Smoking pot over once a week may diminish men’s sperm counts by around 29% new studies show. Scientists discovered that the men in the experiment who smoked cannabis over once a week had sperm counts around 29% lower than those who did not smoke as frequently.

“That amount of reduction in sperm count was quite a lot,” according to author of the study, Tina Kold Jensen, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Researchers also discovered that sperm concentrations – which is not the same as sperm counts – were 28% lower in men who smoked cannabis frequently. They have discovered the reason that cannabis use may diminish both sperm count and concentration. Researchers say it may have a bit to do with how the main ingredient in marijuana, THC, coincides with receptors in the testes.

In the experiment, they asked 1,215 Danish men from an age range of 18 to 28 if they used pot and other narcotics like amphetamine, ecstasy and cocaine in the last few months, and if they did, how frequently. Researchers then were given semen samples – allowing them to determine the men’s sperm counts and concentrations. Over 45% of the men had smoked pot in the last couple of months. About 10% of the study participants had used pot and other narcotics at the same time.

Furthermore, in the men in the experiment who smoked weed and used other recreational drugs, the sperm counts were lowered by 55 percent, and the sperm concentrations were lowered by 52 percent, versus those who hadn’t used the drugs. They also discovered that the men who had smoked pot in the past couple of months were also more inclined to smoke cigarettes and drink more alcohol and caffeine than those who did not. These factors also may have had an effect on the sperm levels, so researchers took them into account. Even the correlation between weed and diminished sperm levels held.

“However, the study still does not prove that the drug caused the lower sperm counts,” according to Jensen.

“We cannot exclude the possibility that the men who used marijuana generally have an unhealthier lifestyle and health behavior, which may also affect their semen quality and hormone levels,” other researchers said.

“It is … important to note that marijuana users were distinct in several ways from nonusers. Still, the new study provides important information for patients and providers regarding the negative association between marijuana use and semen quality,” Dr. Michael L. Eisenberg of Stanford University School of Medicine, wrote

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