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does weed affect birth control

Are there risks to combining weed and birth control?

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

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    Smoking always comes with health hazards, from life-threatening issues such as cardiovascular health and increased cancer odds, to more superfluous damages, like the health of skin and teeth.

    When talking about pregnancies, smoking is one of the more risky things to do. What a lot of people don’t know, though, is that smoking can also have a negative impact on birth control.

    Are there risks to combining weed and birth control? Back to video

    The combination of smoking cigarettes and birth control has been linked to an increased risk of developing blood clots and other kinds of cardiovascular disorders. There are also a wide variety of birth control methods, with some posing significant levels of risk all by themselves.

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    For example, a couple of years ago, the makers of NuvaRing were sued by different women who argued that this particular method of birth control increased their odds of getting blood clots and embolisms by a significant margin. All of these risks are increased for women over the age of 35 who have some sort of pre-existing condition.

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    But what about smoking weed? What effect does that have on birth control? The short answer: Experts aren’t quite sure.

    While THC has been associated with elevated blood pressure, which could theoretically become an issue when combined with birth control, there haven’t been too many studies that 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 other studies to investigate further.

    Another fact that people should consider is that some experts believe THC could mess with your birth control and make it less effective, especially if the birth control is oestrogen-based. It appears that THC can actually increase oestrogen levels, potentially putting a user at higher risk of blood clots and stroke.

    A large percentage of people are using some kind of birth control. / Photo: iStock / Getty Images Plus Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus

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

    According to CBD retailer Onyx + Rose, enzyme inhibitors such as CBD can potentially increase breakthrough bleeding and decrease oestrogen-based contraceptive effectiveness, leading to an increased risk of unwanted pregnancy.

    A large percentage of people are using some kind of birth control, whether it’s pills, condoms or vaginal rings. Most can adapt these methods to their daily lives, still managing to smoke cigarettes or cannabis. What people can do to stay as safe as possible is to evaluate all of their options, to use birth control that is recommended to them by a professional and to carefully consider which method of ingesting cannabis works best for them and their situation.

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

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