Scientists have warned that smoking weed can affect fertility in both men and women. They say that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant – can have an effect on the reproductive organs. For example, it’s believed to reduce the sperm count in men.
Writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers have presented studies on how marijuana impacts fertility. ‘For most couples, smoking marijuana does not affect their ability to conceive,’ the journal says. ‘However, for couples with infertility, the changes in ovulatory function and sperm count associated with smoking marijuana could compound their difficulty with conceiving.’
Here are five things the scientists want you to know about marijuana and fertility:
1 The active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), acts on the receptors found in the hypothalamus, pituitary and internal reproductive organs in both males and females.
2 Marijuana use can decrease sperm count. Smoking marijuana more than once a week was associated with a 29% reduction in sperm count in one study.
3 Marijuana may delay or prevent ovulation. In a small study, ovulation was delayed in women who smoked marijuana more than 3 times in the 3 months before the study.
4 Marijuana may affect the ability to conceive in couples with subfertility or infertility but does not appear to affect couples without fertility issues.
5 More, and better quality, research is needed into the effects of marijuana on fertility.
The drug is currently being adopted in various parts of the United States and could one day be legalised here in the UK. However, just for the avoidance of any doubt smoking weed while pregnant is a really bad idea. The NHS says that according to research, using cannabis regularly during pregnancy could affect your baby’s brain development. Similarly, regularly smoking cannabis with tobacco increases the risk of your baby being born small or premature.