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A study from the Washington State University has found that while marijuana count could lower sperm count in men, it could also lower sperm count in their children. The scientists who published the research in the Journal of Toxicological Sciences found that mice with short and intense exposure to the substance experienced reduced motility for sperm and lower sperm count across two generations.

This study is not the first to focus on the subject. However, it uses controlled circumstances than previous studies, which only look at surveys. In addition, it is the first where scientists exposed mice to vaporized cannabis

Many factors could contribute to low sperm count

According to Kanako Hayashi, a study co-author and associate professor at the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University, these results warn cannabis users. It shows that while they can use the substance to deal with stress, it could affect their reproduction and offspring.

Even without considering marijuana use, sperm count among human populations has gone down by 59% in the last decades. The team pointed out that marijuana could be a contributing factor. However, other factors could have also caused this phenomenon.

How researchers conducted the study

The researchers sued 30 adult mice for their experiment. They split them into two groups and gave one group cannabis vapor three times daily for ten days as the dosage was the same with heavy marijuana use among humans. After this, the researchers compared sperm count and motility among the control group and those exposed to cannabis.

The researchers found that sperm motility went down immediately after using cannabis. However, it took a month for sperm count to reduce. When the mice reproduced, some of the offspring exhibited low sperm count. Moreover, the children had DNA disruptions and damage in the development of the sperm cell.

Kaneko noted that the reduced sperm motility and count in the offspring were because of the father’s exposure to cannabis. He adds that they did not expect these findings. Fortunately, the grandsons’ sperm count and mobility were more normal. This result shows that the damage did not go past the second generation.