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For years now, poor cannabis users are told they lower their chances of having kids if they smoke pot. But, it looks like good news is here after all! With normalized marijuana use comes more research on how, specifically, the cannabinoids in this same plant family interact with the human body. A better understanding of the benefits of Cannabis plants means a healthier future for all, but especially those who suffer from conditions like anxiety, epilepsy and seemingly everything in-between. The compound Cannabidiol (CBD) activates the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, meaning it has a range of health benefits throughout the body and in many instances, such as during conception, pregnancy and delivery. Without further ado, let’s get to it: is CBD safe during pregnancy? Does it make you more or less fertile? How can it aid in the delivery process?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is more widely researched than ever before, due to its recent popularity as both a nutraceutical and pharmaceutical compound. Many regale the healing properties and pain-relieving benefits of the cannabinoid, a compound and active ingredient found in the Cannabis family of plants. From anxiety to epilepsy, CBD seems to help with it all.
However, despite its growing popularity, there is still a significant lack of research dedicated solely to the effects of CBD in various regards. When it comes to CBD’s effects on pregnancy and fertility, very limited information exists.
CBD and the hemp plant are often lumped in with the marijuana, or Cannabis sativa, plant and THC (the cannabinoid with psychoactive properties). As everyone knows, cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance and illegal under federal law, which stops more research into the plant family’s various benefits.
Generally, cannabis use is associated with lower rates of fertility and health issues during pregnancy. However, as more research emerges, some researchers are starting to think the opposite is actually true. Although past findings suggest that THC produces lower fertility rates in men when consumed regularly, a new study suggests this long-held myth just isn’t true.
In a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Boston University researchers found cannabis use had no discernible effect on fertility in both men and women. Below, we’ll take a closer look into CBD’s future role in pregnancy and fertility.
For couples ready to start their families, issues with fertility can feel like insurmountable hurdles to your goals. About 6.1 million women ages 15-44 (about 10 in 100 women) face difficulties becoming or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infertility issues stem from various sources, breaking down like this:
Although THC is often blamed for low sperm counts in men, the opposite is true for CBD. Research shows that CBD regulates the endocannabinoid system in the body, which plays a major role in male fertility. CBD could actually act as an effective form of infertility therapy for women as well. Since CBD affects men and women differently, it also impacts fertility in different ways.
One German study conducted by Dr. Hans Hatt of Ruhr University establishes a cohesive connection between male fertility and CBD use. Originally considered a part of the endocannabinoid system, the GPR18 receptor is found in sperm cells. CBD use activates this receptor, which helps sperm more effectively penetrate a woman’s egg.
For women trying to conceive, CBD use could be an excellent option in the future. CBD directly aids in the entire conception process. It also reduces anxiety, stress and depression in many users, all of which hinder conception. Additionally, CBD increases blood flow and keeps energy levels up. For women suffering from chronic pain, it is particularly helpful in overcoming any pain or discomfort associated with their condition.
Additionally, CBD assists in the delivery process. Let’s explore this a little more below.
When it comes to CBD research, pregnancy is one of the least discussed areas. However, one study from Dr. Stuart Titus, a leading expert in CBD use and research, suggests human understanding of the endocannabinoid system is wrong, as it was only discovered in the 1980s. Titus says many people are actually “cannabinoid deficient.” Not only has he observed many pregnant women use CBD without issues, but claims CBD helps women and their babies thrive.
Dr. Titus isn’t the only one advocating for CBD use during pregnancy and labor. In a recent article, Stacey Kerr, M.D. discusses her own experiences with patients using CBD while pregnant. Her own observations indicate CBD can be used to alleviate nausea, an all-day form of morning sickness inducing violent bouts of vomiting, without prescribing drugs like Zofran and Droperidol, which are potentially dangerous to take during pregnancy. Kerr asserts CBD can also be used to aid in a variety of devastating symptoms beyond nausea.
But, how does CBD work to relieve pain and nausea in pregnant women? Simple: CBD contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It’s these properties, in conjunction with CBD’s role as an antagonist for Oxytocin, that allows the compound to aid in the delivery process. CBD is incredibly effective at quelling uterine contractions caused by Oxytocin, providing all-natural assistance to the expecting mother.
Although some research exists, more needs to be conducted on CBD’s role in pregnancy and fertility to determine exactly how the compound aids in the entire reproductive cycle. However, research in this field so far is very promising for couples who want to start a family of their own, but need a little help doing so.
If you’re considering taking CBD while pregnant or trying to become pregnant, consult with your doctor first. Do your research before talking with your doctor in order to have an informed conversation, just in case your physician isn’t familiar with CBD use yet. Speak with other moms and couples who have used CBD as a form of infertility therapy or while pregnant. As more research comes to light, CBD could just be the next fertility and pregnancy breakthrough.
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