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CBD Oil and Fertility: Do You Have All the Facts?

CBD Oil and Fertility: Do You Have All the Facts? - SOL✿CBD

Infertility problems are surprisingly common in both men and women. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 12 percent of the U.S. female population (aged between 15 and 44) has impaired fertility. Over 7 million women of the same age group have used infertility services and therapies. One of these therapies is CBD oil for infertility. [1]

However, research in this field is still in its baby shoes, and much of it is inconclusive—even confusing. Therefore, it cannot be said with certainty that CBD and marijuana affect fertility positively, especially not in men.

Yet while little information is available, it doesn't mean that CBD cannot help you in some way to fall pregnant. Read on for more about this.

One thing the data seems to be clear on, though, is that women should take care when ingesting marijuana or high-dose CBD during pregnancy. And men should avoid using a lot of weed if they want to produce healthy sperm. We will look at this in depth.

Take note—prescribed fertility medicine should never be replaced with CBD without physician knowledge and consent.

Women should take care when ingesting marijuana or high-dose CBD during pregnancy.

RELATED: CBD Oil and Pregnancy: Is It Safe for My Baby?

CBD Oil and Fertility—What Is the Link?

In both men’s and women's bodies, reproduction is controlled by the signaling of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In a woman, the ECS affects the transport of the egg and the receptivity of the uterus during embryo implantation. It is also involved in a multitude of pathways after the embryo has been implanted.

Most literature is not favorable about taking any cannabinoids during pregnancy, but at least one study points to a positive purpose. Conducted in Scotland and published in the Journal of the Society for Reproduction and Fertility, the study's researchers conclude that CBD can reduce uterine contractions. This study was done with synthetic CBD. [2]

An article from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology, Georgetown University Medical Center, points out that the ECS plays a role in sperm output, viability, and motility. [3]

However, this very function of the ECS in the human could be a cause for concern regarding cannabinoids, mostly for use during pregnancy and in male fertility.

In a 2010 Italian paper published online by BioMed Central, the authors argue that disrupting the normal activities of these ECS pathways by adding cannabinoids "can significantly alter many vital in utero processes, including angiogenesis, cellular replication, tissue differentiation, and [fetal] neural cognitive development." [4]

Yet another obstetrics laboratory study suggests that "marijuana consumption enhances placental barrier permeability to xenobiotics, and could endanger the developing fetus." [5]

So, it should be clear that cannabis consumed during pregnancy can pose risks and should be used with considerable caution.

Yet can there be a positive link between CBD oil and fertility, especially in females who want to become pregnant?

CBD Oil and Fertility—Can It Help Women?

Perhaps CBD can help women, in some way, to conceive.

At this stage, there's still not much in medical literature pertaining to CBD's effect on women's hormonal and reproductive systems. So, as mentioned, it cannot be said with certainty that it will help someone to fall pregnant.

Yet cannabidiol may be helpful for this purpose in other ways.

Much research, both clinical and anecdotal, has indicated that CBD lowers anxiety and ameliorates depression symptoms—both stressful emotional states that can counter a woman's ability to conceive. Many also find the very process of trying to get pregnant extremely challenging. In this regard, CBD may well be an excellent supplement to help control stress.

Read on for more about this later.

CBD lowers anxiety and ameliorates depression symptoms—both stressful emotional states that can counter a woman's ability to conceive.

CBD’s Effect on Male Fertility

There appears to be no traceable data regarding CBD and male fertility. The available research centers mostly on marijuana and fertility in males, and it is mostly negative, except for one finding.

This research, conducted by Dr. Hans Hatt of Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, has discovered a receptor in sperm cells that is part of the ECS.

Called the GPR18 receptor, it plays a big role in conception. Dr. Hatt explains its function very simply: "The endocannabinoid activates the spermatozoa for fertilization.” This means that it helps the sperm to fertilize the egg or the ova.

The doctor also pointed out that this receptor responds to THC and another cannabinoid, anandamide, with involvement in the sperm's ability to penetrate the ova. This is encouraging news, but much more study is needed before phytocannabinoids can be considered a possible therapy for male infertility. [6]

This is also because other research points in the opposite direction for men.

There appears to be no traceable data regarding CBD and male fertility.

Marijuana and Fertility

Marijuana and its effect on fecundity have been tested in animal subjects, and it appears that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) affected sperm maturation in male rats. THC is CBD's better-known brother, also found in cannabis.

While THC exposure increased sexual receptivity in female hamsters and rats, it also inhibited their release of luteinizing hormones. These hormones are responsible for ovulation and the development of the corpus luteum. The latter is a hormone-secreting structure in the ovary that plays a role during very early pregnancy. [3]

In a 2016 paper published by BioMed Central, it is mentioned that in utero exposure to cannabis has been associated with early pregnancy failure, birth defects, and developmental delays in the fetus.

The authors also argue that cannabis exposure could very likely harm a fetus due to phytocannabinoids' effect on cells. This is because CBD and other cannabinoids are associated with cell growth inhibition and cell death, which may be good news for the treatment of cancer, but not for a growing fetus. [4]

These findings were based on petri dish research, but the same trend was observed in most cell cultures, not just in cancer cells. Obviously, this could mean that healthy cell growth can also be affected. [5]

This is speculative, however, and not an easy subject to study clinically, but it is clear that much more research is needed before any phytocannabinoid can be declared safe for use by pregnant women.

RELATED: The Endocannabinoid System Plays a Role In Fertility

Who Is Affected by Infertility?

The inability to conceive affects both men and women equally. Among couples experiencing infertility, roughly 35 percent is due to problems in the male, while another 35 percent is due to issues in the female. Another 20 percent is a combination of issues in both the male and the female, and the remaining 10 percent is unknown.

Apart from CBD oil for fertility, a number of alternative or complementary therapies are on the rise, all with varying degrees of success. These include acupuncture, herbal remedies, nutritional supplementation, and homeopathy, to name a few. Not being able to fall pregnant is sometimes not an easy issue to solve at all. Yet complementary therapies offer a less expensive and non-invasive alternative to IV treatment. Combining one or two alternative therapies might be a good way to improve your chances of conceiving. [7][8]

What Is CBD And How Does It Work?

RELATED: Doing It Wrong? How To Dose CBD Oil For Anxiety

What Is CBD And How Does It Work?

For those only starting on the cannabinoid path, let's have a look at what exactly CBD is and how it works.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of two most-studied cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana plants. (The other, of course, being THC.) These cannabinoids work within the body to help maintain a large regulatory system referred to earlier—the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short. This system is comprised of a multitude of receptors located throughout the body.

RELATED: 5 Unique CBD Facts You Need to Know

CBD and THC primarily work with two receptors: CB1 and CB2, though they interact with many others. These receptors can be activated either by the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids or by cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. However, while THC actually binds to these receptors to activate them, CBD simply stimulates the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids to activate the receptors, causing them to do more of what they would normally do.

Because CBD does not directly bind to these receptors, it does not produce any mind-altering or psychotropic effects.

RELATED: How To Dose CBD Oil For Cancer

Initial studies have found that CBD offers a multitude of medicinal benefits, including:

  • Antiemetic (reduces nausea and vomiting)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antipsychotic
  • Anticonvulsant (suppresses seizure activity)
  • Antitumoral/anticancer
  • Antidepressant
  • Anxiolytic (combats anxiety)
  • Analgesic (relieves pain)

As the evidence continues to increase, awareness of the therapeutic benefits of CBD oil is growing, and fertility may soon be improved by cannabidiol—proven by science. Take it as a supplement to stay healthy and/or to address specific health issues.

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm
  2. https://rep.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/rep/139/4/783.xml
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4034092/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5041313/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002937813008284
  6. https://neurosciencenews.com/spermatozoa-cannabinoid-receptors-4935/
  7. https://brighamhealthhub.org/treatment/evaluating-complementary-and-alternative-treatments-for-infertility
  8. http://magdawright.co.uk/

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