The public opinion of weed and marijuana use has undergone a pretty major transformation over the last decade or so. It’s not our dirty little secret anymore—it’s legal in 37 states, used and talked about much more openly, and has become a part of our mainstream culture. Athletes, entrepreneurs, parents, folks young and old are reaping the reefer benefits. It goes without saying (but we will say it), that we 100% believe weed should be used and consumed responsibly. That means abstaining if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, not driving while high, not violating any policies that might be in place at your job or in your state, and generally making sure that you are using it smartly and safely. These are pretty obvious (we hope), but there’s one other time when abstaining from weed is a good idea that might not be as obvious: when you’re trying to conceive. Experts recommend abstaining from marijuana use if you’re trying to get pregnant, as it may negatively impact your fertility. If you’re about to embark on a baby-making journey and are wondering when you should stop smoking weed before pregnancy, we’ve got the scoop.
How does weed impact your fertility?
People use marijuana for a variety of reasons and there are confirmed benefits of using it for sleep issues, postpartum life, stress and anxiety management, and relaxation. And while it can be incredibly helpful in those (and other) areas, it can also have a negative impact on your fertility and interfere with your ability to conceive. Studies have shown that marijuana can disrupt ovulation and increase the chances of having an ‘anovulatory cycle’, which means an egg is not released during a menstrual cycle. There have also been studies that have linked marijuana use to early pregnancy loss, which is the result of the egg not being able to attach to the uterine wall. It’s important to note: there is also research that seems to confirm the relative safety of using marijuana while trying to conceive. As with any medical research, when the medical community doesn’t have enough evidence to make a conclusive recommendation, they will always err on the side of caution and what they do know. So the recco is: lay off the kush if you’re trying to get PG.
Does marijuana impact male fertility?
If you’re reading this with a male partner and he’s over there thinking he’s off the hook, not so fast. If marijuana’s impact on female fertility is a bit of a gray area, it’s pretty black and white when it comes to male fertility. Several research studies have shown that cannabis use can reduce the number of healthy sperm a man produces, can change the shape of the sperm, and can even reduce a sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg. There has been research done in this area for years, and the effects of cannabis on sperm were so evident that there is even research being done on the use of cannabis as a male contraceptive! So when it comes to weed and trying to conceive, it turns out what’s good for the goose is good for the gander—everyone should abstain.
So how long before you start trying to conceive should you give up weed?
The more regular of a user you are, the longer it’s going to take for the cannabis to flush from the system. If you only partake occasionally, it should be out of your system in a few days to a week, at most. But if you’re a regular user, the drug can build up in your system, and it can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months before you have the all clear. For men, the effects of cannabis on sperm is almost immediate and is irreversible, meaning stopping won’t suddenly make his little swimmers any faster or boost production. Men produce new sperm every three months, so it’s advised that you wait at least three months from the last toke before trying to conceive. And it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway): marijuana use during pregnancy should be avoided.
Considering what you’ll get out of the deal (a baby!), it does seem like a small price to pay to abstain from weed while trying to conceive. Once you’re pregnant, you’ll find yourself faced with a whole slew of lifestyle changes that need to be made, for the health of you and the bun in your oven. In this case, a change made before you start kneading the dough can make a big difference.