Smoking marijuana could result in a higher sperm count, new study claims
As always, there's a catch.
Smoking marijuana can make men more fertile, according to new data that has rather surprised scientists.
Published in the journal Human Production, the study prompted researchers to go over their initial findings again and again in order to ensure that the results were accurate.
“We spent a good two months redoing everything, making sure that there wasn’t any error in the data,” said Dr Jorge Chavarro of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“We were very, very surprised about this," he admitted.
So, what exactly led to the head-scratching in question?
Having analysed health surveys and semen samples from over 650 men - average age of 36 years old - via data recorded over a 17-year period, Chavarro and his team discovered that most of the men involved had normal sperm counts.
The interesting bit comes when their past and present drug use was taken into account, with 55% of those surveyed noted that they had smoked marijuana at some point during their lives, while 11% identified as current smokers.
In measuring the survey results with the semen sample analysis, the scientists found that those using marijuana tended to have higher sperm concentrations and counts than those who never smoked it.
As for that whole 'catch' business? Those who smoked marijuana in the past but don't currently partake are more likely to have a higher sperm count than those who do.
As ever with these things, there's much speculative hypothesis in play and thus Chavarro isn't betting his reputation on anything just yet.
“This does not mean using marijuana is going to increase your sperm count,” he underlined, before surmising that men with higher testosterone levels are more likely to use marijuana.
Chavarro also went on to point out that if the study proves anything definitive, it is that the link between marijuana and general health remains something of a grey area.
You can read the study in full here.