APR 03, 2020 12:02 PM PDT

Cannabis Could Have Adverse Effects on Fertility

WRITTEN BY: C Reardon

New research proves that female eggs exposed to THC may affect their ability to produce embryos that will result in a viable pregnancy.

Photo Source: Pixabay.com

In a new animal study to be presented at ENDO 2020, researchers exposed and treated oocytes, female cow eggs, with concentrations of THC comparable to recreational and therapeutic doses. The cow eggs were collected and classified into five groups: untreated, control, low THC, mid THC, and high THC.

Researchers measured the gene expression as well as the rate at which the eggs developed, finding that the embryos exposed to higher concentrations of THC were less likely to reach the critical stages of development by essential checkpoints. These checkpoints being crucial in determining the quality and development potential for the eggs. The research found a significant delay in the ability of the treated oocytes. More specifically, THC exposure led to a decrease in the expression of connexins, a gene that would be present in increased amounts in oocytes that showed more development potential.

Master student Megan Misner, a memeber of the research lab headed by Laura Favetta, Ph.D., in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph in Canada, says that the embryos exposed to TCH are 'less likely to proceed past the first week of development, and thus lead to infertility." 

With the preliminary research showing 62 genes out of the treated groups responding adversely to THC, it is clear this is an area to be explored. Currently cannabis is the most widely used recreational drug in the United States, and medical marijuana is becoming increasingly popular. 

"Currently, patients seeking infertility treatments are advised against cannabis use, but the scientific evidence backing this statement is weak. This makes it difficult for physicians to advise patients undergoing in vitro fertilization properly," explains Misner. 

Photo Source: Pixabay.com

 

Sources: Science Daily 

About the Author
  • Chelsey is a content strategist and copywriter with a business degree. She has a background in public relations and marketing and enjoys writing about various topics, from health, to lifestyle, to women’s issues. Since 2016, she has written for a variety of online publications, earning well over 100,000 shares. She published her first book in 2019.
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