JUL 11, 2021 8:32 AM PDT

How Does Cannabis Affect Birth Control?

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2015 and 2017, 64.9% of women in the US were using some sort of birth control. With increasing numbers of women using cannabis, many some wonder whether and how the plant, and its products, affect female fertility. 

As of yet, there have been few, if any, studies on how cannabis affects birth control methods. However, there is some research that suggests that, due to cannabis’s effects on other aspects of a person’s physiology, it might affect the efficacy of some birth control solutions. 

For example, birth control containing estrogen- including pills, intrauterine device, the patch, ring, and implant- is known to raise a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke as it can lead to an increase in blood pressure. As smoking tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known to raise blood pressure as well as heart rate, taking estrogen-containing birth control could damage overall health. 

Other research has shown that endocannabinoids play an important role in the female reproductive system and that impairing the endocannabinoid system can harm female reproductive organs and increase infertility. As such, inhibiting or enhancing endocannabinoid signaling with cannabis could lead to adverse effects on the reproductive system that may impact birth control in some way- perhaps making it more or less effective. 

Nevertheless, until further research is conducted looking at the specific effects and mechanisms underlying cannabis’s effects on birth control, it will be difficult to make any conclusions on the matter. To that end, Oregon Health and Science University is working on a study investigating the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on birth control. The study is expected to be completed on August 1, 2021. 

 

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)LabRootsHarvard HealthJournal of Molecular EndocrinologyClinicalTrials.gov

About the Author
Other
Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
SEP 02, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
How to harvest really good cannabis
How to harvest really good cannabis
What's the secret to growing a great crop of cannabis? There's several factors.
NOV 03, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Can CBD Help Dogs?
Can CBD Help Dogs?
The use of CBD infused foods and supplements is getting more popular in the canine community. But does CBD actually help ...
NOV 18, 2022
Plants & Animals
Cannabis Users Have Worse Bypass Outcomes, Increased Risk of Amputation
Cannabis Users Have Worse Bypass Outcomes, Increased Risk of Amputation
Lower extremity bypass surgery is a common procedure used to address occluded arteries in the leg, usually with the goal ...
JAN 08, 2023
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Smokers More Likely to Develop Emphysema Compared to Cigarette Smokers
Cannabis Smokers More Likely to Develop Emphysema Compared to Cigarette Smokers
Cannabis smokers may be more susceptible to emphysema than cigarette smokers, according to a study published in Radiolog ...
JAN 11, 2023
Cannabis Sciences
Why We Process Edibles Differently Than Smoked Cannabis
Why We Process Edibles Differently Than Smoked Cannabis
Whether you consume edibles or smoke cannabis, the high you experience might be different. Here's why.
JAN 29, 2023
Cannabis Sciences
How Cannabis Consumption Impacts the Oral Microbiome
How Cannabis Consumption Impacts the Oral Microbiome
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) gave Medical University of South Carolina researchers $3.7 million to study ...
Loading Comments...