleading. One report showed that nearly half of CBD products contained more CBD than was listed on the label, and one-quarter had less. Nearly one-fifth of the products contained THC.

When you can’t regulate dosage of a produce, it’s hard to regulate its safety or its effectiveness.

CBD, Endocannabinoids and Fertility

The list of ailments that CBD can treat seems to grow by the day. If it can alleviate seizures, chronic pain and anxiety, surely it can help fertility, right? It’s a good question, but we’re far from having a clear answer.

The interesting thing about CBD, and one of the reasons it’s thought to be a good product for fertility, is that its chemical structure looks similar to some of the hormones our body produces called endocannabinoids.

We don’t understand a lot about the complex endocannabinoid system (ECS) at this point–it’s a relatively recent discovery still being researched by experts. So far, they’ve linked it to a number of important processes in the body, including pain, immune system responses, sleep and the reproductive system. ECS receptors are what allow compounds like THC and CBD to interact with the body and do things like alleviate pain, inflammation, seizures and stress.

Endocannabinoid receptors have been found in sperm and the female reproductive tract. Because of this, it’s thought that they can improve a sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg, boost ovarian function and follicle maturation. In short, that CBD can be a natural way to boost fertility with minimal negative side effects. There is yet to be strong evidence to support this theory.

There is still much more to learn about the endocannabinoid system, its role in fertility and how it interacts with (and is impacted by) CBD.

Risks of Taking CBD

The risks of taking CBD aren’t all clear. As with any supplement, tell your doctor you’re taking it. They may even have research and guidance to help you in meeting your health and fertility goals.

Still, keep in mind that CBD is a supplement and not strictly regulated. It’s important that if you decide to take CBD, do your research and ensure that it’s the highest quality.

Forms of CBD

If you decide to use CBD, you have a whole range of options to choose from. Some are more dubious than others (CBD-infused water, for example). Some are cheaper, more concentrated, easier to swallow, faster-acting or more easily measured. However you choose to vape, swallow or apply, you have options. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Oil . CBD can come as an oil or tincture. As an oil it’s easy to ingest with a dropper or to be rubbed into the skin. It’s one of the fastest-acting forms when dropped under the tongue because it’s quickly absorbed.
  • Lotions and Creams . CBD is available as a topical ointment. Most commonly these are used for treating ailments like eczema and joint pain because it has a direct effect on the affected area.
  • Gummies and edibles . One of the most popular ways to take CBD, gummies are quick and portable. Dosage is straightforward (no measuring from a dropper) and cost is less than most other forms.
  • Vaping . Vaping is another popular option because the substance is quickly absorbed. But user beware: vaping may damage the lung tissue, the oil may contain harmful chemicals.

What Are the Side Effects?

Because so little research has been done, it’s hard to know all the side effects of taking CBD. Nausea, fatigue and irritability have been reported and can interact with certain other medications in a similar way to grapefruit juice. It can also raise levels of the blood thinner coumadin.

Recommendations

There is still relatively little known about CBD and years more research until we know its efficacy and safety, especially when it comes to fertility and pregnancy.

Until we know more, here are a few things you can do to increase your chances of fertility:

  • Avoid smoking. We may not know about CBD but THC has been shown to be detrimental to fertility in both men and women. Even vaping CBD oil likely bears more risks than benefits.
  • Tell your doctor. They need to know all the supplements you’re taking, especially if it’s CBD.
  • Start with a low dose. You don’t know how you will react to CBD or how it will impact your health. Start with a high quality, low dose form. Be cautious.
  • Use only high quality products. Anyone can put CBD in an oil and call it a health supplement. You want high quality ingredients with no harmful additives.

CBD may be helpful and it may not. Until we know for sure, use caution, do your research, and talk with your doctor.

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