Exposure to cannabis vapor causes lower sperm count in male mice and their offspring, study finds

The study used 30 male mice - 15 were exposed to cannabis vapor three times a day for 10 days and 15 were not exposed at allScientists compared sperm counts among the animals and found those exposed had a lower count, along with sperm that moved slowerThe mice exposed to cannabis were bred with female mice that were notThe male offspring also had lower sperm counts and evidence of DNA damage 

Using cannabis vapor is found to lower sperm count and the speed in which they move male users and their sons, a new study finds.

Researchers at Washington State University conducted the study with mice: Some were exposed to cannabis vapor three times a day for 10 consecutive days, while the rest were not, and then sperm counts between the two groups were compared.

The team found that immediately after the exposure period, the mice’s sperm motility decreased, and after one month, sperm counts were lower.

Male offspring of the mice exposed to cannabis vapor were also found with a lowered sperm count and motility, along signs of with DNA damage – even though the sons did not inhale the drug.

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Chemicals DEHP and PCB 153, which are both found in clothing, carpets and upholstery, can damage sperm quality by upsetting the balance of hormones in men's and dogs' bodies, researchers at the University of Nottingham have found

Researchers have revealed that cannabis has a relaxing effect on sperm leaving it ‘mellow’ and potentially cutting counts of the cells by a third

Kanako Hayashi, who is an associate professor in WSU’s School of Molecular Biosciences and the paper’s corresponding author, said in a statement: ‘This is a warning flag. You may take cannabis for some kind of momentary stress, but it could affect your offspring.’

A total of 30 mice were used in this study – 15 were exposed to cannabis vape and 15 were not.

After determining how the mice’s sperm was impacted the team then bred several of those exposed to cannabis vapor with unexposed females.

Not only did the male offspring show the same lower sperm counts and motility, but there was also evidence of DNA damage and disruption related to sperm cell development.

The team found that immediately after the exposure period, the mice's sperm motility decreased, and after one month, sperm counts were lower. Male offspring of the mice exposed to cannabis vapor were also found with a lowered sperm count and motility

The team found that immediately after the exposure period, the mice’s sperm motility decreased, and after one month, sperm counts were lower. Male offspring of the mice exposed to cannabis vapor were also found with a lowered sperm count and motility

‘We were not expecting that the sperm would be completely gone or that motility would be completely offset, but the reduction in sperm count and motility of the offspring, the sons, is probably a direct effect of the cannabis exposure to father,’ said Kanako.

A third-generation, the grandsons of the exposed male mice, did not show the same impacts, however, which suggests that the cannabis exposure impacted the second-generation mice at a developmental stage.

Not only does cannabis use slow down sperm, but a study in 2017 found it makes them ‘swim in circles.’

Another study from the University of South Australia found that there are differences between the way marijuana users and non-users walk.

Those who smoke the drug tend to have stiffer shoulders, more flexible elbows and quicker knees – which move faster than those of non-users.

While differences in movements were detected, there were no significant differences between the balancing abilities and neurological functions.

Along with impacting fertility, smoke cannabis can also increase the likelihood of suicidal thoughts.

Researchers from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) studied data on the mental health and drug habits of more than 281,000 young adults.

They found that only 3 percent of people who did not smoke cannabis had suicidal thoughts, but this rose to 14 percent for those with a ‘cannabis use disorder’ — a near five-fold increase.

However, these stats were observed for people without depression, and the figures for those with depression were even more alarming.

Exactly half of the adults with both depression and a cannabis use disorder — defined as problematic cannabis use — were revealed to have suicidal thoughts.


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