Smoking cannabis can cause genetic changes to men’s SPERM, study warns

It’s often portrayed as one of the safest drugs, but it seems that cannabis may have some worrying side effects on men’s fertility.

A new study by researchers from Duke University has found that men who smoke cannabis have a lower sperm count.

In the study, the researchers analysed the sperm of men who had smoked cannabis at least weekly for the previous six months.

Their sperm were compared to those who hadn’t used marijuana in the past six months, and not more than 10 times in their lifetime.

The analysis revealed that the higher the concentration of THC in the men’s urine, the lower the sperm count, and the more noticeable the genetic changes to their sperm were.

THC appeared to impact several different genes, including those that are involved in helping bodily organs reach their full size and those that regulate growth during development.

Dr Susan Murphy, who led the study, said: “In terms of what it means for the developing child, we just don’t know.”

Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that men should stop smoking cannabis for at least six months before trying to start a family.

Dr Murphy added: “In the absence of a larger, definitive study, the best advice would be to assume these changes are going to be there.

We don’t know whether they are going to be permanent. I would say as a precaution, stop using cannabis for at least six months before trying to conceive.”

 

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