Marijuana Could Improve Male Fertility, Offspring Health
Previous studies link smoking marijuana and male infertility, but a recent study begs to differ. In a report from WebMD, a study led by Lani J. Burkman, Ph.D. of the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences revealed that smoking marijuana can not only get its male users high, but also their sperm.
Due to the hyperactivation of sperm, they tend to be burned out even before reaching the egg. However, the new study suggests that marijuana receptor or cannabinoid receptor (CB2) may actually help regulate the creation of sperm. This suggests that marijuana can be used as a therapeutic treatment for male infertility.
The study, published in the journal FASEB, focuses on the improvement of male fertility. In a press release via EurekAlert, Paola Grimaldi, Ph.D. from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and one of the researchers involved in the study, said that 15 percent of couples worldwide are affected by infertility and male factors account for almost 20 to 70 percent.
For the study, the researchers studied three groups of mice. The third group of mice served as the control group and was given a saline solution while the first and second groups were treated with a specific activator of the CB2 receptor and a specific inhibitor of the CB2 receptor respectively.
After 14 to 21 days, the group treated with the CB2 activator has shown increased rate of spermatogenesis, which is the production of sperm from the primordial germ cells. Meanwhile, the group treated with CB2 inhibitor showed a slower rate of sperm production, suggesting that a tight balance of CB2 activation is required for the proper progression of spermatogenesis.
In a statement via Science Daily, Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., further said that stimulating the beneficial effects of endogenous cannabinoids on spermatogenesis is a promising new idea for the treating infertility in men.