Men who smoke marijuana may have higher sperm counts than those who do not use the drug, according to a surprising new study published in the Human Reproduction journal on Wednesday.
The researchers said the findings are not in line with previous studies, which have indicated that marijuana can have a harmful effect on men's testicular function.
More research is needed to clarify the issue due to the inconclusive surveys, according to Life Science.
The latest study’s senior author, Dr. Jorge Chavarro, said the unexpected findings “highlight that we know too little about the reproductive health effects of cannabis and, in fact, of the health effects in general, to make strong statements about the impact of cannabis on health, with the possible exception of mental health. We know a lot less than we think we know," according to EurekAlert.
In the new study, the researchers analyzed details from 662 men who were evaluated for infertility from 2000 to 2017 at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center. The men gave sperm and blood samples, as well as answering questions about how often they smoked marijuana or used other drugs.
Fifty-five percent of the men reported that they had smoked marijuana in their lives, with 11 percent saying that they currently used it.
The study showed those who had smoked marijuana had an average sperm concentration of 63 million sperm per milliliter of semen, while those who had never used the drug had 45 million sperm per milliliter of semen. The researchers said the data held even after they took into account some other factors that could have affected sperm concentration, such as age, alcohol use and cigarette smoking.