Surprising study finds that marijuana use may not hurt male fertility

  • Surprising study finds that marijuana use may not hurt male fertility

Surprising study finds that marijuana use may not hurt male fertility

Instead, they found the opposite.

Men who had ever smoked marijuana had significantly higher sperm concentrations and sperm counts, as well as higher testosterone levels, compared to men who had never smoked weed.

Among men who had ever smoked marijuana, those who used it more often had higher testosterone levels than those who used it less often. The men in the new study, however, were smoking, on average, two joints a week.

Chavarro can't fully explain his team's unexpected findings, though he has a few hypotheses.

They suggest that the association may not show any cause-and effect relationship, but rather reflect the influence of the male hormone, testosterone, on both sperm count and risk-taking behavior, such as smoking cannabis.

More research is needed to clarify the issue due to the inconclusive surveys, according to Life Science.

But the study does highlight how little researchers know about the effects of marijuana on reproductive health, study senior author Dr. Jorge Chavarro, an associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, said in a statement.

While the findings are certainly intriguing, it's important to note, as the researchers do, that the study is not without its limitations, and the results certainly don't mean that marijuana is great for your reproductive health - previous research has linked it to reduced fertility, after all.

But American researchers found benefits in small amounts of the drug.

In the new study, the researchers analyzed details from 662 men who were evaluated for infertility from 2000 to 2017 at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center. Second, because the study's sampling wasn't diverse - 88% of the men were Caucasian, 84% were college educated, and the average age was 36.3 years old - the results may not apply to the general population.

Just over half (55 per cent) reported having smoked marijuana at some point.

Of those, 44 percent said they had taken the drug in the past, and 11 percent classified themselves as current users.

There were no significant differences in sperm concentrations between current and past marijuana smokers.

"So, the relations we see between cannabis smoking, sperm counts and testosterone levels are because men with higher testosterone, within normal levels, have higher sperm counts and are more likely to smoke cannabis".

Past studies have claimed that using the drug could lower a man's sperm count.

The findings, published in the journal Human Reproduction, also showed that only 5% of marijuana smokers had sperm concentrations below 15 million/mL, which is the World Health Organization's threshold for "normal" levels, compared with 12% of the non-smokers.

Studies in animals suggest endogenous, or natural cannabinoids play a critical role in the creation of sperm. It's possible THC from pot could enhance spermatogenesis, but after a certain level the effect would be reversed, Chavarro said.

Lawmakers have become a lot more chill about marijuana recently.

None of these limitations or considerations invalidate study's findings, it's just a sign, as Chavarro said, that we need to study cannabis more (the fact that cannabis is still considered more risky than opioids by the USA government remains a roadblock to that research, incidentally).