CBD oil is fast gaining a reputation for an effective and natural way of treating various medical conditions. Many studies have reported favorable results of CBD oil in treating pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, sleep disorders, and so on.
“If it can treat so many different types of ailments can CBD oil treat infertility, as well?” Many individuals are recently asking this question. Many medical scientists have also started studying the effects of CBD products on fertility.
The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. We need to delve a little deeper to find out the right answer to this important query.
Does CBD help in fertility treatments?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a type of cannabinoid derived from the plant species Cannabis Sativa. It is one of the two major cannabinoids present in the Sativa plants, the other being THC. These two along with other cannabinoids derived from the plant source are called phytocannabinoids.
Now, it is interesting to note that the human body also produces natural cannabinoids. They are called endocannabinoids. The whole function of human endocannabinoids is controlled through the Endocannabinoid System or ECS. The ECS comprises numerous CBD receptors including CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The cannabinoids bind with these two receptors and influence different body functions including mood, appetite, motor function, and nervous system, etc.
Endocannabinoid System and Phytocannabinoids
The ECS forms the basis of the effect of phytocannabinoids on various functions of the human body. And that is how CBD also plays an important role in treating various medical conditions as stated above.
Now, to answer the basic question on CBD and fertility we need to answer the following important questions.
- Whether ECS influences fertility- directly or indirectly?
- Whether CBD helps ECS or other body systems to influence fertility- directly or indirectly?
Well, let us find out the answer to the above questions.
Does ECS directly influence fertility?
There is enough evidence to prove that ECS directly influences fertility and helps women who are trying to get pregnant.
And how does it do that?
Well, through GPR18.
What is that?
GPR 18 is a cannabinoid receptor in the spermatozoa. Endogenous cannabinoids present in both male and female reproduction systems activate the spermatozoa and stimulate a process called acrosome reaction.
The spermatozoa perform this reaction by digesting the protective cap of the sperm cell when the sperm cells float towards the female eggs. The removal of the cap allows sperm to penetrate the female ovum.
This process clearly shows that there is a direct link between ECS and fertility.
Well, now let us take up the next question.
Does CBD trigger the acrosome reaction?
Well, there is no scientific research available to show whether CBD triggers the acrosome reaction or not. We can only assume that if CBD is binding with different CBD receptors of the ECS system to provide relief from many different physical ailments, it might also bind with GPR 18 as well to support women who are trying to get pregnant.
Having said, in the absence of any such study we cannot draw any conclusion about the said assumption.
Is there any indirect way in which ECS influences fertility?
The endocannabinoids can influence fertility by boosting Anandamide levels in the ECS.
What Is Anandamide?
Anandamide, which is derived from the Sanskrit word for blissfulness, is a neurotransmitter in the ECS. It plays a very important role to create homeostasis in human physiology. Homeostasis is essential to keep proper balance and stability of all physiological systems.
What is the role of Anandamide in influencing fertility?
Women undergo a lot of physiological changes during the ovulation period. One of these changes includes an increase in Anandamide levels in their ECS. Anandamide has been observed to have a direct association with the ability to get pregnant. So, increased Anandamide levels increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.
How does CBD affect Anandamide levels?
There is an enzyme called FAAH that causes the breakdown of Anandamide. CBD can prevent this breakdown and can help in increasing Anandamide levels.
It is very important to note here that CBD can be a facilitator to get pregnant and be an inhibitor, as well.
As mentioned earlier high levels of Anandamide during the ovulation period help increase the chances of pregnancy. However, post the pregnancy the same Anandamide starts interfering with the embryo implantation process and may lead to a failed pregnancy.
So, taking CBD before the pregnancy can be helpful for women who are trying to get pregnant but can be detrimental to the embryo and in the later stages to the fetus if they continue using it during the prenatal period.
What are the other ways CBD can help fertility?
There are many other ways that CBD can influence fertility. Some of these include,
Increasing Testosterone levels
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones of a male reproductive system. Hypothalamus and Pituitary glands in the brain and Leydig cells in the testes are responsible to produce testosterone. Lower levels of testosterone can seriously affect male fertility.
The three glands responsible for testosterone production have CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and the testes. CBD binds with these receptors and triggers the production of the hormone.
Inflammation in any body part affects the fertility of both males and females. The high inflammation affects the quality of sperm and eggs thereby reducing fertility. CBD contains many fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6 that interact in many different ways with ECS to reduce inflammation, in turn, help in enhancing chances to get pregnant.
Managing Stress and Anxiety
There is ample evidence that higher stress and anxiety levels reduce the fertility of both males and females. One of the many reasons includes high Cortisol produced during stressful situations.
CBD has been observed to successfully manage stress and anxiety levels in multiple ways including reducing Cortisol. The other method is to activate serotonin receptors which are very helpful in enhancing the mood of the individuals.
What is the safest way to take CBD for fertility?
There are multiple ways of consuming CBD. You can take it orally in the form of CBD oil, tincture, gummies, or capsules. Vaping is yet another method of consuming CBD safely.
You can also consume CBD by Smoking. However, smoking can be a very dangerous way of consuming CBD. The smoke may contain many harmful substances like ammonia and many other toxins that can seriously damage sperm cells and eggs.
What are the risks of using CBD for fertility?
If there are some potential benefits of CBD oil for fertility, there are many risks also involved in consuming CBD. They include,
Lack of Concrete Evidence
All the above effects of CBD are based on logical conclusions. No research on CBD on its influence on fertility has substantiated these logically drawn conclusions. However, on the negative side, many studies have reported the bad effects of THC or Marijuana use on fertility.
Lack of Regulations
With the above reports on THC and Marijuana use, there is another aspect that comes into the picture. That is related to CBD products being recognized as a supplement and not a drug and the USFDA does not regulate activities related to CBD.
What do these facts signify?
Well, in the absence of proper regulation and control you may not be pretty sure of the purity of your CBD Oil. That means you can never be 100% confident that your CBD does not contain higher levels of THC.
Side effects of CBD
As there is a lack of research in establishing the positive effects of CBD, its side effects also lack extensive studies. However, some individuals have reported a few side effects after taking CBD oil. They include dry mouth, diarrhea, nausea, decreased appetite, drowsiness, and fatigue, etc. Moreover, CBD oil also has the potential risk of interacting with other medications.
So, here we conclude our study on the link between CBD and fertility. And from whatever information that we gathered, we can infer that CBD shows the potential of benefitting women who are trying to get pregnant. However, we also noticed that none of this information has any firm evidence in its favor to prove that CBD does positively influence fertility.
With the lack of concrete evidence and the kind of risk involved in using CBD, it is therefore highly advisable to consult your physician before taking CBD oil to increase fertility.