Marijuana May Block Pregnancy by Delaying Implantation
The increased legalization of marijuana in the United States has made its effects appear innocuous. However, its use during sentinel moments of fetal and newborn development may be anything but—in fact, marijuana may block pregnancy by delaying implantation.
The literature is mixed. Certainly, medical issues such as nausea and vomiting are stymied by marijuana use (the potential benefit). In fact, a study found that nearly 70% of marijuana dispensaries in Colorado recommend cannabis products to manage symptoms related to morning sickness.
However, when it comes to marijuana use, what must be tallied is the benefit to the mother and the risk to the fetus.
There are approximately 400 different chemicals that compose “marijuana” as we know it. Additionally, there are 60 other components called cannabinoids and endocannabinoids (the synthetic byproducts). Endocannabinoids move across the cells readily, like a shuttle from one side of the street to the other. These endocannabinoids play diverse roles in biological systems.
We have receptors on our cells, naturally, which means that endocannabinoids can affect the brain, musculoskeletal system, and of course, the uterus. It’s known that the receptor is expressed (present) differently in the endometrium. There is a higher concentration of the receptor at the time and place of implantation—suggesting that it may be involved in promoting and directing implantation. So, it’s possible that the introduction of cannabis, cannabinoids, and their byproducts (ie: THC and frank marijuana smoking) can alter implantation.
These products may lead to implantation delays and lengthen time to pregnancy.
The team at Fertility Centers of New England is here to answer your questions about health and wellness during pregnancy. Our goal is to help our patients have healthy, happy babies. If you’re have more questions on how marijuana may block pregnancy by delaying implantation, please get in touch with us. Our fertility doctors can identify the right treatment and help your family grow.
*Updated on April 22, 2022