As more and more states across the USA and countries around the world consider legalizing the use of marijuana, it’s highly conceivable than many more people of all ages, including those who are thinking about having children, will begin to use cannabis more freely. This certainly has many people asking the question, how does marijuana use affect fertility? What’s the relationship between marijuana and fertility? Here we will take a closer look at the issues that may be involved with marijuana use while trying to get pregnant.
Research on marijuana and fertility is lacking
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the issue at hand, there is generally a lack of research on the effect of cannabis on fertility. So, even though marijuana does have potential to have an impact on the reproductive system, there isn’t much evidence that can be used to draw any solid conclusions. For this reason, some doctors recommend that women who are trying to conceive a child avoid marijuana use altogether.
Cannabis and sperm count
Research has shown that marijuana can have a negative impact on sperm count, unfortunately. In 2015, a study was done that showed that men who regularly smoked weed had an almost 30 percent drop in their sperm counts. Additionally, further research has shown that men who had never used cannabis in their lives had higher sperm counts than men who had ever used cannabis. Despite these findings, scientists emphasize that further research needs to take place to determine conclusively the long-term impact that cannabis use has on sperm health.
Ovulation under marijuana’s influence
Again, researchers caution that there is not enough evidence to make any strong conclusions about marijuana’s impact on the female fertility cycle. However, one study did find that smoking marijuana could delay the ovulation cycle by a few days. The reason? THC, in high amounts, can lower estrogen production. Without a sudden increase in estrogen, ovulation fails to take place. And, as we all learned in health class, if ovulation does not take place, there will be no egg released down the fallopian tube and, therefore, no opportunity for an egg to be fertilized by sperm.
THC and the endocannabinoid system
What exactly is the human endocannabinoid system? Well, it’s a complicated network of receptors located throughout the human body that help to regulate the brain, immune system, and endocrine tissues. The endocannabinoid system is particularly tied to the reproductive organs of both men and women, and it plays a huge part in controlling our hormones and our reproductive abilities. THC, which is the active ingredient in cannabis, has an impact on the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which can lead to a variety of different effects on the body. So, while we aren’t sure of the specific impact of THC on the system, we do understand that it can potentially complicate the body’s complex reproductive functions.
Using cannabis while experiencing fertility issues
If you are already suffering from a preexisting fertility condition, it might be tempting to turn to cannabis. However, some medical experts warn that, because marijuana can interfere with the regular abilities of the endocannabinoid system, which goes hand in hand with pretty much every component of the reproductive process, marijuana could potentially make any fertility conditions that already exist worse.
However, evidence in the past has shown that for couples who are not already suffering from fertility issues, use of cannabis doesn’t increase the likelihood that they will encounter any major fertility issues moving forward, even with regular use.
No matter what their stance on marijuana’s impacts on fertility, health experts do agree that more research on the effects of cannabis on health are needed. And, luckily, with the increased legalization and general ease in attitude towards marijuana, we can likely expect an increase in research on this issue.
Additionally, some experts note that expanded research might indicate some benefits for some individuals or couples who are trying to get pregnant. In addition to potentially lowering their stress levels (which can get high while trying to conceive), perhaps the use of cannabis could also improve sleep and maybe even fertility for some individuals.
For now, until further research is conducted, many medical experts recommend steering clear of marijuana while trying to conceive.
For individuals who are not presently trying to conceive, there are undoubtedly many uses of marijuana, many cannabis users say that using cannabis has sometimes improved their appetite. Also, there has been some anecdotal evidence in research that suggests cannabis can calm some users. If you’re interested in learning more about marijuana and growing your own cannabis plants, be sure to visit Pacific Seed Bank’s website. Not only does Pacific Seed Bank carry a huge selection of cannabis seeds for sale, they also provide a great deal of useful information about the growing process on their website.