The consumption of marijuana or cannabis in the US is on the rise. This is due, in part, to the legalization of recreational cannabis in many states. More and more individuals in their reproductive age use cannabis for different purposes. As such, it is important to understand the effects of cannabis on male and female fertility. This will help medical professionals in advising individuals of childbearing age.
Almost everyone knows that cannabis use can have a negative effect on sperm cells. Scientists have begun digging deeper into the relationship. They are also extending their studies to include the effects of marijuana on women’s fertility.
Scientists focused on the establishment of a positive association between cannabis use and fertility in both men and women. The Canadian Medical Association Journal published the findings.
Cannabis contains tetrahydrocannabinol as a psychoactive substance. This substance communicates with endocannabinoid receptors. This results in a number of physiologic effects in the human body. Tetrahydrocannabinol can also have a negative impact on the normal communication pathways between organ systems. It is through this association that THC can have an adverse effect on the body’s capacity for normal reproduction. The resulting imbalance creates a disturbance in the normal functional capacity of the different reproductive organs.
Effects of Cannabis on Sperm Count
In 2015, scientists discovered that cannabis-consuming males who are also regular smokers showed a reduction in their total sperm count by as much as 29 percent.
What is interesting is that there are also researches made on human reproduction, showing the opposite effects of cannabis on sperm count. These studies show that male cannabis users have a higher sperm count compared to non-cannabis users.
What this suggests is that more empirical studies are a must. These should establish the effects of marijuana or cannabis on total sperm count as well as on overall health.
Cannabis and Normal Ovulation among Females
The research observed that women who smoked weed had a delay in the occurrence of their monthly ovulation by a few days.
The belief is that elevated levels of THC in the blood can lead to a reduction in the rate of estrogen synthesis. Lower estrogen levels can have a negative effect on the normal physiologic processes associated with female ovulation.
Cannabis and Fertility
To date, there are two principal effects of cannabis use on human reproductive health. These are lower sperm counts and ovulation dysfunction. Hence, cannabis can make it difficult for couples to bear a child.
The main effect of cannabis is the interference with the normal function of the endogenous cannabinoid system or the endocannabinoid system of the body. This system is vital in the maintenance of the different physiologic processes related to human reproduction. Chronic use of cannabis can damage the lining of the uterus, leading to embryonic implantation problems.
A recent research posited that couples who did not use weed or cannabis do not experience fertility problems. They also do not have issues conceiving a child.
Experts are evaluating the possible consequences of removing cannabis from the couple’s system. There is also a need to dig deeper into the unique advantages of withdrawing cannabis. The bigger issue that experts face is the quantification of tetrahydrocannabinol concentration.
Current data consist of self-reports. These do not provide accurate and reliable information when applied on a larger population. However, scientists recommend exercise, healthy diet, and healthy lifestyle. The scientific community also recommends consuming cannabis using methods other than smoking. They based the recommendation on the observation that smoking weed brings more harm than consuming marijuana through other methods.
Cannabis use during pregnancy may not be too risky. However, more adequate research is needed if people expect more accurate guidelines from the medical community.