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Does Cannabis Lower Sperm Count?

Does cannabis lower sperm count? This is a question that many consumers have pondered. In this article, we discuss the science behind this loaded question.

Jason SanderJason Sander · Jul. 7, 2021 · 4 min read
Does Cannabis Lower Sperm Count?

As the layers of cannabis prohibition are slowly but surely peeled back, more questions about the impact it has on our health inevitably come up. One such question is: does ingesting cannabis lower my sperm count? Here’s what science says, as we can see right now.

This is the second article in our series on cannabis consumption and sexual health. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our first installment on if cannabis can improve our sex lives.

Does Cannabis Lower Sperm Count?

The answer, especially when asked of those with a prohibitionist mindset - has typically been - yes, it does. However, a study published in 2019 by the scientific journal Human Reproduction for Oxford Academic suggests the exact opposite. Among the participants in the study, former and current cannabis consumers had more little swimmers than did non-consumers!

That’s right, studies are suggesting that cannabis might make men more fertile. Chalk this one up to another potential myth about the plant! You don’t say?

Cannabis and Sperm Count: The Exact Opposite?

For the study we just mentioned, researchers went to a fertility clinic in Massachusetts and collected 1,143 semen samples from 662 males. About half of the males also gave blood for testing. The participants in the study filled out a questionnaire about their past and present cannabis consumption. The researchers concluded that most of the men who had consumed cannabis had sperm concentrations that were “significantly higher” than those who didn’t. The exact data shows that 62.7 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculate in consumers versus 45.4 million sperm per milliliter in non-consumers.

"That’s right, studies are suggesting that cannabis might make men more fertile. Chalk this one up to another potential myth about the plant! You don’t say?"

The men who didn’t consume cannabis weren’t below the normal level of sperm count, though. The study says that the World Health Organization defines low sperm count as that of 15 million/ mL. Of the men that participated in the study, only 5 percent of consumers fell into the category of having low sperm count, compared to that of 12 percent of non-consumers. Former consumers versus those who actively consumed show little or no difference. And in fact, the study showed that men who gave blood and consumed cannabis had higher levels of testosterone than those who didn’t partake.

These findings were just as surprising to the researchers as they are to the general public. The authors of the study reiterated that we still don’t know enough about the effects cannabis has on reproductive functions and our overall health.

Relativity and Objectivity

This study mentioned above certainly does not mean cannabis is the answer to increasing male fertility. The individual participants in each study might have more to do with the results than consuming cannabis does. This is the case with many past studies done on cannabis that are disappointingly lacking in objectivity.

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As far as sperm count, the results are seemingly relative and based on the participants involved. For another example, a Danish study in 2015 showed that cannabis consumers had a lower sperm count than non-consumers. Just because healthy males in one study have a lower sperm count while others have higher counts might not have anything to do with their cannabis consumption at all. It could come down to the individual’s health - which is something that should have been considered in these studies.

Broken Record Research

For future studies like this, there should probably be other parameters other than do they consume cannabis and are they healthy? Many other factors impact the vitality of our sperm - like diet, genetics, location, and so on.

So while there’s no concrete evidence that the plant lowers your sperm count, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. As with so many things cannabis, more unbiased research needs to be done. Just like the researchers said, there is still much to learn.

HashDash - Connecting the Cannabis Community

We hope you found value in our content about cannabis and sperm count. Did you learn something, or have anything to add? Let us know - @hashdash on all platforms, except for Instagram, where we are @hashdashdotcom.

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Thanks for reading! Please consume responsibly.

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Jason Sander
Jason SanderJason is a versatile writer and marketer with over ten combined years of experience working with clients in various industries. He couples this expertise with six years of writing for the cannabis sector as well as a passion for the business side, and the science behind the plant medicine.
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