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Learn | 03.22.2022

What Are The Risks Of Cannabis And Hormonal Birth Control?

Discussing if cannabis can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal birth control and the underlying risks.

Have you ever taken a look at the long and scary list of birth control’s potential side effects? Individuals using this method of contraception know the deal; tear open the package and reveal that 3 x 3 ft. page of risks.

The risks of cannabis use and birth control are rather unclear because the list of side effects touches on smoking as a general statement, which is said to increase your chances of heart issues and blood clots. But what about cannabis in general, like edibles, beverages, etc.?

CBD & Birth Control

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According to some recent studies, CBD can slowly have an effect on liver function, and because the liver metabolizes any medications we take, birth control and CBD simultaneously might impact the liver. There is still not enough evidence to prove this is correct, but it’s likely that CBD may have a more worrisome effect on estrogen birth control vs. progesterone.

THC & Birth Control

Some research shows that THC can increase one’s chances of high blood pressure. And within that scary list of birth control side effects, it also notes that this method of contraception could lead to increased blood pressure.

For this reason, those with underlying health issues involving the heart, blood, and hormones should speak with their healthcare provider before dosing both. According to Medical News Today, the side effects of THC may be amplified when taking hormonal birth control methods, like increased anxiety, paranoia, etc.

Ingesting Cannabis & Birth Control Pills

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While there’s no evidence that shows which method of ingestion is the safest for birth control users, one of the most common side effects of smoking while using hormonal contraception is an increased risk of blood clots.

And then there are edibles like the many gummies and beverages on the market, which we digest and metabolize. When taking birth control pills, reports say there is an increased potential for these substances to interact in the stomach, which might affect their overall effectiveness.

There’s currently no reliable evidence that proves these statements are correct, nor is there enough research to actually tell if cannabis use can decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraception.

Currently, the only risk of interaction is within a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treatment called nabiximols, which contains THC and CBD. However, Medical News Today points out that nabiximols aren’t FDA approved for treating MS in the United States.

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