Updated on March 18, 2024

CBD and birth control

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Key takeaways

  • Available research shows that the endocannabinoid system may affect reproductive hormones in male and females.
  • The endocannabinoid system was discovered to influence reproductive processes like ovulation, implantation and maintenance of pregnancy.
  • CBD may influence the activity of hormones like progesterone, and estrogen.

The impact of CBD on fertility has been widely debated, given its diverse effects on both males and females. A notable concern centers around the potential influence of CBD on the effectiveness of birth control methods. This article aims to explore the connection between CBD and birth control, delving into the possible interactions between CBD and certain contraceptive medications.

Relationship between the endocannabinoid system and birth control

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system present in the human body, and it plays a role in regulating various physiological processes, including fertility and reproductive functions. Cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, are part of the ECS and are found throughout the reproductive system.

Research on the interaction between the endocannabinoid system and birth control is still in its early stages, and there is limited direct evidence on how cannabinoids, such as those found in cannabis or CBD, may affect hormonal contraception.

However, it's known that the endocannabinoid system can influence reproductive processes, including ovulation, implantation, and the maintenance of pregnancy. Additionally, some studies suggest that exogenous cannabinoids, like those from cannabis, may impact female reproductive hormones.

If you are using hormonal birth control and considering using cannabinoids like CBD or cannabis, it's essential to exercise caution and consult with an expert. Hormonal contraceptives are designed to regulate the menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy, and any substances that might interfere with this process could potentially affect contraceptive efficacy.

What are the effects of CBD on the reproductive system?

The effects of CBD on the reproductive system are an area of ongoing research, and findings are not yet fully conclusive. The endocannabinoid system (ECS), which interacts with cannabinoids like CBD, plays a complex role in regulating various physiological processes, including those related to reproduction. Here are some considerations based on current research:

  1. Hormonal Regulation: There is evidence to suggest that the ECS, including cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), plays a role in regulating hormone levels related to the reproductive system. CBD may influence the release of hormones, including those involved in the menstrual cycle and fertility.
  2. Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation: Some studies in animals have suggested that cannabinoids, including CBD, may influence the menstrual cycle and ovulation. However, research on the specific effects of CBD on human reproductive processes is limited, and more studies are needed to draw definitive conclusions.
  3. Fertility: Preliminary research indicates that cannabinoids might have an impact on fertility, although the mechanisms are not fully understood. Some studies suggest that cannabinoids can affect sperm motility and fertilization, potentially impacting male fertility.
  4. Pregnancy and Lactation: There are concerns about the use of cannabinoids, including CBD, during pregnancy and lactation. Animal studies suggest potential adverse effects on fetal development and newborn behavior. Due to the limited research, pregnant and breastfeeding individuals are generally advised to avoid the use of cannabinoids.
  5. Stress and Anxiety: CBD is often used for its potential anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects. High stress levels can impact reproductive health, and by alleviating stress, CBD may indirectly support reproductive well-being.

Can CBD affect the effectiveness of birth control methods?

The answer to this question is unclear as research in this area is still developing. However, available research shows CBD doesn't seem to activate or inhibit estrogen receptors on cells. This suggests minimal interference with how estrogen, a key component in birth control, affects the body. Additionally, CBD slows down enzymes responsible for breaking down hormonal components in contraceptives. This implies that, if anything, birth control hormones may linger in the body for longer periods and at higher concentrations. Collectively, it's reasonable to assert that CBD is unlikely to diminish the effectiveness of birth control methods.

Frequently asked questions

Does CBD interact with IUD?

Presently, there are no documented instances of Mirena, an intrauterine device (IUD), interacting with cannabis or its derivatives like cannabidiol (CBD).

Does CBD affect progesterone?

Yes, Current research indicates that cannabidiol (CBD) may influence the expression of hormones like progesterone and estrogen. However, the understanding of CBD's specific effects on these hormones is in its early stages, and results vary. Further studies are needed to elucidate the intricacies of CBD's impact on hormone regulation.

Can I combine CBD and birth control pills?

No, combining CBD and birth control pills may potentially pose risks due to CBD's interaction with liver enzymes involved in drug metabolism. This could affect the efficacy of hormonal contraceptives.

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Walker, O.S., Holloway, A.C. & Raha, S. The role of the endocannabinoid system in female reproductive tissues. J Ovarian Res 12, 3 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13048-018-0478-9

Brents, L. K. (2016). Focus: Sex and Gender Health: Marijuana, the Endocannabinoid System and the Female Reproductive System. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 89(2), 175-191. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918871/

Lynn, B., Gee, A., Zhang, L., & Pfaus, J. G. (2019). Effects of Cannabinoids on Female Sexual Function. Sexual Medicine Reviews, 8(1), 18-27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sxmr.2019.07.004

Ryan KS, Bash JC, Hanna CB, Hedges JC, Lo JO. Effects of marijuana on reproductive health: preconception and gestational effects. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2021 Dec 1;28(6):558-565. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000686. PMID: 34709212; PMCID: PMC8580253.

Cooper, Z., Craft, R. Sex-Dependent Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Translational Perspective. Neuropsychopharmacol. 43, 34–51 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2017.140

The content on Nesa's Hemp blog is for educational purposes only. We meticulously research and cite our sources, but advise consulting a professional before making decisions based on our information. We derive our content from reputable studies and publications, but individual circumstances may vary. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of our content to every situation. Nesa's Hemp blog and its authors are not liable for any loss or inconvenience resulting from reliance on our information. By using our blog, you waive any claims against us regarding the accuracy or completeness of our content.

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