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You are here: Home > FAQ > Male fertility: Do cannabis or THC have a negative influence on sex hormones and sperms?

Male fertility: Do cannabis or THC have a negative influence on sex hormones and sperms?

Wayne Hall, Nadia Solowij & Jim Lemon

High doses of THC probably disturb the male and female reproductive systems in animals. They reduce secretion of testosterone, and hence reducing sperm production, motility, and viability in males. It is uncertain whether these effects also occur in humans. Studies in humans have produced both positive and negative evidence of an effect of cannabinoids on testosterone, for reasons that are not well understood. Hollister has argued that the reductions in testosterone and sperm production observed in the positive studies are probably of “little consequence in adults”, although he conceded that they could be of “major importance in the prepubertal male who may use cannabis.” The possible effects of cannabis use on testosterone and spermatogenesis may be most relevant to males whose fertility is already impaired for other reasons, e.g. a low sperm count.
(Please note: This text has been taken from a scientific article. Some sentences have been changed to improve understandability.)
Hall W, Solowij N, Lemon J. The Health and Psychological Consequences of Cannabis Use. National Drug Strategy Monograph Series No. 25. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1994.

Laura Murphy

In human males, cannabis smoking has been shown to decrease blood levels of the three hormones LH, FSH, and testosterone. Moreover, an increased incidence of low sperm count has been reported in men who were heavy marijuana smokers. Other studies did not find measurable differences in men who were light or heavy marijuana users. Acute THC treatment produces a consistent and significant dose- and time-related decrease in LH and testosterone levels in male rodents. In the male rhesus monkey, an acute dose of THC produced a 65% reduction in blood testosterone levels by 60 min of treatment that lasted for approximately 24 hr.
(Please note: This text has been taken from a scientific text. Some sentences have been changed to improve understandability.)
Murphy L. Hormonal system and reproduction. In: Grotenhermen F, Russo E, eds. Grotenhermen, F., Russo, E. (eds.): Cannabis and cannabinoids. Pharmacology, toxicology, and therapeutic potential. Haworth Press, Binghamton/New York 2001, in press.

Lynn Zimmer & John Morgan

By giving large doses of THC to animals, researchers have produced appreciable effects on sex hormone levels. However, the effects vary from one study to another, depending on the dose and timing of administration. When effects occur, they are temporary. (. ) In neither male nor female animals have researchers produced permanent harm to reproductive function from either acute or chronic marijuana administration. (. ) There is no convincing evidence of infertility related to marijuana consumption in humans. There are no epidemiological studies showing that men who use marijuana have higher rates of infertility than men who do not. Nor is there evidence of diminished reproductive capacity among men in countries where marijuana use is common. It is possible that marijuana could cause infertility in men who already have low sperm counts, However, it is likely that regular marijuana users develop tolerance to marijuana’s hormonal effects. (. ) Marijuana has neither a masculinizing effect in females nor a feminizing effects in males.
Zimmer L, Morgan JP. Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts. A review of the scientific evidence. New York/San Francisco: The Lindesmith Center, 1997.

House of Lords

Animal experiments have shown that cannabinoids cause alterations in both male and female sexual hormones; but there is no evidence that cannabis adversely affects human fertility, or that it causes chromosomal or genetic damage.
House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology. Cannabis. The scientific and medical evidence. London: The Stationery Office, 1998.

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CBD and Your Sperm Count: What You Need to Know

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Worried about whether CBD can effect your sperm count?

We’ve got all the information you need.

There has recently been concern regarding whether or not CBD can affect sperm count, sperm health, and sperm’s cellular makeup.

So, what do we know? What research has been done on this subject, and what can you expect from taking CBD?

Firstly, it is important to understand what CBD is, where it comes from, and why this question is even being asked.

What is CBD?

What is CBD?

CBD is one of the 110 cannabinoids that are found in cannabis and hemp plants. It was first discovered in 1940 by Dr Dams and his research team at the University of Illinois.

Although CBD did not become popular until recent years, it has frequently been under the microscope due to many reasons. For example, CBD can be of great use as a dietary supplement. This is thanks to its high content of essential fatty acids (Omega-6 and Omega-3) and other nutrients.

Many people often confuse CBD with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the component in cannabis plants responsible for psychoactive effects. This leads many to hold the belief that CBD can cause the same mind-altering effects. However, this is not the case.

CBD is processed by the endocannabinoid system in our bodies and has not been known to produce any psychoactive effects – contrary to some beliefs.

CBD is incredibly versatile and can be found in many different products. From cosmetics and self-care products, all the way to dietary supplements, capsules and tablets, edibles, and even pet treats.

But if CBD is almost everywhere, should you worry about it affecting your sperm count?

The Effects on Your Sperm Count: Smoking Cannabis vs. Taking CBD


Smoking Cannabis

There have been a number of different studies conducted throughout the years focusing on the effects of smoking cannabis on sperm count and overall sperm health. A study conducted at the University of Copenhagen is a perfect example of these tests and their results.

They conducted the study on 1,215 men. Those who reported using cannabis once or more, in a week, experienced a 25% reduction in their average sperm count.

Of course, the researchers stated that lifestyle, diet, and the amount of exercise these men did might also contribute to a portion of the sperm loss experienced.

However, the final conclusion of the study was that smoking cannabis once a week or more can cause an average of a 25% decrease in sperm count.

But is it the same for those who take CBD and other cannabinoids?

Taking CBD

There isn’t enough research to know for sure how CBD and other cannabinoids can effect sperm count.

Many of the tests that have been done have come back inconclusive. But, we do know a couple things.

According to a study done in 2003 at Buffalo University, USA, cannabinoids can affect factors such as a sperm’s swimming ability. But as of now, we still don’t know exactly what happens to sperm when it processes cannabinoids such as CBD.

Is Vaping CBD Safe? Suggested Read: How Safe Is Vaping CBD?

A separate study, conducted by Dr Hans Hatt (Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany) found that sperm cells are part of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in our bodies. When sperm processes cannabinoids (through their own internal ECS) the spermatozoa is activated, playing a large role in fertilization.


Why Would Smoking Cannabis Have a Different Effect to Taking CBD?

It could be easy to confuse these two concepts because, if someone is smoking cannabis, aren’t they also receiving cannabinoids such as CBD?

Well, the answer is not that simple. Although there is a possibility of receiving CBD and other cannabinoids through smoking cannabis, the act of actually smoking the plant does away with many of its nutrients.

As a result, the dosage is incredibly minimal.

However, when one takes CBD on its own or in an oil, a higher concentration of cannabinoids is received. Additionally, compared with smoking cannabis, the user doesn’t ingest the other substances released by cannabis plants when burned.

So, smoking cannabis has shown to significantly lower one’s sperm count, while the use of cannabinoids such as CBD has not (as of yet) shown the same results.

Therefore, if you’re concerned about your sperm count (and overall fertility) it is best you switch from smoking cannabis to using CBD.


As previously mentioned, there is not enough conclusive evidence to fully determine whether or not CBD has a direct effect on sperm count. However, there seems to be some research which could point to the possibility of CBD being safe in this respect.

On the other hand, smoking cannabis may have a direct effect on your sperm count. It is advisable that those who want to be healthy to stop its use.

Concerned about CBD affecting your sperm count? Could CBD alter your fertility? Find out the lowdown in this must-read article today!