Are there any dangers in combining weed and contraception?

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Some experts believe that THC could interfere with your birth control and make it less effective, especially if it is estrogen-based.

Article author:

Maria Loreto • • The fresh toast

Release date:

July 02, 2020 • • 7 months ago • • 3 minutes read The combination of cigarette smoking and birth control has been linked to an increased risk of developing blood clots and other types of cardiovascular disease. Photo by / Photo: ADragan / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Smoking is always associated with health risks, from life-threatening issues like cardiovascular health and increased chances of cancer to more superfluous damage like skin and teeth health.

When it comes to pregnancy, smoking is one of the riskier things. What many people don’t realize, however, is that smoking can also have a negative impact on birth control.

The combination of cigarette smoking and birth control has been linked to an increased risk of developing blood clots and other types of cardiovascular disease. There are also a variety of methods of contraception, some of which on their own pose significant risk.

For example, the makers of NuvaRing were sued by various women a few years ago who argued that this particular method of birth control significantly increased their chances of getting blood clots and embolisms. All of these risks are increased in women over the age of 35 who have an existing medical condition.

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But what about smoking weed? How does this affect birth control? The short answer: experts are not entirely sure.

While THC has been linked to increased blood pressure, which could theoretically become a problem when combined with birth control, there aren’t too many studies to support this idea. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Hypertension found “a modest association between recent cannabis use and systolic blood pressure,” but emphasized the importance of waiting for further studies to investigate further.

Another fact for people to keep in mind is that some experts believe THC could interfere with your birth control and make it less effective, especially if your birth control is estrogen based. It appears that THC can actually increase estrogen levels, potentially putting a user at a higher risk of blood clots and stroke.

Close up of young romantic couple kissing and enjoying each other's company at home. A large percentage of people use some form of birth control. / Photo: iStock / Getty Images Plus Photo from iStock / Getty Images Plus

When it comes to CBD, studies show that the compound can interact with various substances that are ingested, including birth control pills.

According to CBD retailer Onyx + Rose, enzyme inhibitors like CBD can potentially increase breakthrough bleeding and decrease the effectiveness of estrogen-based contraceptives, leading to an increased risk of unwanted pregnancy.

A large percentage of people use some form of birth control, be it pills, condoms, or vaginal rings. Most can adapt these methods to their daily life and still manage to smoke cigarettes or cannabis. What people can do to stay as safe as possible is to evaluate all of their options, use the contraception recommended by a professional, and carefully consider which method of ingesting cannabis is best for them and their situation is best suited.

More research is clearly needed to keep people safe and to help everyone understand how cannabis interacts with the body. Until then, it is best to have an honest conversation with your doctor.

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The FreshToast.com, a US lifestyle website that provides lifestyle content and, through its partnership with 600,000 doctors, provides medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp through Skipta.

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