Study: Marijuana can "reprogram" genes in sperm

Study: Marijuana can "reprogram" genes in sperm

One of the best benefits of legalization (besides, you know, not being arrested for carrying around a joint) is that it’s easier than ever for scientists to study the effects of THC and cannabis, and for us to have a better picture of exactly how it affects the body the way it does.

And one of the latest studies says that cannabis may be affecting your sperm. A study from Duke University recently published in a journal called Epigenetics says that cannabis, specifically THC, can alter how genes are expressed within sperm. It’s already known that using cannabis can lower your sperm count, but this study found that not only did rats given THC have lower fertility, but some genes were actually expressed in different ways. In other words, if you try and have a baby after being exposed to THC, your genes could be expressed differently, resulting in reproductive risks to a potential offspring.

Admittedly, this study is a relatively small size — there were only 24 humans included in this data, and a similar number of rats, so those numbers aren’t extremely representative. That said, however, the science is pretty sound. If you’re thinking about having a child, it might be worth taking a break, or at least doing more research on exactly how cannabis might affect a potential offspring. Legalization has a lot of great benefits, but with access to the drug comes responsibility in using it. It turns out, according to this study, that using THC might have some down sides if you’re looking to have a kid in the near future.

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