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Aurora magazine

Does excess cannabis reduce fertility?

According to a study led by Professor Susan Murphy at Duke University, too much cannabis could reduce male fertility. THC could in fact condition the DNA methylation of spermatozoa. The result? Less healthy gametes and less able to fertilize an oocyte, triggering the embryo development process. In addition, cannabis could significantly reduce sperm count. For this reason, the teacher advises to cut the consumption at least six months before starting to try to have a child.

The use of cannabis immediately before and during pregnancy is at the center of a large number of studies. To date, it is unclear how the substance affects embryonic development. In this case, however, at the center of the study there was the impact on male fertility rather than on the embryo itself. Researchers have in fact analyzed the effects of consumption on animal models and on 24 human volunteers.

Scholars compared the sperm of those who used cannabis regularly, those who had stopped for six months and those who had used it no more than 10 times in their lives. The semen of men with high levels of THC in the urine showed much more genetic anomalies than others. The genes involved would have an important impact on fertility and, it is thought, also on the possible development of an embryo.

The next step will be to gather a much larger group of volunteers. In this way there will be more material to evaluate the real effects of the substance on male fertility.