Mar 19, 2019 Mark Gold, MD
Limited information exists on marijuana use and male reproductive health. A recent study from Duke University evaluated differences in sperm quality resulting from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure in both rats and humans. Findings suggest that paternal marijuana use, prior to conception, may present epigenetic risks to potential offspring.
- Individuals who used marijuana can have higher and also can have significantly lower sperm concentrations, compared to those who did not, posing potential complications for fertility.
- THC-exposed sperm was associated with significantly altered DNA, in both rat and human samples.
- Associations were even stronger among individuals with higher levels of THC in their urine, implying a “dose-response relationship” such that chronic marijuana users may be impacted more severely.
- Authors identified three unique potential genetic pathways modified by THC exposure.