A group of scientists has compiled existing studies on the effects of cannabis on fertility in both men and women and published the same in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
You may already be aware that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in cannabis, activates certain receptors in the human endocannabinoid system, which determines the functioning of the internal reproductive organs, apart from regulating mood, hunger, etc.
A study involving 1,215 men — out of whom 130 individuals smoked weed more than once a week in the past 3 months — found that the subjects who smoked witnessed a 29% reduction in the total sperm count. However, the cells were the same size and shape and apparently had no difficulty swimming.
Also, in women, the drug is thought to delay or prevent ovulation. This can be corroborated from a study featuring 201 women — out of whom 29 individuals consumed weed in the past 3 months — which found that smoking the drug seemed to put off ovulating for between 1.7 to 3.5 days on average.
Although the authors confirmed that smoking marijuana doesn’t affect a person’s ability to conceive, it may exacerbate already existing issues. To confirm the former inference, the group cited a U.S. survey that couldn’t find any link between struggling to conceive and smoking weed for once a month to every day. However, for couples already dealing with infertility, the changes in sperm count and ovulatory function associated with smoking weed could further increase their difficulty in conceiving.
Scientists, however, agree that the aforesaid results may not be completely reliable considering the fact that people often shy away from telling the truth when it comes to illegal drugs, which are further plagued by the stigma the society has attached with them for centuries.
In a nutshell, the group concluded that smoking marijuana could affect:
- Total sperm count
- Delay in ovulation
- A further reduced ability to conceive IF a couple is already dealing with the same
What smoking marijuana doesn’t seem to affect, include:
- The shape, size and swimming ability of the sperm cells
- The ability to conceive in healthy couples