For one reason or another, many of the world’s most populous nations are seeing their populations decline.
The most telling country is Japan. As of 2018, the average number of children born in the country had declined for 37 straight years. The country has sought out alternative methods to offset the population reduction. This includes using robots to as part of its workforce. The government has also taken to enticing the remaining population, offering financial benefits to encourage people to procreate.
The United States is seeing a decline as well. Currently, the U.S. is in its fourth year of declining births. In 2018, the total number fell 2% from the previous year, accounting for roughly 3,788,000 births. The total is the lowest one-year total for the country in 32 years.
Reasons for the decline vary by country. However, several justifications seem to overlap when discussing work and the economy.
In Japan, possible reasons include overworked, unromantic young people. Others have pointed towards a lack of jobs being a prime culprit. In the U.S., some possible causes include positives, such as a decline in teen pregnancy. Then there are long-standing negatives, like economic uncertainty and long-term wage stagnation.
Even when a family attempts to conceive a child, the process can be an ordeal. While some will find success in short order, others may spend months or years trying to conceive. On average, a woman aged 25 to 35 has a 20% chance of getting pregnant each cycle. By the time they are 40, the number drops to eight percent.
With cannabis all the rage, some have begun to wonder if the plant can do for fertility what it has seemingly done for numerous others.
Medical professionals seem to hold differing opinions on the matter. Some physicians point towards evidence where cannabis use could prove beneficial. Others cite findings that suggest cannabis should be excluded when trying to conceive. Meanwhile, some doctors believe there is no connection between marijuana and fertility at all.
Dr. Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron’s evidence suggests that couples with existing fertility issues may find cannabis detrimental to their efforts. The double board-certified reproductive endocrinologist cited recent results from the Canadian Medical Association Journal regarding delayed ovulation among other issues. The physician also pointed towards several human and animal studies that suggest male cannabis users could experience a drop in sperm count.
Dr. Hervé Damas, founder of Florida’s Grassroots Wellness, shared similar feelings.”Research has shown that cannabis consumption can decrease sperm count, concentration, functionality and shape. All these lead to a decrease in the sperms’ ability to fertilize.”
While Dr. Hirshfeld-Cytron suggests couples steer clear, the evidence isn’t so cut and dry for both genders, she pointed out. “Research thus far has found a distinct parallel between cannabis and male fertility, while the impact of cannabis on female fertility and pregnancy is more uncertain.”
Dr. Hirshfeld-Cytron and other physicians cited semen analysis for making males easier to evaluate. She discussed the struggles of analyzing women at this time.
“For women, assessing fertility potential is more complex and not nearly as straightforward in terms of measurement. Research thus far has found a distinct parallel between cannabis and male fertility, while the impact of cannabis on female fertility and pregnancy is more uncertain.”
Dr. Damas stated that cannabis has been shown to decrease the production of hormones beginning at the hypothalamus, adversely impacting a woman’s fertility potential. The result is the decreased production of hormones like follicle-stimulating hormones, estrogen and progesterone.
That said, some do see potential positives in certain cannabinoids. Dr. Carlen Costa is a sexologist and relationship psychotherapist. Dr. Costa pointed towards a 2019 Harvard study that found “significantly higher concentrations of sperm” when comparing men who smoked marijuana to those who never have.
The doctor touched on THC for men as well, noting that additional findings are required. “…longitudinal studies are what is going to prove the efficacy and impact that cannabis has.”
Dr. Costa said pregnant women may benefit from CBD. She noted the cannabinoid’s reputation as an anti-inflammatory and its analgesic properties in particular. “[CBD] has been especially praised to help women during their first trimester with nausea, and during labor to help ease contractions,” added the physician.
However, THC is not for pregnant women, according to the doctor. Dr. Costa referenced a 2018 Canadian government study showing THC could adversely impact menstrual cycles and lower egg implantation.
Other medical professionals, like Dr. Michele Ross, a Ph.D. neuroscientist, don’t see a connection between cannabis and fertility. Dr. Ross pointed towards a 2018 PRESTO study which found “little overall association” between cannabis use and conceiving a child.
Despite the findings, the doctor sides with caution for couples attempting to have a child.
She recommended couples trying to conceive cut down or eliminate smoking altogether, or risk impacting the chances of having a baby. “Toxins from inhaling any type of smoke, including cannabis smoke, can damage DNA in your sperm or eggs,” she explained.
Some parents told High Times that cannabis helped their fertility journey in different ways.
One mother, who asked to remain nameless, explained how giving up cannabis seemed to correlate with her getting pregnant after previous struggles. She recalled that her husband stopped smoking to become a firefighter. Soon after, she was pregnant. “It could all be a coincidence, but if you are having trouble conceiving, you should definitely try it,” she recommended.
Alexis Rosenbaum is a 32-year-old hopeful mother who has been attempting for five years. Her interest in cannabinoids has led to studying cannabis extensively and using it. Alexis and her husband have done two rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) and one round of IVF so far with no pregnancy.
The ordeal has been trying on them both. For Alexis, CBD has helped her cope with the process. “Cannabis and CBD has helped me stay relaxed, reduce stress, and get me comfortable and open to alternatives.” She elaborated, “It has helped me process the experience and my emotions both by myself and with my husband.”
The effects of cannabis on a couple trying to conceive remains uncertain. While certain evidence suggests it may be best to avoid cannabis when attempting to have a baby, others can and do point to contrasting findings.
Around the time this article was set for submission, the federal government added a new twist to the topic. In August of 2019, Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a warning concerning marijuana and pregnancy and young adults, saying no amount is safe for either.
“This ain’t your mother’s marijuana,” said Adams in an interview. “It’s a fundamental different product that increases the danger and the risk, particularly to young people and pregnant women,” he said while on Hill.TV.
Research around the subject is likely to continue for some time.
The post How Does Cannabis Impact Fertility? It Depends on Who You Ask appeared first on High Times.
1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.
CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.
2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?
Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.
3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?
Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. Typically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!
99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.
In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?
The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.
5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?
We feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.
6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?
Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.
7. What is the best method of use?
For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.
8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?
There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.
9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?
Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative side effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.
10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?
As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.
When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.
The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.
For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.
THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.
11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?
In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.
12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?
Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.
13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?
No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.
We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor there, Cannawell.
14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?
Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†
Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.
15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?
We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. We also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.
16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?
We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.
17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?
CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.
Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.
18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?
“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia
There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).
For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.