While cannabis myths are being busted left and right, a new study reveals there may be some truth to the old wive’s tale that smoking pot may affect male fertility.
The crossover study, recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, determined that smoking marijuana at least one time each week may significantly lower sperm count.
To determine these numbers, the study analyzed the semen, blood and physical assessment of 1,215 Danish men between the ages of 18 and 28. These samples were taken between 2008 and 2012 when these young men were being considered for military service.
During the compulsory assessment, each participant answered several questions regarding the use of recreational drugs, including cannabis, during the 3 months prior to the examination. Participants were given the answer choices of “no use”, “use once or less per week”, or “use twice or more per week.”
Those who reported smoking at least once per week were found to have 28 percent lower sperm concentration and a 29 percent lower total sperm count. Those responding that they used cannabis more than once per week with other recreational drugs were found to have a 52 percent lower sperm concentration and a 55 percent lower total sperm count.
Study author Tina Kold Jensen, of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark reported that this much of a difference was “quite a lot.” The study concluded:
“Our findings are of public interest as marijuana use is common and may be contributing to recent reports of poor semen quality.”
More research needs to be completed on this topic to really identify the link between cannabis consumption and male fertility. While it is definitely a terribly irresponsible idea to use marijuana consumption as your primary method of birth control, it should also probably be avoided by those trying to conceive.