There is actually synthesis and breakdown of cannabinoids within the testicles. What does this mean for sperm?
We know that using cannabis does decrease the number of sperm and in some cases decreases the quality of the sperm. Initial studies first suggested that it did. Subsequent studies said it didn’t.
Definitive high quality research shows that it absolutely does at least decrease the number of sperm that are produced, but scientists never really understood why until now.
They did a great research project with 15 male patients who were undergoing germ cell tumor removal from their testicles.
Note: When surgeons cut out a tumor, they cut out the tumor first, but they also cut out some normal healthy tissue around the tumor, so that they can make sure that the margins are clear, that they’ve taken out all the tumor plus a little bit of healthy tissue.
The scientists actually used that healthy tissue to try to see exactly what was going on with the endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoids 2AG and anandamide and what might actually be going on in the testicles.
These 15 testicular samples underwent staining and were placed on slides.
It was found actually that the endocannabinoid system is very active within testicles.
We’ve known that the endocannabinoid system is active in rodent testicles and we’ve also found substances, the endocannabinoids, in ejaculate in varying levels for varying men, but we didn’t realize that there is actually synthesis and breakdown of cannabinoids within the testicles.
The testicles are also ritually found to have CB receptors throughout. They could also be impacted not only by endocannabinoids, but also by phytocannabinoids like the THC and the CBD that somebody might be smoking or using as a tincture.
We still are getting our brains around exactly what part of the system is being effective that’s slowing sperm production, but there is definitely a considerable amount of enzymatic activity in early spermatogenesis and also in the Leydig cells.
The Leydig cells are cells that surround these spermatogenic cells in the testes that make testosterone. It is possible in some men who are inclined to see changes in testosterone levels as well as changes in sperm count from the administration of cannabinoids.