Men who have smoked marijuana are more fertile

It could be that a little bit of pot boosts sperm production a relation that reverses at higher

One 2014 study surveyed almost 2,000 British men and found that men under 30 with less than four per cent normal sperm were twice as likely to have used marijuana in the past three months.

The trouble is, not all of the results match up, and this makes it hard for users to make informed decisions.

A 2015 study found that Danish men who smoked marijuana a few times a week had lower sperm counts. In addition, a study from a year ago found that marijuana's active ingredient, THC, can change the structure and development of a sperm's DNA.

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.

It's possible not all the men came clean about their use of weed, given the drug's illegal status during most of the study (Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016).

A long-term study from Harvard University has now placed this past research on even shakier ground, tipping the equation in the exact opposite direction.

Researchers collected 1,143 samples from 662 men between 2000 and 2017.

One explanation is that the men in the study who smoked marijuana already had higher sperm counts than those who did not.

"These unexpected findings highlight how little we know about the reproductive health effects of marijuana, and in fact of the health effects of marijuana in general", explained study co-author Jorge Chavarro in a statement.

"Secondly, the study is a great opportunity to spark interest on investigating the health effects of marijuana particularly with the backdrop of increasing legalization of recreational use in the US coupled with a greater perception that marijuana poses no health risks".

In total, 55 percent of the men admitted to trying cannabis at some point in their lives, while 44 percent said they were regular users in the past.

To the researchers' surprise, though, the cannabis users had noticeably higher sperm counts on average (62.7 million sperm per milliliter of semen) than did the men who said the never used cannabis (45.4 million sperm per milliliter of semen).

It also didn't seem to matter whether the men had smoked in the past, or if they were current smokers, the difference remained the same.

Additionally, the hormone levels of these men were also different. "Higher testosterone levels are also related to slightly higher semen quality and sperm counts".

Lastly, there's also the reality that many men in this study might have been reluctant to admit they've smoked pot.

What's more, only 5 percent of the marijuana smokers had lower-than-normal sperm concentrations - that is, lower than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.

This is not what the authors were anticipating, but they are taking their results with a grain of salt.

However, the effects of more moderate marijuana use on sperm counts among men is less clear.

For now, there's just not enough evidence to make any conclusions about the use of marijuana on male sperm.



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