License to Chill: Cannabidiol (CBD) and Fertility
Is CBD Okay When Trying To Get Pregnant?
Trying to conceive is stressful, yes? We get it, Mo (B&B founder) has been struggling for years and some days she just wants to kick it with her ladies and toss back some Goofy Cookies (cannabis edibles, our timezone is California after all). TTC Zen is crucial, and we certainly won’t judge how you choose to get there, but let's first look at what's safe.
CBD (cannabidiol), representing over 40% of the cannabis plant’s extract, is devoid of the more dangerous THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) compound and is exalted for its potential to treat leukemia, anxiety, seizures and PTSD (to name a few). Order it online, buy it from the girl scouts (well, maybe in Berkeley), this stuff is pretty easy to get your hands on, and being celebrated big time within the cannabis community. But is it truly a fertility-safe way to chill?
THE BOTTOM LINE
Despite the claims from cannabis endorsed websites and publications, medical research would argue that cannabinoids pose a risk to fertility in female as well as male partners trying to conceive. That includes CBD.
A recent article in Drug Discovery and Development summarizing the studies to date on the subject of cannabinoids and fertility concluded that use of the drug can seriously interfere with the use of folic acid (vitamin B9) in the body and you Bird Hardcores know, folic acid is essential to getting and staying pregnant.*
Male partners thinking they’ll have our share of CBD for us? How nice of them, but no. Research on CBD exposure and fertility has been performed on mice for over 20 years, and the data speaks for itself. “Males repeatedly exposed to CBD impregnated significantly fewer females did the control males. Also, significantly more prenatal and postnatal deaths resulted from impregnation by CBD-exposed males,"** A detailed chart in their study goes on to illustrate that CBD-exposed males had less of an impregnation rate than that of the control group- 60% to 80% respectively.
Daunting also are the documented fertility side effects passed on to male offspring when maternal CBD exposure is present. In the same study, it was found that “approximately 20% less spermatozoa were found in males whose mothers had received either the non-psychoactive cannabinol (CBN) or cannabidiol (CBD).”
You’ll no doubt stumble across countless claims that CBD treats male and female infertility. Be alert to the mission statements, branding and services offered on these sites. “Healthmj” looked momentarily reputable to me (clinical looking site layout and all) until I tapped into my high school lexicon and remembered the iconic “Mary Jane” reference. “Hightimes” is probably another good one to avoid. If subtle marijuana leaves or tikki man branding is present, or if you can actually start to smell patchouli just by looking at the site’s home page, then take with a grain of salt.
*"With Worrisome Animal Research, More Focus Needed on Effects of Cannabis on Human Development." Drug Discovery & Development (2016)ProQuest. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. (No conflicts of interest to disclose. There was no funding provided for the production of this article)
**Dalterio, S. L. and DeRooij, D. G. (1986), Maternal cannabinoid exposure Effects on spermatogenesis in male offspring. International Journal of Andrology, 9: 250–258. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2605.1986.tb00888.x
(No conflicts of interests present in the above sources)
Photo Credit: https://totallycoolpix.com/magazine/2013/02/marijuana-in-the-usa/single/35596/