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Jan 2024, Vol 12, Issue 1
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Original Article
The effects of Cannabis compounds (THC, CBD, and THC-COOH) on Sperm Motility in Male Participants: A Prospective Study
Ayham Ismaeil1, Peter Michael Jankowski1, Fatima Riffat Bibi2, Mohamad Eid Hammadeh1,3, Houda Amor1,3
1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Reproductive Medicine Laboratory, Medical Faculty, University of Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany
2Department of Animal science, Faculty of Biological Science, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

IJWHR 2024; 12: 016-020
DOI: 10.15296/ijwhr.2024.6001
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Keywords : Cannabis, Sperm, In-Vitro, THC, THC-COOH, CBD
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Objectives: The perception of Cannabis toxicity and safety in society, politics, and even scientific circles has changed dramatically in recent years. Consequently, a few questions have been raised regarding the effects of marijuana (Cannabis sativa) on the human body and psychic abilities in the short and long term. This study is undertaken in order to compare sperm cells quality before and after incubation with Cannabis (marijuana) extracts (THC- THC-COOH and CBD).

Materials and Methods: Semen samples were obtained from men (n=10) with age range between 20 to 35, regardless of their fertility status. Analyses of semen parameters (volume, sperm count, motility), were analyzed within 1 hour after collection, according to WHO criteria 2020. For accurate results, Computer Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA) system was used to determine sperm parameters. Each sample was exposed to 1 mL; 10 μg/mL of THC, THC-COOH, and CBD dissolved in methanol. All samples were also exposed to 1 mL pure methanol as a control group to eliminate the potential effects of methanol on sperm cells. Several smears (10 μL) of each sample were taken in order to assess the functionality of sperm’s chromatin integrity by employing a chromomycin (CMA3) and DNA fragmentation (Acridine Orange) assays.

Results: After treatment sperm cells with 10μL THC, THC-COOH and CBD. Total sperm’s motility was significantly reduced significantly when it was exposed to THC and CBD (P ≤ 0.001 and P ≤ 0.003 respectively). Progressive motility were decreased significantly (P ≤0.001) and the mean number of immotile sperm were significantly increased (P ≤ 0.003) after incubation with THC and CBD and respectively. However, slightly inhibition of total sperm’s motility was observed after incubation with THC-COOH.

Conclusions: Spermatozoa exposure to THC, CBD and THC-COOH deteriorate significantly sperm motility and should be avoided by men in reproductive age and those who undergoing ART.

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