Men who smoke marijuana may have higher sperm counts than those who have never used the drug, a surprising new study suggests. The findings are "not consistent" with previous research, which has suggested that marijuana has a harmful effect on men's testicular function, the researchers said. However, the study, published in the Feb.
For ages, the conventional wisdom about marijuana and male reproductive health was that one did not benefit the other. Weed was kryptonite for healthy sperm; don't partake in one if you want the other. Scientific studies backed that up.
Men who have smoked marijuana may be more fertile than those who have never touched it, suggests a new study published in the journal Human Reproduction. While research about marijuana and fertility is limited, some past papers have suggested that it might harm semen quality. Cigarette smoking is also known to be a risk factor for both female and male infertility.
Is marijuana smoking associated with semen quality, sperm DNA integrity or serum concentrations of reproductive hormones among subfertile men? Men who had ever smoked marijuana had higher sperm concentration and count and lower serum FSH concentrations than men who had never smoked marijuana; no differences were observed between current and past marijuana smokers. Studies of marijuana abuse in humans and animal models of exposure to marijuana suggest that marijuana smoking adversely impacts spermatogenesis.
Reactions to research published in Human Reproduction that states men who had ever smoked marijuana had high sperm concentration and count than men who had never smoked marijuana. In subjects, each taking the same moderate dose of marijuana daily over only several weeks, their sperm quality plummeted. Sperm motility decreased, acrosome reactions failed to occur and worst of all, sperm counts dropped and the nurse Sertoli cells that help to make sperm disappeared irreversibly.
However, that doesn't mean that smoking weed can help couples get pregnant. Men concerned about their fertility are often warned away from marijuana use, which has been linked to lower sperm counts in previous research. The study also found that there was no significant difference in sperm concentrations between current and former marijuana smokers, and that—among marijuana smokers—greater use was associated with higher testosterone levels in the blood.
CHICAGO -- Men who smoked marijuana had significantly degraded sperm quality and testicular function, worse than tobacco users and comparable to men with diagnosed infertility, according to a long-term Brazilian study. Marijuana use also was associated with reduced testicular volume and an increased rate of nonobstructive azoospermia, clinical features often found in male infertility. Marijuana's deleterious effects on reproductive parameters resulted from increased production of reactive oxygen species ROSas seminal ROS concentrations were 20 times higher in marijuana users as compared with smokers, reported Jorge Hallak, MD, of the University of Sao Paulo, at the American Urological Association AUA annual meeting. Basic semen parameters are not sufficient to identify changes of magnitude in sperm cell function.
If you've been confused by the facts surrounding the impact smoking weed can have on a man's sperm count, you're not alone. Here's what experts are saying. Marijuana use in America is clearly booming—10 states have made its use legal, and 9 more states projected to make it legal in
The unexpected finding that men with a history of cannabis smoking had higher sperm counts has been widely reported after it was published in a leading fertility journal. Around half of men had tried, or currently used, cannabis and the researchers found just 5 per cent had clinically low sperm counts, compared to 12 per cent of those who had never tried it. The authors suggest that this could be a result of cannabis on the body's endocannabinoid system which sends chemical messages in the brain and has been associated with regulating fertility. Professor Sheena Lewis, from Queen's University Belfast, said her lab had studied the effects of cannabis use at similar levels reported by the Harvard team.