Does CBD Affect Fertility In Men And Women? Beware The Facts

Written by: Dr Dmitry Loktionov



Time to read 8 min

CBD has become a popular natural compound that people are taking for its range of health benefits. Some of these include sexual benefits like improving blood flow but what about fertility; does CBD affect fertility in men and women?

Some believe CBD boosts fertility, which would make it a great supplement to take during fertility treatments like IVF. But are these health claims true?

If you're trying to fall pregnant the answer to whether CBD will affect your or your partners' fertility is important.

So we've dug through the research to find out - does CBD affect fertility? 

Does CBD Affect Fertility? No Clear Proof

CBD interacts with our body's endocannabinoid system which plays a key role in reproductive processes such as ovulation and sperm mobility. Scientific studies show mixed results about how CBD affects fertility in men and women. Still, overall there is a lean towards a negative impact on ovulation or menstrual cycles in women and reduced sperm count in men from moderate use of CBD products when consumed orally [1].

THC on the other hand has been proven to harm both male and female fertility [2]. The study revealed that marijuana usage led to a decline in ovulation and a drop in pregnancy rates when compared to the non-smoking control group.

Additionally, male fertility was adversely affected by marijuana use, with a significant decrease in both sperm count and concentration, up to 30% [3].

The cause of these effects—whether they stem from the act of smoking itself, the THC, or the trace amounts of CBD in marijuana—is still undetermined. However, using marijuana while trying to conceive could pose a serious setback to your attempts. 

Key Takeaway:

According to scientific research, THC does the most damage to a person's fertility particularly when smoked. Since both THC and CBD are found in the cannabis plant, it's best to avoid smoking marijuana or consuming hemp plant products orally if you're trying to get pregnant for both women and their male partners.

CBD's Interaction with the Endocannabinoid System

When we talk about CBD, it's impossible to ignore its interaction with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complicated system of cell signals that has an essential role in sustaining bodily operations, including reproductive processes.

The ECS comprises receptors known as CB1 and CB2. While CB1 primarily exists in the brain and influences things like mood and memory, CB2 receptors are found throughout the body, playing roles in immunity and inflammation [4].

So what do the ECS and CBD have to do with fertility? Unlike THC – which binds directly to the CB2 receptors, CBD works more subtly. It inhibits an enzyme called FAAH which breaks down anandamide – a compound associated with regulating ovulation and pregnancy. By doing so, CBD helps increase anandamide levels [5]

A Balancing Act: Anandamide & Fertility

An interesting fact is that both high or low levels of anandamide can disrupt fertility. Optimal fertility requires just the right amount of this 'Goldilocks' molecule at different stages of reproduction.

  • In early pregnancy stages, for example, high levels help implantation.
  • Maintaining balance can be tricky but also vital for successful conception.

How Can This Impact Your Fertility?

If you're trying to conceive or having issues with infertility, knowing how your ECS functions could provide some answers [6].

However, the science is still evolving and it's essential to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any CBD product.

Does CBD Affect Male Fertility

CBD and male fertility

When it comes to male fertility, there's a burning question that many people ask: Does CBD affect sperm count and quality? Let's explore.

Research has shown some links between the use of CBD and changes in male reproductive health. One study, for example, found that chronic usage could potentially impact sperm count negatively and the sperm's ability to achieve conception [7].

When discussing fertility and cannabis it's important to remember there is a difference between TCH and CBD. Generally, THC has more of a negative effect on fertility than CBD.

CBD’s Impact on Testosterone Levels

The relationship between testosterone levels - an essential hormone for male fertility - and CBD is complex. Some studies suggest potential effects on testosterone production, but results are far from conclusive.

A study published in the Journal of Andrology indicates cannabis induces morphological changes in sperm while genetic material is preserved. No severe influence by short-term exposure to cannabinoids like THC and CBD on testosterone levels [8]

" Altogether, these findings show an absence of acute direct effects of exposure to cannabis-derived cannabinoids THC and CBD on testicular testosterone production and germ cells "

World J Mens Health

CBD Use During Pre-Conception Periods

If you're trying for a baby soon or currently undergoing fertility treatments, exercising caution when using any substance – including CBD – would be wise until further studies provide clearer answers about its effect on fertility.

Does CBD Affect Female Fertility

CBD and female fertility

CBD and Ovulation

Research shows that the body's endocannabinoid system plays a role in ovulation. CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors which leads to questions about how it could affect female fertility.

Preliminary research suggests that the use of cannabis, including Delta 9 THC, could adversely affect the process of follicle maturation and various stages of pregnancy.

However, there's a notable lack of comprehensive information concerning how CBD might have negative effects on the growth of follicles and the ovulation process [9]

CBD and Menstrual Cycle Regulation

The menstrual cycle and ovarian function also have ties to a woman's internal endocannabinoid system - think of this as your body's natural rhythm section.

Some research shows that disruptions in this rhythm (like those caused by stress) can lead to irregular cycles [10]; however, CBD has been shown to help relieve stress by interacting with receptors in the brain that regulate stress [11].

It could be possible to take CBD at low doses to help relieve stress and to help regulate a woman's menstrual cycle that has been disrupted by stress. This could boost ovarian function to resolve infertility in women however there are no scientific studies to prove this.

Potential Risks and Benefits for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy brings its own set of challenges when discussing any substance use including CBD. On one hand, there are potential benefits such as reduced nausea or anxiety relief; yet, concerns arise regarding possible risks to fetal development. The FDA advises caution until more is known.

To sum up, the relationship between CBD and female fertility is a dance that's still being choreographed. As we learn more steps, we'll be able to better understand how this fascinating compound interacts with the female reproductive tract. 

Avoiding CBD During Fertility Treatments

Fertility treatments often involve precise hormonal balancing. So introducing something like CBD into your system could potentially throw off this balance.

The endocannabinoid system, present in both males and females, is vital to the reproductive process; hence any alteration (e.g., CBD) could potentially affect fertility outcomes. 

Key Takeaway:

To be safe rather than sorry when baby-making plans are in full swing, maybe consider putting oral CBD products aside until more conclusive research emerges about the effect of cannabinoids on human reproduction – especially given how individual bodies can respond differently.

Future Research and Developments in CBD and Fertility

The world of CBD and fertility is still relatively uncharted territory. As it stands now, research is somewhat divided about how exactly CBD interacts with our reproductive systems.

But what if I told you we are close to having more answers? The promise lies in future studies that aim to give us clearer insights into how this plant-based compound affects both male and female fertility.

We need more robust clinical trials before making any concrete claims about the effects of CBD on human fertility. CBD isn’t just another wellness trend; its potential reach goes far beyond the need to temporarily alleviate pain or anxiety. 

Does CBD Affect Fertility

Does CBD mess with sperm?

CBD might impact sperm concentration and quality, but studies aren't conclusive. Some suggest it can reduce sperm count and motility.

Does CBD affect the baby when pregnant?

The potential effects of CBD on a fetus are unclear because research is limited. It's wise to consult a healthcare provider first.

How long does CBD stay in your system while pregnant?

The exact time varies by individual factors like metabolism, but generally, CBD may linger for two to five days.

So, Does CBD Affect Fertility? Better Safe Than Sorry

If CBD impacts fertility is a complex and nuanced topic. Scientific research offers mixed results when trying to answer does CBD affects fertility. Some suggest that while CBD can interact with the endocannabinoid system - which plays a key role in reproductive processes - its effects on fertility are not clearly defined.

Overall, the evidence leans towards a potential decrease in ovulation or menstrual cycles in women and reduced sperm count in men from moderate use of CBD products. If you're thinking about using CBD while trying to conceive or undergoing fertility treatments, be cautious. More comprehensive studies are needed for concrete answers.

It's noted, however, that THC, another compound found in the cannabis plant, shows strong evidence of the negative impact on fertility, especially when consumed through smoking, and should be avoided if fertility is important to you.

For those trying to conceive or struggling with infertility, understanding how the endocannabinoid system functions could provide some insights. However, as the science is still evolving, it is crucial to consult with your gynecologist or doctor before using any CBD product.

In the future, we can hope for more light shed on this intriguing question as scientific curiosity continues exploring connections between CBD and fertility! 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is intended for educational and informative purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for medical or professional advice. Always consult your healthcare provider in the area of your particular needs before making any medical decisions.

Dr Dmitry

Dr Dmitry Loktionov - MB. BCh. OB-GYN

Dr. Dmitry is an accomplished doctor, women's health advocate, and founder of Quanna, a next-generation sexual wellness brand. With a background in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, he works towards empowering women with knowledge and improving access to holistic sexual health care.

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