I Tried CBD Products To Alleviate My Period Pain
40 percent of women have debilitating period pain. I am one of those women.
Research has found that over 80 percent of women will experience period pain at some point in her life, while 40 percent of women report having debilitating pain associated with their period each month.
I am one of those women.
Since the start of my period as a teenager, I have dealt with cramps so terrible that I’d throw up or lay curled up crying on the floor.
As I have gotten older, my pain and bleeding increased, which I found out was due to the fibroids growing in my uterus. In April of last year, I decided to have the fibroid and polyp causing my excessive bleeding and pain removed. I thought that would be the end of all of my problems, but sadly while the bleeding got better (still heavy, but better), the pain feels worse — leaving me popping 1600 mg of ibuprofen for six days each month. Research says that Ibuprofen rarely causes complications with the liver, but I can’t imagine taking that much pain medicine in such a high dose would be good for me.
There aren’t many options for dealing with chronic pain aside from pharmaceutical drugs, which got me to thinking about cannabis. A couple of weeks before my surgery, I gave Whoopi Goldberg’s period pain products a try. To put it mildly, the THC in the product made me paranoid, anxious and exacerbated the pain.
My body was numb, but the pain of my cramps was amplified. It was a bizarre feeling and an experience I look back on and laugh at now.
Even with the hilarious experience I had with the THC products, I wanted to give more cannabis products a try. This time I went the CBD route and gave up my pain pills for my cycle this month, so I could really see what worked. I know that some of you reading this might say that a change of diet and lifestyle will get rid of all of my pain, but that hasn’t been my story. I have made some pretty mindful changes to my diet that have helped a lot, but the pain (and sometimes nausea) I feel is still there.
I tried a few products I’d read were great options for women with menstrual pain starting with Foria’s Relief Vaginal Suppositories made with organic-certified cocoa butter and 100mg active CBD each and their Basic Tonic on the first day of my period. When I told a co-worker I was giving these a try, she gave a little chuckle and said: “You’re willing to try anything, huh?” The answer to that is a roaring yes! As a teenager, my doctor always recommended I get a head start on my pain by taking Ibuprofen a couple of days before my period hit because once the pain starts, it’s more challenging to manage.
My cycle is pretty predictable at this point, so I know the days when the pain is going to be worse. The morning it started, and I felt cramps, I immediately inserted the suppository. I had already starting dosing myself with 0.75 ml of the tincture a couple of days before to get a head start on managing my pain — so I’d like to think both products were working together.
Once the cocoa butter suppository was inserted, I could feel a tingly sensation almost immediately, and about twenty minutes later, the pain was gone entirely. I tried the same remedy on my roughest days, and while it did help ease the pain, my uterus was like “we’re going to show this little thing who’s boss,” — and I almost reached for my pills. Instead, I upped my dosage of the tincture and added a new product to the mix, Lord Jones’ High CBD Formula Body Lotion. Like the suppository, when I applied the creamy lotion, I felt a tingly cooling sensation, and a few moments later, as my sharp cramps were at their peak, I felt a sense of relief. Every time I felt my body about to give it to me, I applied one more pump, and there was some relief, which was a pleasant surprise.
As the week went on, I gave both Foria’s Basic Tonic and Lord Jones CBD Tincture a try. If you’re wondering what a CBD tincture is and how it can help with pain the simple answer is: a tincture is a cannabis option you can take orally, and it is known to help with anxiety, sleep issues, and can help alleviate inflammation in the body, which can help with pain.
The jury is still out for me on whether I could solely use the tinctures in place of my pain meds since I’m still trying to figure out the right dosage, but I got some great benefits like better sleep and less anxiety.
When my period is doing its thing, I don’t get any sleep because either I’m in too much pain to sleep or I’m afraid that I’m going to wake up with blood-stained sheets — so I’m always tossing and turning. The tinctures helped me sleep through the night with ease, which never happens for me.
The Lord Jones Body LotionCourtesy of Lord Jones
The CBD products coming to market are wonderful because they’re giving those of us with chronic pain options beyond pain pills. Am I ready to throw out my bottle of 800 mg Ibuprofen? No. But, the topical options like Foria suppositories and the Lord Jones Body Lotion will be a part of my monthly pain management routine because it was nice to have something that worked on the spot that didn’t come in a small bottle with my name on it.
My final note about CBD, in general, was something I thought about a lot while trying them — the pricing. The average CBD product starts at about $40 and goes up from there, that is pretty pricey especially for those of using products monthly (or even daily) to help with pain caused by fibroids and endometriosis. If the industry wants to make sure everyone dealing with illness and pain can afford to use alternatives then that needs to reflect in the pricing.
All and all, I had a great experience using CBD products and can’t wait to try more! What are you all using to help with your pain each month?
Featured image by Getty Images.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
Hack Your Way To Making Your Period The Best Time Of The Month – Read More
5 Best Period Tracker Ovulation Apps 2018 – Read More
I Tried Whoopi Goldberg’s Weed Products For Period Pain – Read More
Men Admit Period Sex Is Not A Turn Off – Read More
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Bianca Lambert is a proud Atlanta native soaking up the Los Angeles sun. She is the founder of Mae B: a stationery company for women of color and a digital content creator on a mission to elevate the voices of women of color everywhere.
‘The Easiest Yes’: Simone Biles Is Engaged To NFL Beau Jonathan Owens
Simone Biles is now engaged to her Houston Texans boo Jonathan Owens. The couple shared the exciting news on their prospective Instagram pages. Simone gushed over the proposal on Instagram by writing, “THE EASIEST YES. “I can’t wait to spend forever & ever with you, you’re everything I dreamed of and more! let’s get married FIANCÉ @jowens_3.”
Jonathan simply wrote, “Woke up this morning with a fiancée ❤️.” He also thanked his friend Don for planning the proposal as well as Zo Frost who designed the icy engagement ring. Simone and Jonathan have reportedly been dating since March 2020 after meeting on the dating app Raya.
In an interview with Texas Monthly, the Houston Texans safety said he didn’t know who the 4x Olympic gold medalist was at the time, but he knew she was the perfect person for him.
“This was a match made in heaven,” he said. “There’s no better person for me. She loves me, she’s so affectionate. I just love that. And it’s just intoxicating seeing how much work she puts into everything.”
Simone also opened up about their relationship during an appearance on the Today show in 2021 .
“He’s a real man. I love him,” she said. “We have a great time together. Our personalities match right up. We have the same sense of humor and he’s just great. He’s an athlete too so we really understand each other and I think that’s why our relationship has been seamless.”
Congrats to the happy couple! Here are some cute moments Simone has shared of the two of them on her Instagram page.
Simone and Jonathan dressed up in matching outfits as they got ready for “date night.”
Simone supported her man at his football game while also wearing his jersey number. “GAME DAY. ❤️#36 on the field #1 in my heart,” she captioned the post.
To the Nines
The couple got chummy with each other as they dressed to the nines for a “night out” on the town.
My Whole Heart
The two were all smiles as they posed for a photo together. Simone captioned the cute photo, “my whole heart.”
Featured image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Knowing Your Partner’s Erotic Language Is The Key To Elevating Your Sex Life
When it comes to sex and self-pleasure, we typically rely on trial and error to discover what feels good. And though that can spell instant sexual chemistry and orgasms galore for some, sexual intimacy in solo sex and partnered sex is something we have to work at more times than not. Sexual needs differ, sexual incompatibility comes into play, and sometimes the inability to communicate what those needs and differences are can lead to frustration, lack of satisfaction, and overall lack of intimacy. But what if you could apply language to the way you approach intimacy in sexual relationships and self-pleasure? Well, there is power in the tongue and, turns out, there’s power in learning what your Erotic Blueprint type is, too.
Similar to the way love languages and apology languages are important tools in how we communicate and understand intimacy, Erotic Blueprints can be transformative to one’s self-relationship as well as their relationship with others. Jaiya, award-winning somatic sexologist and creator of the Erotic Blueprints, says they are an arousal map to more pleasure, more understanding, deeper connection, and deeper satisfaction. “When you expand into who you really are you can own your pleasure. When we are living our pleasure, we are no longer at odds with life and there is a whole new level of satisfaction in all of life, not just in the bedroom.”
The Healing Power of Erotic Blueprints
There is sometimes a mind-body-soul disconnect we experience due to a lack of knowledge of our true selves that can lead to discontentment in the self-relationship and our intimate relationships. Jaiya says the end result is surface-level experiences that don’t even crack the surface of how powerful our solo and partnered sex lives can truly be. “When we don’t know what turns us on, we don’t know how to ask for it,” she explains. “When we don’t have a language or teaching on how to uncover what turns us on, we stay stuck in shame and guilt, and silence around sex.”
In that way, Erotic Blueprints are rooted in so much more than sex. The framework in relationships is so transformative because “when we know ourselves and we know another more deeply, we are able to really honor who we are and who another is in that moment in time. When we honor another person, they feel seen, heard, and deeply loved for who they are,” she adds. Therein lies the healing capabilities of this work.
In our adult relationships, we often seek the things that we lacked from parents and caretakers in our childhood. On healing from attachment issues, Jaiya says, “It gives us permission to be ourselves and love ourselves, and sex is one of those places where we often judge, criticize, and shame. It’s often the final frontier of personal growth.”
The 5 Erotic Blueprints
The Erotic Blueprints are comprised of five types: energetic, sensual, sexual, kinky, and shapeshifter. To learn your primary type, take the basic quiz here. Jaiya also says you should “listen to what your body likes and doesn’t like. Think about the five blueprints and notice, during sexual play or based on your history, where things line up for you.”
Below, Jaiya provides insights into each Erotic Blueprint type, their respective superpowers (pros), and their shadow sides or aspects (cons).
The Energetic Erotic Blueprint type “is turned on by anticipation, space, tease, and longing. They love to yearn. Their superpower is that they are very sensitive to the point of being able to orgasm without being touched. Hypersensitivity can cause them to ‘short-circuit’ and become turned off because it is too much sensation, too fast and their arousal system shuts down.”
Slow and steady wins the race for the Energetic type. In order to speak their language, Jaiya advises, “Play with more tease, light touch on the body and with consciously giving more spaciousness for ‘turn on’ to turn into begging for more.”
A Sensual type “is someone who is turned on by all of their senses being ignited. Their superpower is that they bring beauty and sensuality to the sexual experience. The shadow side of the Sensual is that they get caught in their heads and stop feeling what is happening in their body. They lose their presence and get lost in ‘to-do’ lists, for example.”
Sensual types really crave the sensory benefits that come with being fully present. To combat that, “it’s important to have what I call ‘Toggles,’ things that help you transition from the mundane tasks of life to the erotic realm… things like getting a massage, having a hot bath with rose petals, eating some chocolate, doing something relaxing and snuggly.”
The Sexual Erotic Blueprint Type is “someone who is turned on by what we think of as ‘sex’ in our culture (nudity, orgasms, penetration, etc.) Their superpower is that they can go from zero to sixty in their arousal and that they love the simplicity of sexuality. The shadow side is that they lose the journey and all the other wonderful flavors of the experience because they focus too much on a limited definition of sex and the end goal.”
The key to tapping into the Sexual type’s power is expansion. Because they can sometimes be tied to a very limited perspective of what sex is and what sex looks like, elevation looks like thinking less and dipping and dabbling into understanding other Erotic Blueprints more. “Just go for it,” Jaiya suggests. “Hang out naked. Give yourself or your lover direct touch.”
The Kinky type “is turned on by what they define as taboo. There are two types of Kinky – one is psychological, meaning that the turn-on is more about the power dynamics or the role-play (more in their minds), the other is someone who is turned on by the sensation of kink (spanking, impact play, feelings of ropes, etc). Some people have a mix of both types. The superpower of the kinky is that they are endlessly creative and can also have orgasmic experiences that have nothing to do with intercourse. On the shadow side, there is usually a lot of shame for having ‘out of the box’ desires and that shame can turn into distress.”
Jaiya notes, “For the Kinky, there’s a whole world to explore! This is really a place to find out what you deeply enjoy. Explore a bunch of different sensations from scratch to slaps to different temperatures. Get creative.”
“A Shapeshifter is someone who is turned on by all of it. They love all the flavors and lots of variety. Their superpower is that they can be great lovers because they can shift to please any of the Erotic Blueprint Types. On the shadow side, they have been told they are too much and because they can shift to please they are often starving when it comes to their own sexual needs.”
For the uninitiated, this may seem true. But for the erotically intelligent, there is no such thing as a Shapeshifter type being too much. Create time and space for yourself. “Shapeshifters love variety, so give yourself a lot of different ways to play in every Blueprint,” Jaiya suggests. “Make sure you set aside ample time for yourself to really indulge in the exploration.”
How to Navigate Different Erotic Blueprint Types
What’s beautiful about this arousal map framework is that there isn’t necessarily an ideal match. In fact, if you find that your Erotic Blueprint type(s) differs from your partner’s, it’s not the end of the world or the relationship. Speaking or being fluent in one language doesn’t mean you can’t become fluent or learn to speak another. Like with any skill, it can be honed on and improved upon. The participants just have to be willing to journey through the doing the work to speak one another’s arousal language. Jaiya breaks down this journey into four phases: Healing, Feeding, Speaking and Expanding.
“We need to heal the shadow aspects of our Blueprints that put the brakes on our arousal,” she explains. “Here is an opportunity that as we HEAL, we also feed our Blueprints so that we are not depleted and starving, and also to FEED our lover’s Blueprints which is a skill we can learn to do. We also can learn to SPEAK each other’s languages. And eventually, as we learn a new Blueprint we EXPAND into that Blueprint. This means that the Blueprint that once was not a turn-on becomes our own turn-on.”
The end result leads to a positive impact on your relationships and your sex lives. To maximize that healing and growth, Jaiya recommends that couples join a sex-positive community, sign up for an online course together, or hire a sexuality coach to help to navigate potential challenges.
Featured image by Getty Images
Rihanna Wants To Redefine What It Means To Be Pregnant With Her Maternity Style
Since revealing her baby bump in the most stylish way a few weeks ago, Rihanna has continued to give us fashion moments that have taken the internet by storm and this past weekend was no different. Ri Ri attended two different red carpet events, the first being the celebration of her Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin line and the second being the Savage X Fenty store opening in Los Angeles.
The 33-year-old singer had her baby bump semi-exposed during the Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin party while wearing a sexy green shredded halter top and silver and purple shredded pants that exposed her backside.
However, when she popped out at the Savage X Fenty event, she was fully covered wearing an all-red custom Alaia dress. Her beau A$AP Rocky was by her side at both outings looking fly as well. At her Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin party, Rihanna spoke with Entertainment Tonight about her maternity fashions.
Rich Fury/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty & Fenty Skin
“I’m trying to enjoy it [pregnancy] as much as I could and fashion is one of my favorite things so redefining what it means to even be pregnant and maternal,” she said. “It can get uncomfortable at times, so you can dress the part and pretend.”
Speaking to Access, she called fitting clothes with her pregnant belly a “challenge,” but something she enjoys. She also touched on the inspiration behind her pregnancy reveal photos.
“I just wanted to wear something like I wasn’t pregnant. What I would wear and enjoy wearing. It was fun to be able to wear it in this way, kinda, all flasharoo,” she said. “It was good. It was cold as hell that day, but we got it done.”
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
On Jan. 31, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky broke the internet when photos surfaced of the couple walking around New York with the singer’s baby bump exposed. Rihanna wore a vintage Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld pink long puffer coat that buttoned right to her belly and extra-long ripped blue jeans and heels. She accessorized the look with layered necklaces and a chain belt.
As of yet, the singer hasn’t revealed how far along she is in the pregnancy or the sex of the child. However, she did open up about the moment she found out she was pregnant.
“When I first found out, it’s not real, you know? I was like, ‘This is not for real, right?'” she toldE! News. “And then, it was and it’s almost like you don’t want to get too excited too soon because it’s great news, but you. want to see that it’s going to see its way through. And I’m so glad that we’re this far along and now I can celebrate with everyone.”
Featured image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images
For This Couple, Love Came Into Their Lives At The Perfect Time
In xoNecole’s Our First Year series, we take an in-depth look at love and relationships between couples with an emphasis on what their first year of marriage was like.
I think that a lot of us believe in the notion of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This notion allows us to be grateful for being late to appointments, having plans being canceled last minute, and even changing our minds on attending events we said we would go to. I know I am guilty of feeling so satisfied when things are changed at the last minute and it honestly makes my day better. For a then-25-year-old copywriter, Chelsea Coffey, it was actually the opposite. A last-minute change in her schedule would make her be at the right place at the right time.
Chelsea received a phone call from a coworker to cover a soccer event in Houston, Texas. She was not expecting this assignment, but she is so glad that she did. At the event, Chelsea had plans to connect with the soccer team, but had no idea that one of the soccer players would charm their way into her heart. Just in case you were wondering… yes, that MLS player was Warren Creavalle.
Warren and Chelsea dated a year and half before tying the knot. These days, the married couple has not only solidified their lives in love but also in business.
Courtesy of Chelsea and Warren
In addition to a successful Philly Urban Retreat the two are known for, Chelsea and Warren have founded a business brand called Coffey + Creavalle. Coffey + Creavalle is a one-stop-shop for all things ranging from home goods to apparel. For this couple, they want to become a resource for the community and create a legacy for their children.
Time was really on their side from the very beginning and if there is anything that I took from connecting with this couple is that: when it comes to true love, it comes right on time.
In this installment of xoNecole’s “Our First Year,” Chelsea and Warren share how they have kept their love alive by supporting one another, making love a daily choice, and knowing the importance of building a legacy.
How We Met
Warren: I was playing soccer for the Houston Dynamo. Chelsea was covering our team’s End of Year Banquet for the magazine she worked for. So on that day, I saw her before we even spoke. I was already trying to see who this fine girl was. After the event and the after-party was going on, Chelsea saw me from across the room. With her being on the job and all, she walked over and approached my teammates and I. She starts giving her a spiel on how she could work with us to style us for a photoshoot. And we followed each other on Twitter–after she threatened me about not being a ghost follower.
Chelsea: So my coworker called me about covering the End of Years Awards Dinner for the Houston Dynamo. I thought this was perfect because I was coming from a photoshoot. So, I already had my makeup done. I wasn’t very familiar with soccer-focused events, so I didn’t know what to expect. But girl when I got there, I called my coworker saying we have been missing out! I continue to be professional, but after the event, I figured it would be a missed opportunity if I didn’t make a connection. So I come up with my business introduction, walked up to Warren’s team, and did my thing. But when I was talking to Warren, I felt like we were talking for the longest. So we ended up exchanging our social media information, and that’s how we connected.
Chelsea: I was a little smitten out the gate, to be honest. I remember it was very dimmed lighting in the room and Warren’s smile was just *ding ding* (laughs). It was really nice. Also, something to know about me. Since I am from Texas, my default is to pronounce certain names as if they were Spanish. I assumed Warren was Afro-Latino and when he was telling me his last name, I pronounced it differently. He got a little sassy with me, understandably, because I was saying his name wrong. But that was my first impression of him. As charming as he was, he was still a little sassy to me.
Warren: It was my rookie year and I was new to Houston. So when I saw her from across the room, I felt it was a turning point for me. I felt like I was glowing up and me being able to talk to women who look like her was a plus. I was convinced that Houston may be my kind of city. As Chelsea walked passed, I said out loud, “Look at my future beautiful Black queen!” Even after we were able to finally connect, I still thought Chelsea was beautiful and was looking forward to what was coming next.
Chelsea: Warren and I actually dated twice. We hung out a few times and we’d been dating for like five minutes. This thought came into my head, ‘I don’t care if he gets traded, we’re going.’ And immediately I told myself, ‘Girl, what is wrong with you?!’ ‘First of all, where did this thought come from, and second of all, we don’t even know him for real.’ But, it’s true when they say when you know, you know. I saw Warren as my best friend and we always had a good time together. Even though we broke up temporarily, I told myself that I wanted to feel like that, if I ever fell in love again.
Warren: So when we reconnected, Chelsea was still in Houston and I was in Philadelphia [two teams later]. But it felt like we didn’t skip a beat. I still felt like I was talking to my best friend. It was a really refreshing vibe. To be honest, I did date other people when we were both single. But Chelsea was the only woman that would make me scramble if that makes sense (laughs). That was really significant for me because I felt like I didn’t have to worry if she wasn’t going to be in my life anymore. That was when I knew. It was natural to take that next step with her to me.
“Chelsea was the only woman that would make me scramble if that makes sense. That was really significant for me because I felt like I didn’t have to worry if she wasn’t going to be in my life anymore. That was when I knew. It was natural to take that next step with her to me.”
Saying “I Do”
Chelsea: We had two weddings. We got married legally in the spring and then had our marriage reception/ceremony six months later. At the main marriage ceremony, Warren wrote his own vows, and what he said was so sweet. I would say that is one of the things I will never forget. But there was this moment after the vows and all the pictures were taken. I thought that we would come back to the bridal suite for a special one-on-one moment during the wedding. Ironically, it didn’t happen like that.
We got to the room and slowly, but surely, all of our bridesmaids and groomsmen were in our room. They were eating snacks and playing music. But seeing all of our close friends together made me appreciate things that were just out of our control in the best way. It was a beautiful way to celebrate our love story by being surrounded by the people we really care about. So it’s a mixture of both of those for me.
Warren: I would have to say when we were saying our vows to each other was the most memorable part for me.
Chelsea: I think that one of the benefits of me being older than Warren is that I was at a stage in my life where I knew I didn’t want to date just to date anymore. I was ready to be in a serious relationship and get married. I wouldn’t say that I didn’t have any fears, because I think that’s natural when you do have them. One thing that was a sensitivity of mine is hoping that we can navigate through each other’s different seasons.
I wanted us to be able to get through things together rather than individually. What helped me to be less afraid about stepping into marriage was Warren’s pace. When things move too fast, I get a little nervous. And since we were at different seasons, I admired that Warren knew what he needed as far as time, to be completely ready for this. Warren has a thorough and thoughtful pace. So by the time we got closer to the wedding, we were sure about it.
Warren: I agree with Chelsea. I think the pace we chose in our relationship helped us be more confident in our decision to get married. Marriage is forever. So it’s important that you are sure this is exactly what you want. So being able to take that time allowed that assurance we needed.
“When things move too fast, I get a little nervous. And since we were at different seasons, I admired that Warren knew what he needed as far as time, to be completely ready for this. Warren has a thorough and thoughtful pace. So by the time we got closer to the wedding, we were sure about it.”
Courtesy of Chelsea and Warren
Chelsea: I consider myself a proper particular kind of person. I have never lived with a guy before and so to my surprise, Warren is so particular too. He has his own ways of how he likes things done. In a way, we complemented each other, but there were times I felt we were tripping over each other and our own preferences. I will say that we are still working on this. It is all about picking your battles.
Warren: Yeah I do like things in my living space a certain way. I have had my roommates before, but I was living on my own when I was dating Chelsea. So stepping back into sharing my space with someone was an adjustment for me.
Chelsea: With Warren, I really appreciate how supportive he is. There is just something to be said about someone who knows how to be present with their partner. For example, when I was writing my book, Warren sat down with me for days and went through/edited the entire book. It is really a blessing to have someone like that in your life. Someone that is just down for you for whatever. So learning how to be that way for someone is what I’ve learned through how Warren shows up for me.
Warren: Prior to our relationship, I had this grip on life. I had this idea about what I wanted, where I wanted to be, and how I was going to get there. So allowing someone you consider your partner to add to that, is a shift. There’s a trajectory in your life that is for the better because you are letting other people in. It was something I didn’t anticipate, but it has definitely been my biggest lesson.
“Prior to our relationship, I had this grip on life. I had this idea about what I wanted, where I wanted to be, and how I was going to get there. Allowing someone you consider your partner to add to that, is a shift. There’s a trajectory in your life that is for the better because you are letting other people in.”
Chelsea: I remember I was trying to make this video right after our Houston house renovation. I was trying to be cute and asked Warren what his main takeaway from the experience was. Warren says, “Go get the money.” As much as we joke about that, we are grinding out here. We want our kids to live a life that reflects all the hard work we put in. We want to be a significant staple in our community in a big way.
Warren: If there is anything to add, we want to be able to open doors not just for our kids, but for other kids in our community as well. I think that it’s important to lift up the next generation and be that source of knowledge or resources for them to become successful.
Warren: One thing I’ve gotten from Chelsea’s father and our marriage counselor is to make a choice to love your spouse every day. The butterflies and everything is not enough to sustain the day in and day out. So you make that choice every day and sometimes multiple times a day to love that person.
Chelsea: There is the overarching theme about grace. When you are in a relationship, you have to show the other person grace. I think that sometimes when we don’t give the other person grace and we lash out on them when we are upset about something, we forget about our own shortcomings. If you are able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, it sets you up for getting out of a situation better than you anticipate.
Smoking Marijuana and Its Effects on Fertility
This post is in no way meant to be a commentary on Marijuana usage as a lifestyle choice or how one chooses to spend their recreational time. However, if faced with infertility, I would love for my patients and all people considering pregnancy to pay attention to the impact that smoking marijuana (and smoking in general) can have on one’s chances to conceive. I must further preface this post by saying that what I am speaking about is in reference to the hard science, the facts, the data, the research that’s been done for well over 30 years now, looking at the impact of smoking marijuana or ingesting marijuana-containing products, specifically looking at that active ingredient in marijuana, THC, cannabis. I emphasize this, because depending on where you search in the world of the Internet, you would see evidence of articles that are contradictory to what I’m about to say.
The Effects of Smoking in General
Smoking is a long, well-known factor in decreasing one’s fertility. So before we speak about marijuana, I just wanted to spend a few moments to talk about the effect of smoking cigarettes and how it impacts fertility.
The most important takeaway that I want everyone to remember from this session is that smoking affects fertility in both men and women.
So we’re not just talking about smoking and how it affects a woman in terms of her eggs or her fertility potential. We’re also talking about what happens with the male partner in a couple.
In up to 13% of patients coping with infertility smoking has been implicated as the cause of infertility . That’s smoking cigarettes–with nicotine being the major ingredient that’s implicated in decreasing fertility–but we also know that even in people who smoke filtered, tarless, and other types of cigarettes, it’s not just the nicotine content that affects fertility, but all the components of smoking.
Smoking can decrease one’s fertility by up to 30%. To be clear, I’m not saying that smoking causes 30% of infertility. Rather, in any individual person, smoking can decrease one’s ability to get pregnant or cause a pregnancy by up to 30%.
Of course, once one is pregnant, smoking can have a variety of effects and impacts on the pregnancy, with well-documented evidence showing that smoking can impact the continuation of the pregnancy. It can impact how well the baby grows when its developing because it impacts the placenta, which is really the nutrition and life source of a pregnancy. Everything that the pregnancy needs to help it grow is derived via the placenta and how it interfaces with the mom’s uterus and her blood supply.
More importantly, in terms of looking at how much you smoke, for some people the argument might be, “I smoke, but not a whole lot.” There have been studies that looked at the amount of cigarettes smoked and show that even smoking as few as four to five cigarettes per day still impacts one’s fertility and can impact it quite negatively.
Marijuana and Infertility
Based on marijuana studies in both men and women what we know for a fact is that it can actually decrease fertility. In men, we have found cannabis in seminal fluid. We now know that sperm, which are exposed to marijuana in the short term, become hyperactive.
So what does hyperactivity mean? It means that the sperm speed up. And at first when you hear that, you would say, “Dr. Duke, isn’t that the goal? You want the sperm to move.” The answer is yes. However, in terms of the dynamics and physiology of how sperm move, when they move they actually are supposed to move at a certain velocity. And then just before they get to the egg, which is almost like an acceleration for that collision with the egg, they should become hyperactive and speed up to collide with the egg.
Unfortunately with marijuana, the sperm speed up from the moment they enter the genital tract and get tired out. They wear out midway on their path to an egg. By the time they arrive, their energy is gone; their movement is gone. They aren’t able to get to the egg and fertilize it.
…that hyperactivity is NOT good.
At first, if you read you’ll see some people fixating on the fact that sperm become hyperactive from marijuana. But that hyperactivity is not good. The truth is that in terms of sperm-egg interaction, that hyperactivity should occur only just before it reaches the egg, not from the start in the tract.
Now, we also know that even if a man doesn’t smoke marijuana but he is with a woman who does, the sperm is still affected within the genital tract of the woman. If sperm is deposited into the vagina, and then it makes its way up into the uterus, into the oviducts or fallopian tubes, and the woman had smoked marijuana, that marijuana is present in her fallopian tubes. The cannabinoid chemical is there. It’s present in the uterine cavity. It’s present in the vagina. And that in turn, again, affects the sperm.
Likewise, for women, eggs can be affected just like sperm, by the presence of THC in either seminal fluid, the vagina, or in the fallopian tubes. When a woman ovulates, her egg is captured by the fallopian tube. If a woman is smoking marijuana and she’s released an egg into that environment, she’s exposing the egg to something that is actually known to be toxic for it.
To recap, we know from actual study and data looking at fertility in men and women that THC can significantly diminish fertility as much as nicotine in cigarettes. So again, if you’re someone suffering with infertility and you use cannabinoid-containing products, I encourage you to highly reconsider either cutting back or ideally discontinuing for the duration of your treatment. What you do after that, again, is a lifestyle choice and up to you.
If a baby was created using marijuana, what are the effects?
The short answer is, if one continues to smoke or ingest products that contain THC during pregnancy, it can have pretty significant and deleterious effects.
These can range from miscarriage to possible birth defects, if you’re using it in the very early stage of pregnancy. I’m talking about the first trimester, particularly the earlier parts of first trimester. The other question to keep in mind is the source. For some people, when they use marijuana-containing products, they’ve actually been mixing it with other products, other known or not-yet-known substances, at least to the user, that can affect, deleteriously, the forming of a young fetus.
Again, I highly recommend discontinuing use during pregnancy. If you can’t discontinue on your own, there are services available to you to help you quit or cut back and support you through it in a nonjudgmental way.
Does smoking cause cysts or fibroids?
There’s not any clear data that says smoking can cause cysts or fibroids. However, there are data, a number of data, that support a connection between smoking and development of certain cancers.
Women who smoke cigarettes are at higher risk for developing cervical cancer and ovarian cancer. Smoking is also associated with uterine cancer. Certainly, smoking has been linked to many forms of cancer but in the realm of gynecologic cancers, smoking has been shown to play a big role. Smoking is direclty linked with some of them and some forms of gynecological cancer maybe more related to lifestyle choices that are associated with smoking. It varies.
How long does it take to remove the THC or nicotine from your system?
A lot of the data that looked at the effect of THC and nicotine in the context of fertility looked at short-term exposure–what happens if you’ve smoked within the last couple days up to within the last three weeks. We know that THC remains in your system for up to six weeks. Sometimes up to 12 weeks. This is the whole premise behind when someone is tested, for example in the urine, for evidence of exposure to or use of marijuana. It can represent use as recently as the same day, or as far back as up to 12 weeks prior.
What happens with the edibles?
Edibles contain cannabis, and what we’re talking about is the impact of cannabis as an active ingredient. So it’s not simply the act of smoking, but also what you’re ingesting. If you are consuming or ingesting marijuana in anyway, it can all also contribute to infertility.