Marijuana might be harmful to males in terms of sperm production, says a new study published in The FASEB Journal.
The study focusing mainly on finding ways to enhance male fertility has found that a ‘marijuana receptor’ called CB2 (a cannabinoid receptor) is linked with the regulation of sperm production (a process named spermatogenesis). This might sound like good news, but the researchers of the study explain that this finding indicates that marijuana might thus be disrupting male fertility.
Led by Paola Grimaldi from the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy, the team treated mice with different agents: one group, with an activator of the CB2 receptor; another with an inhibitor of the same receptor; a third group acting as the control one received only a saline solution.
The findings show that the CB2 activator group had a more rapid rate of spermatogenesis while the inhibitor group displayed the opposite effect as they had a slower rate of sperm production. These results suggest that CB2 activation is needed to be in a certain balance for spermatogenesis to occur properly and adequately.
This research might be opening up new doors for the treatment of male infertility, as pointed out by the Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, Thoru Pederson. According to the latter, “the normal beneficial effects of endogenous cannabinoids on spermatogenesis can be stimulated further by a chemical mimic, an agonist, is a potentially promising new idea for treating male infertility“.