Marijuana may be bad for your junk: Weed may effect the testicles and hijack sperm production, study suggests
- Studies on marijuana’s effects on sex and reproduction have yielded mixed results
- Some have suggested heavy pot users have poorer quality sperm
- A new Danish study is the first to find the the central nervous system’s cannabis receptors are in the testicles, too
- This system plays a role in how sperm is produced and matures
- Researchers say marijuana may effect these receptors and therefore sperm
Men who are heavy cannabis users sometimes have poorer quality sperm – and Danish scientists may now know why.
THC, the psychoactive part of marijuana, acts on the human body’s endocannabinoid system, which turns out to play a key role in how testicles produce sperm, University of Copenhagen researchers discovered in a small study.
When they tested tissue from the testicle of 15 men, they found pieces of the cannabis systems.
The scientists believe that marijuana may overwhelm this receptor system and disrupt the signals that tell the body to make sperm and encourage its healthy development.
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen discovered that the endocannabinoid system, which is triggered by marijuana and underlies the ‘high’ feeling, is in male testicles and involved in sperm production. This suggests marijuana might disrupt how sperm is made
Plenty of pot lovers and scientists alike have wondered what marijuana might do for their sex lives.
Most drugs – including alcohol, cocaine, antidepressants and opioids – quite clearly either have positive and negative effects.
But the jury is still out on marijuana, which some say is a mood killer and others say can be an aphrodisiac.
Equally important to how it affects desire for sex is how the substance – now legal for medical use in 33 states, for recreational use in 11, and used by one in seven US adults – affects sexual function.
In other words: what cannabis does to your junk.
Attempts to answer this question, too, have yielded an interesting mix of results.
Some studies have found that men who use cannabis are generally more fertile. Others have elaborated on that to find these men have higher sperm counts.
Still other studies have suggested stoners have stronger sperm.
And on the other end of the spectrum, numerous studies have found pot lovers are more likely to have impaired fertility and abnormal sperm.
Net-net, there may be a kind of Goldie Locks effect that occurs between cannabis and the male reproductive system.
In general, weed users may reap some fertility benefits – but heavy users lose them.
That suggested to the Danish researchers that the cannaabis receptor system in human body might be involved in the production of sperm.
So, they decided to examine the tissue in the testicles, where sperm is produced, for signs of the endocannabinoid system.
Previous studies had looked at human sperm itself, and of animal, tissues but not many had probed human tissue.
As they’d suspected, the University of Copenhagen research team found clear patterns of the endocannabinoid system in the testicle tissue samples taken from 15 men – and they were similar to what has previously been seen in sperm.
Because THC in marijuana acts on this same system, the researchers say that using too much of it may well disrupt the ability of the testes to produce healthy sperm.