Study: Cannabis alters the sperm

THC affects the genetic profile of sperm

Cannabis use can affect the genetic profile of the sperm cells, suggested recently, an American research team in the course of a study. The researchers were able to show that the active ingredient Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) causes structural and regulatory Changes in the DNA of the sperm. This showed that the changes were all the more solid, the higher the THC concentrations in the urine of men.

Researchers from Duke Unicersity School of Medicine documented recently in a study that of the Cannabis active substance contained THC alters the DNA of human sperm. The consequences on the reproductive system and if these changes are passed on to future generations, has not yet been clarified. The results of the study were recently published in the Fachjornal “Epigenetics”.

Cannabis reduces reproductive ability?

As a result of the legalization of medical Cannabis a much broader group of persons has access to the active ingredient, THC, also increases the medical and scientific interest in the Plant – both in the USA and in Germany. The active ingredient THC is supposed to help, for example, against strong pain, loss of appetite, or depression. In contrast, Cannabis is suspected to reduce the male reproductive capacity, or genetic to promote mental disorders. The Duke research team was able to demonstrate in a current study, for the first time, that THC affects the genetic material of sperm.

Cannabis modified the genetic material of

The researchers were able to prove both rats and in humans that THC changes the tiny methyl groups attached to the DNA of the sperm. This process is called DNA methylation. This is a chemical change of the basic building blocks of the genetic material. Since the basic structure of the DNA remains, but this change is not a Mutation but a modification. Whether this genetic modification undo, or to children, according to the researchers, which is not yet known.

What these changes do?

“We still don’t know what that means, but the fact that more and more young men of child-bearing age and legal access to Cannabis, is something that we think sollten“, the lead author of the study, Professor Dr. Scott Kollins reported in a press release announcing the study results.

The more Cannabis, the greater the DNA change

In the study, the sperm from 24 men was investigated, the consumed in the last six months of at least weekly Cannabis. “The higher the THC concentration in the urine of the men was, the more pronounced the genetic mutations in their sperm,” write the researchers.

Can Cannabis cause growth retardation?

Professor Susan K. Murphy, was also involved in the study, reported that THC seems to affect hundreds of different genes, all of which could be two strings associated with it. One of the strands is involved in the support organs of the body to reach full size. The other strand includes a large number of genes that regulate growth during development. “What does this mean for the development of a child, we know currently simply nicht“, Murphy sums it up.

The number of Participants is too low

This study is of the view that the researchers tend to consider as a starting point for further research, since the number of participants was too low to make General statements. The Team is now planning a large-scale study of the topic. Until then, Murphy advises: “I would say as a precaution that you should not use Cannabis for at least six months before trying to conceive a Baby.” (vb)