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. More and more people are turning to alternative remedies to alleviate pain, stress, and much more, but how could marijuana and CBD impact fertility?

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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How Does Marijuana and CBD Impact Fertility?

More and more people are turning to alternative remedies like marijuana and CBD oils to alleviate pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and inflammation, but how could this be affecting your fertility?

It’s certainly a controversial and understudied topic. Many studies rely on self-reported use and data suggests dose-dependent effects on human health and fertility. For example, one study found “the effects of Cannabis and THC on the human ovary consist in suppression of ovulation and other studies have indicated increased anovulatory cycles and short luteal phases in chronic women smokers.” (1) Data also suggests women who smoke marijuana and undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment produce poor quality oocytes and have lower pregnancy rates compared to non-users. (1)

In regard to marijuana use during pregnancy, one study concluded that “maternal marijuana use does not increase the risk of adverse obstetrical outcomes or fetal anomalies but does increase the risk for small for gestational age and neonatal intensive care unit admission.” (2)

Studies on how marijuana use may affect male fertility are conflicting, but several studies have found that routine usage of cannabis, more than once per week, was associated with a nearly 30 percent reduction in median sperm concentration and total sperm count as well as increased incidence of erectile dysfunction. (3) Interestingly, while some research suggests higher risk for testicular cancers among marijuana users, other data supports anti-neoplastic effects of cannabinoids on prostate cancer. (3)

You don’t have to look far to find positive testimonials supporting the benefits of CBD for a plethora of ailments. But there is actually only one FDA-approved prescription CBD oil called Epixiolex, which effectively treats two types of epilepsy. Many legitimate studies are currently underway to assess CBD as a feasible treatment option for Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and anxiety although there remains to be a lack of conclusive evidence supporting its use.
While some CBD dispensaries tout the safety and efficacy of its use to promote fertility in men and woman and alleviate the pains of pregnancy, there is inadequate data supporting CBD use during pregnancy or while undergoing fertility treatment.

CBD does not have the same psychoactive properties as marijuana and most users report good tolerance but there is still a risk of side effects such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue. (4)

A major concern over the use of CBD oil is that there are no regulations or oversight laws for its production. For this reason, the purity and dosage of CBD in products can differ greatly from what is marketed on the label. A recent study of 84 CBD products bought online showed that nearly 43 percent were under-labeled (more CBD existed in the product than what the label indicated), while 26 percent were over-labeled (less CBD existed in the product than what the label indicated). In addition, THC was found in 18 products. (5)

CBD can also interact with other medications, such as blood thinners.
When it comes to fertility, these are two major reasons to consult with your physician and think twice before using CBD products while trying to conceive.

The Wellness Center at Shady Grove Fertility offers non-medicinal alternative and integrative health services—acupuncture, massage and nutrition—that may also help alleviate pain, stress, anxiety, insomnia, and inflammation while safely promoting and supporting fertility and pregnancy too.

  • Acupuncture has been used for centuries and its key principles are based around the concept of balance so that our bodies can function optimally. Acupuncture aims to correct imbalances and eliminate symptoms that the imbalance may have caused. Acupuncture has been used to help with all stages of the fertility journey—from conception, to delivery, to postpartum healing.
  • Massage is another form of physical medicine that can support patients through fertility. Our massage therapists use research-informed and results-oriented techniques that have benefitted thousands of fertility clients for over 15 years. Our Fertility Enhancing Massage (FEM) Protocol is a five-part series using massage and related techniques to enhance the health and functioning of the pelvic and abdominal organs, and to promote the client’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. The five parts of the protocol focus on cleansing and detoxification, enhancing reproductive circulation, oxygenating the pelvic organs, encouraging pelvic alignment, and combating stress.
  • Good nutrition is the foundation of overall health. We are what we eat and food can either be quite healing or detrimentally toxic to our bodies. Learning to eat a healthy balanced diet can reduce systemic inflammation, improve gastrointestinal health, and correct nutrient deficiencies that are often linked to chronic disease and many complicating symptoms. Whether seeking nutritional guidance for weight loss, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), general fertility guidelines, or prenatal nutrition, our registered nutritionist works with each patient to create an individualized plan that supports health and wellness goals. We work with most major insurance companies.

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, please call our New Patient Center at 1-877-971-7755 or click here to complete our online form.

1. Cannabinoids and Reproduction: A Lasting and Intriguing History. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2010 Oct; 3(10): 3275–3323.

2. Association between marijuana use and adverse obstetrical and neonatal outcomes. J Perinatol. 2015 Dec;35(12):991-5. doi: 10.1038/jp.2015.120. Epub 2015 Sep 24.

3. The relationship between cannabis and male infertility, sexual health, and neoplasm: a systematic review. 2019 Mar;7(2):139-147. doi: 10.1111/andr.12585. Epub 2019 Feb 15.

4. Cannabidiol (CBD) — what we know and what we don’t.

5. Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online. JAMA. 2017 Nov 7; 318(17): 1708–1709.

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