Women frequently use birth control before considering getting pregnant to prevent an unintended pregnancy. Pill-based birth control is one of the birth control options.
These hormonal medications can occasionally cause harmful side effects, but they are also occasionally the only method a person feels safe stopping the pregnancy. Birth control pills have a negative association with the development of cancer and are known to raise blood pressure in some people.
Cannabis is a plant with numerous health advantages. Cannabis is also known to have an impact on the endocrine system. Cannabis and its impact on contraceptives have not been the subject of a lot of research.
Women want to know the impact that cannabis use has on contraception, in addition to being informed about the potential harm that cannabis use may have on pregnancy.
Cannabis Effects on Women’s Hormones and the Endocrine System
One of the cannabinoids, CBD, has a number of health advantages. According to preliminary study, this affects endocrine signaling and may interfere with the regulation of female hormones.
In a 2016 Yale study, it was discovered that cannabis use could lower fertility by interfering with regular hormone production. This could indicate that estrogen and progesterone production may be interfered with in women who use cannabis regularly for medical purposes.
Some women’s cycles may even be messed up, which could make it difficult for them to get pregnant.
The same study also revealed that birth control pills may have an opposite impact on how women feel marijuana’s intoxicating effects. Ovarian hormones, which are also included in birth control pills, affect cannabis tolerance and dependence.
It affects the plant’s capacity to ease pain as well. This study came to the conclusion that marijuana may disturb the sensitive endocrine system’s ability to produce female hormones.
What Does It Mean for Pills or Patches for Birth Control?
The effects of cannabis on birth control medications have not been thoroughly studied. Even though researchers are unsure of the precise mechanism, it is known that cannabis affects female endocrine signaling of the reproductive hormones.
Is it possible that cannabis could disrupt the careful equilibrium that hormonal birth control pills have managed to achieve? To regulate ovulation and prevent conception, hormonal birth control medications, such as the patch, release predetermined dosages of both estrogen and progestin.
This leads one to the conclusion that cannabis may have a similar effect on birth control pill-introduced hormones as it does on naturally occurring hormones.
However, since almost no studies have been done on this topic, it is exceedingly difficult to prove. Only the evidence gleaned from prior studies can be used to support a conclusion.
One study discovered that THC may disrupt the endocrine signaling of estrogen. THC appears to have anti-estrogenic properties. But because there was no proof to back up the result, scientists have already given up on it.
So, what do we Know?
We are aware that cannabis has an impact on the endocrine system, despite the fact that scientists are divided on the subject.
What researchers do know is that CBD has a propensity to dominate particular metabolic enzymes. The liver is home to the metabolic enzymes, which are in charge of converting digested substances into biologically usable ones.
CBD has an impact on the cytochrome P450 family of enzymes. It prevents CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP3A4 from functioning.
This happens when the liver is overrun by CBD. These enzymes are unable to metabolize any other chemicals until CBD has disappeared.
What causes a problem is the fact that these enzymes disregard all other molecules that require transformation. In contrast to around 60% of other medications, birth control pills are transformed by cytochrome P450 enzymes.
Their blood levels rise if they are not metabolized. This shows that cannabinoids may indirectly affect hormonal endocrine signaling by altering the activity of cytochrome P450.
Therefore, it is hypothesized that cannabis may affect the liver’s capacity to promptly metabolize birth control medications.
Method of consumption
People typically consume edibles infused with cannabis oil or smoke various cannabis plant sections to engage in recreational cannabis use. There is currently no evidence to suggest that the method in which cannabis is consumed affects how it might interact with birth control.
Contraception and some cannabis ingestion methods may interact negatively. For instance, there is a higher possibility for interaction in the stomach when patients consume both edibles and oral contraceptives.
Some people might use cannabis for medical purposes in other ways that might interfere with birth control.
For instance, some research points to a potential interaction between hormonal birth control and nabiximols, a medication for multiple sclerosis (MS) that contains THC and CBD. Nabiximols have not yet received FDA approval to be used in the United States to treat MS.
There is not enough evidence available at this time to make recommendations about the use of birth control and cannabis. Furthermore, there is inconclusive evidence that cannabis reduces the effectiveness of birth control. Future studies will be required to look into any possible interactions.
There is currently no conclusive evidence to support the claim that cannabis reduces birth control’s efficacy. To completely understand how cannabis might interact with different forms of contraception, more research is required.
People who want to take birth control while also using cannabis should speak to a doctor to find out which birth control method is appropriate for them.