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Over the years cannabis has been touted as being many things. If we are completely honest, some are totally true, some strains can make you lethargic and unproductive, but for every true statement about cannabis, there are also some wild accusations. For many years smoking cannabis has been considered detrimental to conception. This concept has applied to both men and women coming from numerous studies on the subject as years have passed.

In one foul swoop, that theory has been turned on its head as the latest study into the topic has found that marijuana use by either sex does not lower a couple's chance of getting pregnant. With such differing revelations, it does start to make you wonder about the integrity of previous research projects and what else we might yet have to discover about cannabis.


Published by “The Journal Of Epidemiology and Community Health” (JECH), their proposal was a review to evaluate any links between marijuana use and the probability of conception. The reason, that the timing of this topic is so profound, is driven by an increased legalization of cannabis across the world. Many states in America now consider the drug to be legal for personal use. Even Canada is moving to legalize the drug later this year across the country. If previous studies into the subject where conclusive, then that could spell disaster for conception rates.

Weed is considered the most used recreational drug among couples of reproductive ages, so Lauren Wise, professor of epidemiology “thought it was an opportune time to investigate the association between marijuana use and fertility.” With infertility costing the U.S healthcare system upwards of $5 billion dollars a year, you can see why the focus was necessary.

Couple Fertility Cannabis


Taking a sample size of 4,194 women aged 21 to 45 across both America and Canada the study lasted for 4 years. All candidates were in stable relationships and asked to self-assess completing a number of surveys throughout that time period. Amongst the four thousand women they were also invited to ask their male partners to take part, 1,125 agreed to do so. These self-completed surveys were completed every 8 weeks for one year until the candidates either dropped out, became pregnant or started additional fertility treatments.

They deduced, that whilst 12% of female patients and 14% of male patients revealed marijuana use in the two months leading up to the original survey, during the 12 cycles of follow up the conception probabilities between couples that did and didn't use cannabis were very similar.

This conclusion does not come with some warnings though. Whilst it helped to disprove previous studies, it did not conclusively prove, that there was not a discernible impact on fertility as a result of smoking cannabis. The researchers were quick to point out, that the nature of a web-based study provided some variables. It can be hard to quantify the validity of the data when candidates are filling the information out themselves, nor were they able to identify if users that said "yes" to cannabis use were regular or sporadic in doing so.


The closing comment was, that “future studies with day-specific data on marijuana use might be able to distinguish acute from chronic effects of marijuana use”. Given that there is still much to learn about cannabis and the impact on our fertility, many medical societies still advise avoidance of the drug in anyone who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant. It seems, that not a day goes by without a counter-argument to some of the damning research previously taking place into the effects of cannabis. The fact still remains though, that despite these revelations, much much more insight is needed for better or worse.

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