Understanding the Effects of CBD on Fertility
Posted on August 21st, 2020
Infertility is a prevalent concern in the United States, even though many people don’t know they’re infertile because you typically don’t exhibit any physical symptoms with this condition. Still, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that close to 10% of the female population aged (15-44) has difficulties getting pregnant . To put this into perspective, that means more than 6.1 million women face fertility issues.
And women aren’t the only ones who experience infertility. Research shows that approximately 40% of couples’ conception challenges are a result of men, and another 40% are a result of women. About 20% goes to a combination of factors that are seen in both males and females.
Fortunately, we’ve seen promising infertility solutions develop over the years. Therefore, men and women have a variety of options available to help with fertility challenges. After talking with your doctor about your best path forward, CBD may come up in the conversation. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is a supplement, derived from the cannabis plant, that is recognized for its many potential benefits including pain, anxiety, and inflammation relief. But what about the effects of CBD on fertility? That’s one question we’ll try to answer today!
What Is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. There are hundreds of cannabinoids, but the two most prominent are CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Both these compounds interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS) to trigger a wide variety of effects in your body. The ECS is mainly tasked with regulating your bodily functions through a complex set of receptors located throughout the body.
Mostly, THC and CBD work with two main receptors, called CB1 and CB2. When your body works properly, these receptors are activated naturally through a system of internally-produced cannabinoids that help maintain or restore normal body conditions. However, sometimes these bodily processes stray off course, which makes it hard for your natural endocannabinoids to keep your body balanced. For instance, if you are feeling anxious or depressed, your natural endocannabinoids take a longer time to restore your normal moods. If you introduce an external cannabinoid such as CBD, you may restore balance earlier.
Now, while CBD and THC both produce similar potential benefits, you must distinguish them by their legality. That’s because THC triggers mind-altering effects that make you feel “high,” making it a controlled substance in the United States. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive. So scientists pushed for its legality, to let people leverage the health benefits of cannabinoids without any mind-altering effects. Just be careful when you buy CBD: look for high-quality products from a reputable source. The best way to know you’re buying a quality product? Look for a certificate of analysis that shows your product was tested by a third-party lab. This ensures that your product is safe and contains its stated ingredients and concentrations.
What Is the Effect of CBD on Fertility?
The impact of CBD on fertility relates to how it interacts with your ECS. Since this is a regulatory system that tries to restore optimal body functioning, it may affect hormones in your reproductive system. To help you better understand, we’ll first explore how CBD affects female and male fertility.
CBD Effects on Female Fertility
While we do not know exactly how CBD impacts fertility, this potent cannabinoid may be able to help in several ways. This could be due to its relationship with anandamide. Anandamide is a messenger in your body that may help with your journey to pregnancy. For women, high anandamide levels may be found during ovulation , so they are often tied to successful pregnancy rates. Low levels of anandamide or endocannabinoid deficiency can affect your ovulation process, so they may also reduce your ability to get pregnant.
CBD may help boost anandamide levels by reducing the breakdown of an enzyme called FAAH. This is important during the ovulation process when you need high anandamide levels. However, your body prefers low levels of anandamide when the egg meets the sperm and tries to nestle into your uterus. High levels of anandamide at this stage may interfere with the process and cause a failed pregnancy. Timing is critical here, so think carefully about your CBD use while you try to conceive.
Aside from the fertilization process, CBD may help you deal with the pressures of trying to become pregnant. This is particularly important for women who experience hormonal imbalances during this stressful time, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, and mood swings. CBD may activate your serotonin receptors, helping to restore your mood. High stress may impact your health in several ways. But, in particular, it may impact fertility in both men and women since it reduces the hormones required for producing sperm and eggs. Alleviating stress may, therefore, help fertility.
CBD Effects on Male Fertility
Currently, there is not a lot of research on the effects of CBD on male fertility for several reasons. First, CBD research is in its infancy. Another consideration is that there are several factors that may affect female fertility, whereas men rely more solely on sperm cells.
However, one study suggests that a receptor connected to the ECS system called GPR18 was found in sperm cells . This led to the proposal that CBD plays a role in a reproductive biological process called the acrosome reaction. It showed that when the GPR18 receptor is activated, it triggers the acrosome reaction. Then, various digestive enzymes are ejected as the sperm cell swims towards the egg, enabling the sperm to lose their protective caps so they can properly penetrate eggs. In this way, this receptor plays a crucial role in the reproductive system as it facilitates the fertilization process.
What Is the Best Way to Take CBD?
CBD is available in various forms, and much of the decisions come down to your preference. A popular form is the CBD tincture, where the CBD extract is mixed with carrier oils. When using CBD in this form, make a note of the carrier oil being used, as well as other ingredients within the product. This is one of the most potent forms of CBD, but it can be hard to measure an accurate dose. Another concern for some is that oils may be messy and indiscreet. Still, it’s very popular because your capillaries absorb the CBD under your tongue, and the results kick in quickly.
CBD capsules simplify the work as each one contains a defined amount of CBD. You can pop them in your mouth on the go. However, capsules take a little bit longer than tinctures to be absorbed by your body, as they first have to be digested and broken down in your liver.
Topical and cremes are not very useful for fertility as they deliver targeted effects, but they may be very helpful if you have conditions such as eczema or joint pain.
Smoking or vaping is not encouraged when taking CBD for fertility since burning cannabis produces ammonia and other toxins that can affect your fertility negatively.
In a nutshell, taking CBD in the form of tinctures, edibles of capsules should be your preferred way if you are using it for fertility.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD for Fertility?
CBD is a natural product with minimal side effects. However, it interacts with a vital body system, and you may experience mild headaches, nausea, and drowsiness. Usually, your body acclimates to CBD, and the side effects should go away naturally. It is important to seek the guidance of your doctor before taking CBD, especially for fertility.
Medical studies and research are yielding more evidence to support claims about CBD’s potential properties. There is a lot that is yet to be established on the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and fertility. Still, early results are promising, so CBD may be able to help you on your fertility journey.
CBD is recognized for its many potential benefits including pain, anxiety, and inflammation relief. But what about the effects of CBD on fertility?
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.