CBD, THC, and Fertility
If you are going through fertility treatments, you have probably looked at all kinds of tips or tricks online hoping to find ways to help boost your fertility. From fancy supplements to new food choices, it can be hard to make heads or tails of all the different information out there. Recently, with the full legalization of marijuana in 11 states, and the decriminalization and/or medical legalization of it in 30 states, the uses for CBD and THC have begun to be explored. Some people believe that CBD in particular can help boost fertility and increase chances of conception. But what are the facts around this theory, and is it actually true?
In marijuana and hemp there are two compounds present that have an effect on the body, THC and CBD. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most active compound, and is responsible for the “high” that one gets when smoking or ingesting marijuana. CBD or cannabidol, on the other hand, is found in hemp and doesn’t cause any high or psychoactivity in users. Studies have not found CBD to have any harmful effects on health but rather has been shown to have positive results for people who are sick or have other ailments.
In 2015, the FDA approved research on the medical benefits of CBD. Since then, there have been studies showing it to be successful in treating epileptic seizures, chronic pain, cancer symptoms/side effects, anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, and depression. Studies are continuously being conducted about other uses CBD may have, including treating Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and diabetes. There is no doubt that for some people CBD has helped them combat serious medical issues and remains a hopeful option for an effective, natural medicine.
When it comes to fertility, however, there has been very little research about CBD. Currently, there is not enough information to support a claim that CBD can help boost or solve infertility or fertility issues. Although some may claim that CBD or THC offer fertility solutions, there is no scientific evidence to back these claims up.
There has been research on the effects that smoking marijuana with THC present had on women and men who are trying to get pregnant, but the findings were not positive. In the study, those who smoked marijuana showed a decrease in ovulation and lower pregnancy rates compared to the control group that did not smoke. It was also found that smoking marijuana negatively impacted male fertility reducing sperms count and concentration up to 30%. It is not known if these effects were due to the act of smoking or the THC or the small amount of CBD in marijuana. But it is clear that smoking marijuana while trying to get pregnant may prove to be detrimental to your efforts.
Still, why do people think that CBD may benefit fertility? The answer may surprise you.
In our body, there is a hormone naturally occurring called endocannabinoids. This hormone is a relatively new discovery and is still being studied by scientists. The complexities of our endocannabinoid system (ECS) have already been linked to critical functions of our bodies such as our immune system responses, sleep, pain, and the reproductive system. The receptors of our ECS allow CBD and THC to interact with our bodies which is why CBD can allow people to feel pain relief or decreases in inflammation and is a successful treatment for certain medical conditions.
The reason it is thought that CBD can help with fertility is that the chemical structure of the compound looks strikingly similar to the endocannabinoid hormones our body produces. Furthermore, endocannabinoid receptors have been discovered to be present in the female reproductive tract and in sperm. Some think that this means endocannabinoids can either boost ovarian function and follicle maturation or can help increase the ability of a sperm to fertilize an egg. It is thought that CBD can be a way to help achieve these results due to its similarity to our endocannabinoid hormones. These theories are exciting and studies are being conducted to determine if they hold any ground but so far, these are still just theories. There is no evidence that CBD has any positive effect of fertility in either men or women.
Currently, CBD is classified as a supplement, meaning the regulations regarding its quality and production are very loose with little oversight laws. There is only one FDA approved CBD oil called Epixiolex. It is used to treat two types of epilepsy and requires a prescription. Other than this specific oil, no other CBD product has been approved by the FDA and the quality of it could vary significantly.
As a result of this lack of regulation, the purity of CBD products has been up for scrutiny and the dosage levels claimed in certain products have been shown to be inconsistent. Recently, a study looked over a group of 84 CBD products and found that in 43% of them the dosage of CBD was higher than the label claimed it to be, and 26% had a dosage that was lower than what was stated on the label. Even more concerning, researchers discovered that 18 of these samples had THC present, showing that it is very difficult to find a reputable, trustworthy product.
Overall, CBD has exciting potential. The compound shows significant promise in the medical field and hopefully we will be able to see a myriad of other benefits it provides. The issues that are present with CBD products are because the regulations aren’t quite worked out yet and the research is still catching up with the rising market. The cannabis and hemp industry is rapidly expanding and growing. As more states legalize and decriminalize Marijuana, and by extension, hemp and CBD, companies are racing to catch up with the spike in demand.
Soon, as this burst evens out, regulations and research will have caught up and will be able to provide the public with the information and quality products they need to keep them safe and informed. As new research is released each day, and the benefits of CBD are constantly being updated, we suggest you continue to research and talk to your doctor about what is currently known. Your doctor and you can come up with a plan and decide if CBD treatment may be right for you and your fertility journey. If you have other ailments, CBD may help alleviate them so you can focus on your fertility. The best course of action is to work closely with your doctor, keep yourself informed, and look toward the horizon with a hopeful attitude.
Thankfully, Reproductive Health and Wellness Center has a team that stays consistently informed and curious and is always looking for new information. If a patient is thinking about a certain course of action, we will work closely with them to give them the highest quality and most up to date research and medical treatments available. We have a network of knowledgeable professionals and our founder Dr. Rosencrantz cares deeply about providing you with the best care possible. We are always looking for the most cutting edge fertility options while making sure we are keeping you safe, healthy, and giving you the highest possible chance of building your family. If you would like to talk to us about any questions you may have, we are available at (949) 516-0606, or you can directly schedule a consultation with Dr. Marcus Rosencrantz by going here.