Effects of Cannabis on the Male and Female Reproductive System, and Fertility
Use of cannabis may affect human fertility, depending on gender, general health, socioeconomic status and several other factors. Here, we look at existing research on cannabis and human fertility, in order to provide readers with an accurate, up-to-date summary of the current state of scientific knowledge.
To understand how cannabis may affect fertility, we must understand the effect it has specifically on males and on females. We’ll start by looking at the effects on the male reproductive system, and then focus on the more complicated effects on female fertility.
Cannabis use and male fertility
Some studies on the effect of cannabis use on male fertility have indicated that regular use may reduce spermatogenesis (the production of sperm in the testes) and testosterone levels.
In 2012, the American Society of Andrology published a review of research on the effects of illicit drug use on male fertility. The researchers found that in the majority of studies, it was consistently concluded that cannabis use had a negative impact on male reproductive physiology.
Another study in 1992 (Vescovi et al.) found that levels of luteinizing hormone(LH), an important pituitary gland hormone involved in reproductive function, were reduced in male chronic cannabis users compared to a non-cannabis-using, age-matched control group. A previous 1986 study (Cone et al.) also found a significant reduction in LH levels immediately after smoking cannabis.
And an even earlier study (Kolodny et al, 1974) into testosterone levels in “chronic” cannabis users found that 6 of 17 subjects had oligospermia (low sperm count), and that average testosterone levels in the cannabis-using group were just over half that of the control group. The effect of cannabis on testosterone levels was observed to be dose-dependent.
Sexing Cannabis: Is My Plant Male or Female?
The endocannabinoid system and male fertility
Clearly, the endocannabinoid system has a role to play in the regulation of processes critical to male reproductive health, such as sperm count, testosterone levels, and levels of other key hormones such as LH.
For healthy adult males, it seems that use of THC does indeed cause some negative effects on fertility, which tend to increase with higher doses. However, THC’s endogenous analogue anandamide appears to be critical to the functioning of the male reproductive system.
The 2002 study found that sperm cells would bind to the agonist CP-55,940, demonstrating the presence of CB1-receptors. The study also concluded that the presence of THC and a synthetic anandamide analogue, AM-356, both reduced sperm motility in vitro. Interestingly, it was found that AM-356 exerted a biphasic dose-dependent effect on sperm motility, causing inhibition at high doses but hyperactivity at low doses.
Anandamide and the “capacitation” of human sperm cells
In a 1994 study, it was found that mammalian sperm, including that of humans, is actually incapable of fertilizing oocytes (eggs) immediately after leaving the testes. It requires a period of exposure to certain crucial hormones, enzymes and proteins on its journey through the vas deferens and ejaculatory ducts of the male reproductive system (as well as the reproductive fluids of the female vagina and oviducts) before becoming “capacitated” and able to fertilize an egg.
The 2002 study provides strong evidence that the presence of the anandamide in the seminal fluid, and its ability to bind to the CB1-receptors of the spermatozoa, are key to the “capacitation” of sperm cells on their way to the ejaculatory ducts. It has to be present in the appropriate concentrations, though. If the level of anandamide is too high, it can instead have a dramatic inhibitory effect on the sperm cells’ ability to fertilize oocytes.
How Does Cannabis Affect the Digestive System?
Why is anandamide beneficial, while THC may not be?
Although THC and anandamide are both agonists of the CB1-receptors, they greatly differ in structure and therefore have different effects on certain metabolic processes. Anandamide has a much shorter half-life than THC (just a few minutes for anandamide compared to as long as 24 hours for THC). So while anandamide will degrade shortly after it contacts a receptor, THC can remain in nearby adipose tissue for much longer periods, and can continue to stimulate the receptors, ultimately causing overstimulation and potential negative effects.
As is so often the case with cannabinoid science, dosage is everything—and it may prove to be the case that very small doses of THC could benefit males who have reproductive issues that can be tied to low levels of anandamide.
Cannabis use and female fertility
While the effect of cannabis use on male fertility appears to be quite straightforward—with male chronic cannabis users being likely to experience some degree of impairment to reproductive physiology—the effect on the human female reproductive system is less clear-cut.
Female reproductive health is vastly complex in itself, as it not only comprises the ability to become pregnant but also the ability to carry healthy offspring to term and successfully give birth.
Past research has indicated that cannabis use may disrupt the menstrual cycle, suppress oogenesis (production of eggs in the ovaries) and impair embryo implantation and development. Chronic use of cannabis has also been repeatedly associated with lower birth weight (as much as a 50% increased risk), decreased birth weight and early (spontaneous) termination of pregnancy.
However, most of these findings are far from conclusive. Either the study included very few participants or confounding factors such as tobacco use aren’t taken into consideration. In fact, more recent research, like this review on infants who were exposed to marijuana in-utero, concludes there aren’t any adverse risks.
For example, a 1985 paper on foetal abnormality (Qazi et al.) after prenatal exposure to cannabis discussed five infants whose mothers acknowledged use of cannabis prior to and during pregnancy and who were born with various symptoms of growth retardation, neurological dysfunction and deformity. While it may provide helpful insight, such a small sample size is far from being enough to draw concrete conclusions, and correlation does not imply causation.
Other studies seen as providing evidence that cannabis use can cause foetal abnormalities are animal studies (Geber & Schramm 1969, Phillipset al, 1971) in which rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice were injected with vast doses of crude cannabis extract (as much as 666mg/kg in one instance!). Such massive doses of cannabis would be practically impossible for a human to consume through conventional means, and are essentially useless as a point of comparison.
In fact, many early studies that indicated a correlation between use of cannabis (or other controlled substances such as cocaine) have been later contradicted by findings suggesting that socioeconomic status and level of poverty are far more causative of low birth weight and poor developmental outcome than use of the substances themselves. This doesn’t imply that use of cannabis or other substances during pregnancy has no adverse effect, but does give weight to the idea that the risks have been overestimated and overemphasized due to politics and anti-drug bias.
Can Marijuana Seeds Make You Sterile?
With the number of research and developments conducted for marijuana seeds, you can say that there is proof that smoking marijuana seeds makes you sterile. Working well for both recreational and medicinal needs, what more can you ask for, right? Yes, marijuana seeds have numerous advantages in comparison to its disadvantages but little did we know that it has its limits too.
Back in the 18th century, two classifications of cannabis strains were introduced; cannabis Sativa and cannabis indica. Sativa was the idea of a Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus. Linnaeus conducted research about the roots of Sativa plants which is in Western Eurasia and Europe believed to be bred for its richness in seeds and fiber. The term Indica, on the other hand, was named by a French biologist, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. Lamarck conducted research about the roots of indica plants which is in India believed to be bred because of its hashish production, fiber, and seeds.
For centuries, cannabis has been one of the most utilized plants in the field of medicine. Its culture has been going places considering that it has been tested and proven to heal over a hundred conditions. Globally, there are only 25 states in which cannabis is legal for some are still testing the waters. Considering the potential cannabis upholds, there are still a lot of states which are trying to seek opportunities by conducting research and clinical trials. These researches will soon serve as the foundation in the field of medicine in treating conditions that are beyond laboratory-formulated medicine. Little did they know, that this plant has its limits too. With the number of advantages, it upholds are the disadvantages which are trickier to handle.
THE EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA SEEDS IN THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
The male and female reproductive system is the x and y for new living organisms’ production. That is what constitutes life’s characteristics. The ability to reproduce is a fundamental need in the living world. Producing female and male sex cells generate the function of the reproductive system with the assurance of maturation and growth of the offspring. The regulation of hormones is what comprises the activities of the reproductive organs.
We have conducted research for validation on how marijuana seeds affect your sterility or your inability to produce offsprings. How far could marijuana seeds affect reproduction? Is it more common for men or women? What are the factors which constitute these effects? All these queries are the most commonly asked ones by marijuana connoisseurs. Our objective is to answer all these queries as much as possible in order to provide sufficient information for researchers as well as for the users.
Monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO), surveys that were conducted 1990 up until 2010 are living proof that worldwide infertility rates remain stagnant. It does not progress nor alleviates. Proven that the public reproductive health has been the problem, neglected areas are the ones suffering not being able to conceive a child. These problems arise as caused by sexually transmitted diseases, human immunodeficiency virus, changes in lifestyle, and factors of such. Male and female are both candidates for infertility and there is no exception. Environmental factors may be an aspect, yes, but in the long run, there is not enough evidence to sustain these hypotheses.
Does marijuana intake affect fertility? Yes, it does. According to an experiment that was performed by the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ director of andrology, Dr. Lani J. Burkman, Ph.D., smoking marijuana affects the fertility of men rather than women. During the deed, the sperm cells were more affected than the brain. The sperm cells get burnt out. non-marijuana smokers during intercourse, the hyperactivity of the sperm cells are normal swimming up until they reach the fertilization of the egg cell. In comparison to marijuana smokers, hyperactivity burns out the sperm cells failing to fertilize the egg since it runs out of hyperactivation. Marijuana smokers’ semen count alleviates. The lower the semen levels, the lower the possibility of fertilization.
FACTORS WHICH CAUSE INFERTILITY IN LINE WITH MARIJUANA SEEDS
There are a lot of factors that constitute one’s sterility arising with the smoking of marijuana. Fertilization may work for some smokers while the majority would not. Fertility varies from one person to another. Some are more fertile than the others making it possible to reproduce. The millions of sperm count of men are what makes the explanation of fertility even more complicated.
* AGE – the older women and men get, the fewer chances they will be able to conceive a child. People who are in their early 20s are more fertile and it alleviates through aging.
* HORMONAL IMBALANCE – hormonal imbalance’s effects are usually weight gain or weight loss, strenuous workouts, irregular and or absent periods, abnormalities of hair growth, and acne development.
* ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS – this is comprised of one’s way of living. The factors include vices such as excessive smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and even too much exposure to toxins.
* BODY WEIGHT – too much or too low body fat can affect one’s fertility in line to the person acquiring hormonal imbalance.
* SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES – people who are sexually active and tend to have sexual intercourse unprotected with different people in the past are more prone to STDs. It is best to have yourself tested as early as possible in order to prevent future complications.
According to Women’s Mental Health, these are just some of the factors affecting infertility or sterility in addition to marijuana smoking. The habitual smoking of marijuana lowers the concentration and count of the sperm of up to 28%. It does not stop there, the psychoactive effects as caused by tetrahydrocannabinol effect and damage the reproductive system. If you are planning to conceive a child or improve your fertility, better yet start alleviating marijuana smoking. It takes three months or so for sperm reproduction. If you want to improve your chances for production, you have to quit a few bad habits of yours and develop your lifestyle. Bear in mind that the numerous advantages marijuana upholds come with disadvantages that will affect your way of living in the near future.
The team of Dr. Burkman studied the effects of marijuana smoking on men rather than women. Men are more affected than women considering that it affects the activity, consistency, and reproduction of the sperm. The effect of smoking marijuana on women is that their reproductive fluids are infused with marijuana’s contents such as tetrahydrocannabinol. When incorporated, the exposure of THC will affect her oviduct and will go into her cervix which makes the whole process of reproduction beyond the bounds of possibility. If the sperm has no track of THC, the THC that stayed in her reproductive organs will affect the transition of the sperm into fertilizing the egg cell.
What they highly suggest is that if you and your partner want to get pregnant, alleviating vices including smoking marijuana. Your body will take time to adjust to withdrawing the contents of marijuana and will eventually increase the possibility of fertilization. Prevention is way better than withdrawal. Chronic use of marijuana has its advantages, yes, but keep in mind the disadvantages it is accustomed to too. If marijuana smokers are well-informed about how it affects their reproductive system, the rate of fertility will alleviate. But apparently, people are just aware of the fact that it promotes physical and mental relaxation, treatment to stress-related syndromes, a cure for diseases which are beyond the capability of the field of medicine, and alleviates side-effects as caused by acquired conditions. Some types of marijuana seeds even boost sexual drive improving their
performance. An idea may come into mind too. Since it affects reproduction and fertilization, will it be a suggested birth control? Yes and no. The level of fertility of every person varies and there is not enough evidence to support this hypothesis.
If you have plans on building your own family, what we highly suggest is to avoid the intake of marijuana of any kind as early as now. Our reproductive system is very sensitive when it comes to the absorption of harmful drugs, smoking of nicotine, and other environmental factors inclined to relieve stress. Yes, marijuana seeds can make you sterile. Less sperm to be delivered during the deed of sexual intercourse means very low chances of being able to reproduce. It affects both men and women. The more it is exposed to these contents, the harder it is for your body to adjust when you want to quit these vices.
Abstinence from marijuana if you want to conceive a child is the best gift you can give to your body. From sexual enhancement, improved performance to preventive addiction, what more can you ask for? Do not get discouraged from continuously trying for it really takes time. The important thing is that you should keep your mind and body healthy at all times so that when the time comes, you and your partner will be ready.