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Study Reveals Cannabis Use Might Not Lower Sperm Count As Previously Thought

Clark Sparky 8 Feb 2019

It's unclear if this is good news or bad news for pot smokers, but it's definitely news.

Lowers Sperm Count

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If you've been anywhere near marijuana at some point in your life, then you've probably heard at least someone say that it lowers a man's sperm count.

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Not So Fast

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Well now it seems that may have been a lie all along, just like people claiming it is a gateway drug. A new study suggests smoking pot may actually have the opposite effect.

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Higher Counts

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A study of 600 men at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston found that those who have, or still do, smoke marijuana actually had higher sperm counts than men who have never used the drug.

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What This Means

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The head researcher of the study, Dr. Jorge Chavarro, explained why this is important:

"These unexpected findings highlight how little we know about the reproductive health effects of marijuana, and in fact of the health effects of marijuana in general.

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Findings

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Of the 600 men in the study, 66 percent either have used marijuana in the past or are current users. Dr. Chavarro determined that those men who have used the drug had slightly higher sperm counts and concentration than those who haven't.

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More Testosterone

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Dr. Chavarro speculates that the results might not actually be from smoking weed, but from users naturally having more testosterone:

"It is well-documented that within normal ranges, high testosterone levels are associated with greater engagement in risk-seeking behaviors, including drug use. Higher testosterone levels are also related to slightly higher semen quality and sperm counts."

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But Cocaine ...

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The study focused on the effect of other drugs on sperm count beyond just marijuana. It found that cocaine use does seem to negatively affect sperm counts.

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Surprising

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The doctor says they were surprised by their findings, and originally expected to discover the opposite:

"We could have found what we thought we were going to find, and maybe wouldn't have been as surprised and would have ended up writing a very different paper.

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More Research

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All of this means that much more research needs to be done:

"The fact that we showed the exact opposite forced us to look very, very deeply into the marijuana health effects literature. There is not that much.

"We are operating mostly on assumptions and good intentions and hunches."

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