One of the most common questions I get as a cannabis scientist specializing in women’s health is whether cannabis or CBD boots fertility or hurts your chances of conceiving.
There’s A LOT of misinformation out there on the internet, especially because writers without a scientific background are just reading headlines of papers they don’t understand. For example, there’s a paper that states abnormal-CBD boosts fertility, while there is no published paper showing regular CBD boosts fertility. Yet this paper, that looks at a synthetic chemical that is totally different than regular CBD, is incorrectly cited as proof that regular CBD from hemp or cannabis boosts fertility.
While the research in humans is still limited, there are some basic concepts and studies out there, as well as experience with patients that I’ve based this article (and my Cannabis and Motherhood course) on. Trust me, a
How does anandamide effect fertility?
Anandamide levels and their impact on sperm have not been researched to my knowledge. In women, rapidly changing levels of anandamide are necessary for a successful pregnancy. High levels of anandamide occur at ovulation and are clinically associated with a successful pregnancy.
Low levels of anandamide, or endocannabinoid deficiency, may interfere with ovulation or the ability to get pregnant. Low levels of anandamide at embryo implantation (once that egg meets the sperm and is trying to nestle into the uterus), are associated with successful pregnancy.
How does CBD impact anandamide levels and fertility?
Can CBD help with the other pressures of the fertility process, like stress or anxiety?
CBD can directly activate serotonin (5-HT1A) receptors, which helps boost mood and can relax both partners. Stress has a negative impact on fertility in both men and women, due to lower levels of hormones necessary for egg and sperm production and other steps in the fertility cycle. By relieving stress, CBD may have a positive impact on fertility.
What is the role of the endocannabinoid system in fertility?
The PRESTO study found cannabis (THC) use in moms or dads who were not using contraception or fertility treatments did not impact the ability of those couples to conceive. We don’t know what the effects are of CBD use, as studies haven’t been published on that yet.
Can CBD be used safely alongside mainstream fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF)
We don’t have clinical research yet on the safety of CBD with IVF or how it boosts or hurts its effectiveness. We do know that reducing stress after IVF treatments actually improved the fertility of women, but this was using clowns, not CBD. Could CBD have a similar effect? We don’t know.
CBD can interact with some drugs by stopping their breakdown by specific p450 liver enzymes, so its best to talk to your doctor before using CBD during an IVF cycle to avoid unwanted potential side effects or the potential for expensive and time-intensive IVF to not work.
What is the safest way to take CBD if you are a women trying to conceive?
CBD can be consumed via a number of methods, but the preferred method is not smoking, as
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For an in-depth workshop covering the risks and benefits of using CBD or cannabis while trying to get pregnant, click the banner above. My online course is aimed at potential mothers, but healthcare professionals including doulas, nurses, and doctors can also benefit from the evidence-based cannabis education.