In a surprising turn of events, it appears that men who smoke cannabis are actually more fertile than their counterparts, despite being told for years that cannabis negatively affects virility. That according to a new study, contradicting former ones.
We’ve already covered how cannabis affects women’s sexual function, now it’s time to take a look at the men. For years we’ve been hearing that cannabis can make men less fertile by slowing down their sperm, but a recent study from Harvard University determined that men who smoked cannabis, either currently or in the past, had a “significantly higher sperm concentration” compared to those who had never tried it.
Cannabis increases sperm count
The research team collected 1,143 semen samples from 662 men who were enrolled at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center between 2000 and 2017. Out of the group, the 365 men who had smoked cannabis before had about 63 million sperm per milliliter of semen. This was significantly higher than the 297 men who had never tried cannabis before, which averaged about 45 million sperm per milliliter.
Confounding factors were accounted for as well, such as age, abstinence, cigarette smoking, or consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and cocaine – and the results still stand. The study also found that the men who smoked cannabis had higher levels of testosterone than those who used it less often or not at all – an average of 8 nanograms per deciliter more.
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For reference, a normal sperm count is at least 15 million/mL and normal testosterone levels range from 270 to 1070 ng/dL with an average of 679 ng/dL, according to the World Health Organization.
These unexpected findings highlight how little we actually know about the effects of cannabis on the human reproductive system. What’s been touted as common knowledge for years – that cannabis has a negative impact on sperm count – turned out to be incorrect, at least for now… So, who knows what else we’re wrong about.
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