According to a study on fertility at the Massachusetts General Hospital, marijuana users produce more sperm
While doctors have long claimed that marijuana use impaired male fertility, Human Reproduction magazine published an investigation conducted between 2000 and 2017 at the Massachusetts General Hospital fertility clinic that concluded that marijuana users produce more sperm cells.
Jorge Chavarro, one of the authors of the study, says that this discovery shows how little we still know about the effects of cannabis on reproductive health. In order to carry out this research, 1143 semen samples from 662 men with an average age of 36 years were studied. 317 of them also contributed blood to analyze the reproductive hormones. The results indicated that the semen of the men who had smoked at least a couple of pores throughout their life, had a concentration of 62.7 million sperm per milliliter while in those who had never used marijuana in their lives, the concentration was 45.4 million sperm per milliliter.
Another important fact is that of the men who had smoked at least two marijuana joints in their lives, only 5% had concentrations below 15 million sperm per milliliter, which is the threshold that the WHO (World Organization of Health) considered as normal level. Interestingly, in men who have never used cannabis, the percentage amounts to 12%. And it is even more significant that among smokers there were no significant differences between those who used marijuana in the past and those who continue to consume it.
Researchers who have conducted this study warn of its limitation for various reasons. Sperm samples were taken from men who had gone to a fertility clinic. It is not yet possible to show that the data in this study can be extrapolated to all men in general. It is also possible that some of the participants in the study lied about the use of marijuana since for several years during which the investigation was conducted the use of marijuana was illegal.
The study also concluded that testosterone levels in marijuana smokers were higher, an indication that cannabis increases the hormonal burden.
Feiby Nassan, lead author of the study, says the findings were contrary to the hypothesis they had as a reference since everyone believed that cannabis decreased sperm count. However, the findings are congruent with two different interpretations. On the one hand, it has been discovered that moderate marijuana users produce more sperm due to the effect of cannabis on the endocannabinoid system, which plays an important role in fertility. But these benefits are lost when cannabis use is abusive. The other interpretation is that men with higher levels of testosterone tend to risk behaviors, including the use of marijuana. In any case, what seems to be a reality is that marijuana users produce more sperm.