The Effects of Marijuana on Fertility & Pregnancy

The Effects of Marijuana on Fertility & Pregnancy
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Pregnant and breastfeeding women should probably be advised to either decrease, or where possible, cease cannabis use entirely. And, couples trying to conceive may also want to consider cutting down.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Approximately one in six couples “are unable to conceive after a year,” despite trying, “and are labeled infertile.” And in up to half the cases, it may be the man’s fault. There are “several lifestyle factors [that] have been associated with [diminished] sperm production,” such as smoking cigarettes. But what about smoking marijuana?

“Regular marijuana smoking more than once per week was associated with [about] a 28 percent …lower sperm concentration and…lower total sperm count,” based on a study of more than a thousand men. But “no adverse association was found for irregular use,” meaning less than once a week.

Now, this wasn’t a randomized study. And so, there may have been other factors that go along with regular marijuana use that could have really been to blame. But, they took into account cigarettes and alcohol and other drugs and STDs and things like that. But, there’s always a possibility there was something else for which they didn’t control.

Findings were similar for women. Hundreds of infertile couples were studied in California, and just like men had about a quarter fewer sperm, a quarter fewer eggs were retrieved from women using cannabis more than 90 times in their lifetime, or using the year before. Again, there could have been confounding factors, but until we know more, couples that are trying to conceive may want to make the joint decision to turn over a new leaf.

What about during pregnancy? Medical authorities recommend that women even “contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use,” and not use during pregnancy or lactation, though the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine suggests the known benefits of breastmilk currently outweigh any potential harms for women who continue to smoke it. Despite these warnings from authorities, marijuana use has increased among pregnant women in recent years, up 60 percent. But that’s only from about 2.5 percent up to less than 4 percent, less than half the frequency of non-pregnant women.

Why are OB/GYNs so down on getting high? You’ll see scary articles in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, making claims like this: a large study supposedly documenting a significantly increased risk for a serious birth defect. But, if you don’t just take their word for it, and pull up the actual study, you’ll see that the association wasn’t statistically significant after all. “Objective education [about marijuana and pregnancy] is good, but biased education is not.”

There have been some risks identified: infants may be “more likely to be [born] anemic, [or] have a lower birth weight, [or] require…intensive care,” compared to infants of mothers who do not use marijuana. But it’s “difficult to determine the direct effects of maternal cannabis use on the developing fetus because of” a variety of confounding factors, for which studies may not be able to completely control.

“Studies have also shown links between prenatal marijuana exposure and” learning problems later in life, manifesting years later at school, and that’s really where the greater concern lies: the potential long-term effects on brain development. So, even after weeding out the myths, there is enough concern that “pregnant and breast feeding [women] should [indeed probably] “be advised to either decrease or where possible cease cannabis use entirely.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Jenna Norman via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Approximately one in six couples “are unable to conceive after a year,” despite trying, “and are labeled infertile.” And in up to half the cases, it may be the man’s fault. There are “several lifestyle factors [that] have been associated with [diminished] sperm production,” such as smoking cigarettes. But what about smoking marijuana?

“Regular marijuana smoking more than once per week was associated with [about] a 28 percent …lower sperm concentration and…lower total sperm count,” based on a study of more than a thousand men. But “no adverse association was found for irregular use,” meaning less than once a week.

Now, this wasn’t a randomized study. And so, there may have been other factors that go along with regular marijuana use that could have really been to blame. But, they took into account cigarettes and alcohol and other drugs and STDs and things like that. But, there’s always a possibility there was something else for which they didn’t control.

Findings were similar for women. Hundreds of infertile couples were studied in California, and just like men had about a quarter fewer sperm, a quarter fewer eggs were retrieved from women using cannabis more than 90 times in their lifetime, or using the year before. Again, there could have been confounding factors, but until we know more, couples that are trying to conceive may want to make the joint decision to turn over a new leaf.

What about during pregnancy? Medical authorities recommend that women even “contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use,” and not use during pregnancy or lactation, though the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine suggests the known benefits of breastmilk currently outweigh any potential harms for women who continue to smoke it. Despite these warnings from authorities, marijuana use has increased among pregnant women in recent years, up 60 percent. But that’s only from about 2.5 percent up to less than 4 percent, less than half the frequency of non-pregnant women.

Why are OB/GYNs so down on getting high? You’ll see scary articles in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, making claims like this: a large study supposedly documenting a significantly increased risk for a serious birth defect. But, if you don’t just take their word for it, and pull up the actual study, you’ll see that the association wasn’t statistically significant after all. “Objective education [about marijuana and pregnancy] is good, but biased education is not.”

There have been some risks identified: infants may be “more likely to be [born] anemic, [or] have a lower birth weight, [or] require…intensive care,” compared to infants of mothers who do not use marijuana. But it’s “difficult to determine the direct effects of maternal cannabis use on the developing fetus because of” a variety of confounding factors, for which studies may not be able to completely control.

“Studies have also shown links between prenatal marijuana exposure and” learning problems later in life, manifesting years later at school, and that’s really where the greater concern lies: the potential long-term effects on brain development. So, even after weeding out the myths, there is enough concern that “pregnant and breast feeding [women] should [indeed probably] “be advised to either decrease or where possible cease cannabis use entirely.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Jenna Norman via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

When do I mean cut down “when possible?” Check out my video Natural Treatments for Morning Sickness to see how sometimes marijuana use during pregnancy can be a lifesaver.

I’m winding down to the last few marijuana videos, which I originally released in a webinar and downloadable digital DVD.  There are still a few coming out over the next year, but if you missed any of the published ones, here they are:

For more on fertility, check out Male Fertility & Diet and Dairy Estrogen & Male Fertility.

I have another webinar coming up on fasting for weight loss, and probably a second one later this year because there’s just so much to cover. I love the opportunity to present a whole bunch of information on one topic all at once. For information on the fasting webinar, go here. As always, webinars will be broken into individual videos and released at no cost over the course of the year here on NutritionFacts.org.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

104 responses to “The Effects of Marijuana on Fertility & Pregnancy

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    1. Yes, I caught several puns in there. One thing I noticed was the ¶ on lifestyle factors (t=0:26) that can alter sperm production, including cigarettes, lack of physical activity, and watching television (I call it vacu-vision). Forget about sperm quality! I think the worst of it is that you can get brain death from watching television these daze.

      See, another pun! =]

      1. Laughing!

        You made my day!

        So, Dr. Cobalt, what would you say if a patient came to you and asked if marijuana could help them with joint pain?

        1. [So, Dr. Cobalt, what would you say if a patient came to you and asked if marijuana could help them with joint pain?]

          That’s a tough one, Deb.

          I do have a somewhat intransigent bias against *recreational* marijuana use for a variety of reasons. No point in addressing those here since the topic is so divisive and people come down hard on one side or the other. If you recall, I wrote a brief recap of Dr. G’s marijuana series in the comments of the last video, https://nutritionfacts.org/video/pesticides-in-marijuana/. Nothing has altered my opinion about pot as far as recreational use goes.

          However, if some chemical substances in the cannabis plant could be extracted and used to ameliorate chronic pain, I’d probably be more amenable.

          I suspect I would not make a very successful physician these days. It seems to me that the emphasis of 21st century medicine is: A pharmaceutical product for everything that ails you. Judging from all the tv commercials I see for new products coming down the pipeline, it looks like the train has left the station on that one. Got a symptom? Take a pill and get on with it.

          I just can’t get comfortable with that.

          It seems to me that pharmaceuticals, as effective at they can be sometimes, never really cure anything, never really address the cause of the affliction. They only alleviate symptoms or cover them. If you have hypertension, you can take a whole shoe box full of heart meds every day to bring your BP down; yet none of that addresses the cause of hypertension. But “lifestyle medicine” seems to do exactly that. That’s why I’m such an zealous follower of Dr. G’s “lifestyle medicine” and this NF.org website.

          So the question is: should a physician prescribe marijuana based medicines for a patient to relieve pain, or should he/she try to find the underlying cause and address that?

          Was that ambiguous enough?
          Was that clear as mud? =]

          1. Well said, dr cobalt.

            “They only alleviate symptoms or cover them.”

            And create other symptoms, sometimes for which other medication is prescribed to cover those symptoms.

          1. Tom, as much as I don’t doubt TV and moreover, screen time in general (depending on content), can be harmful to our brains, I don’t agree with Dr. Sigman’s assessment in the article you provided in that it totally shuts off critical thinking, I’m not sure how he drew this conclusion but while I don’t doubt it can be true depending on various factors, I would bet money it’s no rule. I actually think, depending on the content, that some movies and shows can be very thought provoking and inspire creativity. In fact, there are very successful creative people who were originally inspired by movies. I was never a big tv watcher, but I did watch tv, and when I was little I would see something I thought was cool or interesting and then make up my own story inspired by it which I would act out with my toys or drawings. I’m also extremely critical and constantly thinking when I watch something on tv, I judge the characters and I even notice things like fur-wearing and in order to enjoy an old movie, I literally have to pretend they’re not wearing fur or something because I just can’t appreciate the character or their story if I don’t edit that out in my mind. In The Philedelphia Story, I edited out the hunting references in my mind so I could enjoy the story and characters. I often think of how some stories relate to real life. I pay close attention to acting and notice when there’s bad acting and I’ll even try to think of what motivated the actor to do a gesture or say a line that just was very unrealistic and so on. And some things are written very well where you have to follow it closely or you won’t understand what’s going on. Some things are very thought provoking and educational e.g when they do a good job at depicting a part of history. You can actually learn a lot from watching something on screen depending on what it is you’re watching. Stories can also move us and I even think that clever comedy can make us a bit more witty.

            Again, I really don’t doubt that constant tv watching or screen time in general has many detrimental effects, but the conclusions drawn by Sigman in this article are unrealistically extreme, even going so ridiculously far as saying tv is giving us electronic lobotomies just by viewing it…. In fact, it should be pointed out that society has gotten smarter since the introduction of tv. This is likely due to a very large number of things, but enter the theory that we’re all given “electronic lobotomies” when the tv goes on, it seems that would be difficult to accomplish despite that large number of things.

            1. I actually went in reading the tv thing kind of biased against tv because I have an attitude with all the over-watching and binge watching and constant screen time, but the article was unrealistically extreme.

              1. S

                Yes but the actual point I was making was that Dr Cobalt’s statement is not unreasonable and there are some studies qhich appear to support it.

                As for whether we are getting smarter, we are probably getting better at doing IQ tests because of universal education, the internet and yes tv Whether that is the same thing as getting smarter is another question. In fact, taking the long view, it’s even quite possible that we are getting less intelligent (short term fluctuations aside) since

                ‘ Based on measurements of skulls, the average brain volume of Homo sapiens has reportedly decreased by roughly 10 percent in the past 40,000 years. This reduction is a reversal of the trend of cranial expansion, which had been occurring in human evolution for millions of years prior (see chapter 17).’
                http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2019/04/08/human-brains-have-shrunk-since-the-stone-age/#.XR8CH-gzbIU

                1. Tom,

                  Well yeah, the way you put it, “smarter” is somewhat relative, but if you compare the old puritan days to now, then we’re generally a smarter society, sadly though, not in every instance even compared to those days. But I do believe that all of our exposure to information from various parts of the world has taught us to think much broader which might be better than saying we’re smarter, actually.

                  Reduction of brain volume is extremely interesting… I’ve said on multiple occasions that a large portion of society is getting significantly dumber in many ways and I’ve actually blamed overuse of technology to a large degree along with other societal factors. For example, I read this really interesting piece a couple years ago I think it was, comparing lyrics of mainstream music now to a bit older music and pointing out how it’s been substantially dumbed down and is now a low grade reading level, it may have said 6th but actually might have been lower, I don’t remember (main steam music).

                2. As for whether we are getting smarter, we are probably getting better at doing IQ tests because of universal education, the internet and yes tv Whether that is the same thing as getting smarter is another question. In fact, taking the long view, it’s even quite possible that we are getting less intelligent (short term fluctuations aside) since
                  ————————————————————————————————————————–
                  It’s been a long time since I took an IQ test (One of the Army tests for new inductees, Dec. 1966) so I do not remember the details of the test. But I do seem to remember it was about solving problems rather than how much we knew.

                  Admittedly, I am not good at math, especially in its higher forms, but I did do well on the test according to records so knowing formulas etc. were apparently not a requirement.

                  My view is we are born with an innate intelligence but our problems may stem from not knowing how to use it. I do remember a few years ago a drive to “teach” critical thinking.

                  I genuinely do not know if our thinking ability has declined, risen, or stayed the same. I do know that our brains storage of facts may be declining (pointing finger at self) probably due to Wikipedia… the Internet in general, cheap computer and cell phone storage.

                  I’m quite sure I intentionally do not remember stuff, even important stuff, because I know I can save it to my computer and retrieve it later. I remember a little about something and then pull it up from my computer’s brain when I need to reference it.

                  My house has a lot of clutter in it… but my brain is actually pretty uncluttered.

                  1. Good example of technology making us lazier minded, Lonie. What I tend to do is not bother to remember how to get to places I don’t constantly go to because my phone tells me exactly where to go and when to turn, etc. So right there alone, I’m using less of my brain because I don’t have to worry about it so I don’t. Human nature… and given all the available technology, we need to exercise our brains less in more places than we did before… What might the repercussions be as this pattern grows and accumulates? Very interesting to consider!

            2. I actually think, depending on the content, that some movies and shows can be very thought provoking and inspire creativity. In fact, there are very successful creative people who were originally inspired by movies. … I’m also extremely critical and constantly thinking when I watch something on tv, I judge the characters and I even notice things like fur-wearing and in order to enjoy an old movie, I literally have to pretend they’re not wearing fur or something because I just can’t appreciate the character or their story if I don’t edit that out in my mind. In The Philadelphia Story, I edited out the hunting references in my mind so I could enjoy the story and characters. I often think of how some stories relate to real life. I pay close attention to acting and notice when there’s bad acting and I’ll even try to think of what motivated the actor to do a gesture or say a line that just was very unrealistic and so on. And some things are written very well where you have to follow it closely or you won’t understand what’s going on. Some things are very thought provoking and educational e.g when they do a good job at depicting a part of history. You can actually learn a lot from watching something on screen depending on what it is you’re watching. Stories can also move us and I even think that clever comedy can make us a bit more witty.
              ————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
              S, reading the above I thought I was reading the thoughts of a twin as your description is how I view (and critique) content. Sometimes I do occasionally suspend disbelief to the point where, when snap back to reality, I smile and give a hypothetical “well done” to the makers of the content. Plausibility is my thing.

              And I agree that content well done can leave a lasting impression. One that comes to mind was a commercial for something… or maybe it was a PSA.

              Anyway it was about a little girl and her father at the breakfast table. The little girl asks him “Where are you going Daddy?” He responds with a big grin on his face “Daddy’s going back to work hon.”

              This was made 20 or 30 years ago when the economy got better after a recession when work was hard to find and many workers got laid off. It still hits me emotionally after all these years, just remembering it.

              1. As a bonus, being emotionally moved boosts the immune system, as Dr. Greger pointed out somewhere around here–so does laughter.

                1. As a bonus, being emotionally moved boosts the immune system… so does laughter.
                  ———————————————————————————–
                  Wasn’t aware of that specifically, but I don’t doubt it. I think even hate for a character in a story is a good emotion if it is resolved later on. But left unresolved (I think) is not a good thing unless necessary to carry over into a sequel. ‘-)

                  As for the laughter, in one of my scripts Brother Prior is addressing the prostitutes at their monthly meeting of the ya-ya-sisters investment club when he says “Thank you all for coming.” (giggles from the prostitutes) “TO THE MEEETINGGG!” he adds. ‘-)

                  That’s the line that gets the most smiles from people I’ve asked to read my script, so I know I’ve got some comic relief that works.

                    1. Lol sounds like an interesting story you’re writing.
                      ———————————————————————-
                      Hope Solo… I mean hope so. No ‘splosions or Giant Robots so the comic book crowd may not be my audience. ‘-)

    2. I’m wondering if there is are studies that pinpoint the source of the risk to the fetus in pregnancy; is it a particular cannabinol? CBD? THC? Or is the risk more related to smoking itself…as opposed to using a CBD cream as an analgesic or THC in an edible form, for example?

      1. While it seems most studies looking at marijuana and potential fetal damage focus on prenatal effects/changes not on specific components that cause the damage, I found two studies that may be helpful:
        https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-marijuana-harms-a-developing-babys-brain/ and
        Lasting impacts of prenatal cannabis exposure and the role of endogenous cannabinoids in the developing brain
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252200/ The latter article cits THC as most responsible for causing negative changes.
        I hope this is helpful. Of course, clinical studies looking at human studies have ethical considerations which make finding specific answers more challenging.

  1. On a more serious note though, I had to pause the video at 2:55 because of the lack of highlighting of the whole impaired higher-order executive functions such as impulse control, visual memory, and attention during the school years.

    Some of us who are doing everything we can think of to improve executive function do not like anything which makes it harder for children in that area.

      1. Okay, so then, are you going to have a video on Marijuana and Executive Function in teenagers and adults?

        I guess I have to go back to the list.

        I shall hypothesize that it won’t be a good answer and that the people who don’t want it legalized should have been saying the words, “executive function” and people who understand the epidemic of executive function problems in society might have real red flags.

        1. Control for Marijuana use across a spectrum of abuse to rare use, and then control for diet, control for exercise/lifestyle, and then control for mental health (ie depression)… and you might get a clear picture. But that kind of study is impossible…

          As personal anecdotal evidence, marijuana use definitely impairs executive function when I’m super baked. But that’s kind of the point. Does it impair executive function beyond my time of “being high”? Not noticeable enough to affect anything in my day-to-day. As a high performing, very successful, and relatively young professional… I’ve been using regularly since I was an honors student at University of Michigan.

          1. Leroy,

            Thanks for the anecdotal evidence.

            I think those of us who are trying to improve executive function don’t tend to want to use things, which could impair it.

            My friends who were pot smokers are mostly dead now.

            I do know some young people who are on it but they already have executive function problems.

            My coworker’s daughter uses it for anxiety. She will be the one I will really understand it with, but she just started when a neighboring state started selling it OTC.

            She is involved in higher education and has always been a gifted student.

            If she crashes and burns it will be significant.

            My other friend’s daughter did crash and burn after using it and ended up dropping out of college with one semester left and has already lost her career job.

            One of my young men is a vaper and he gets panic attacks and it is hard to tell which came first the panic attacks or the vaping. He also ends up falling asleep everywhere. But he is young and I know that young brains are more vulnerable.

            I did have friends who lost their ambition and friends who lost their minds with it and friends who stayed on it and died when other people “grew up” and stopped taking as many risks in life. I don’t think the pot caused risky behavior. I think the pot experience was a risky behavior for them during a time when people went to prison for it.

            Time will tell things. There are things I have done which slowly hurt my brain, but it took multiple decades to find out about it at all.

  2. It turns out that women shouldn’t do a lot of things while pregnant. They shouldn’t drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes. They shouldn’t drink coffee or caffeinated tea (or at least that was the recommendation when I was pregnant 30 years ago.) They shouldn’t be overweight. They shouldn’t even necessarily take prescribed medications: DES and thalidomide come to mind as just two examples.

    I’m guessing that marijuana would be low on this list of what causes potential harm during pregnancy. Is it perfectly safe? Of course not. But then, neither is the air we breathe, the water we drink, or the food we eat. In fact, it’s clear that the “food” a lot of us eat is very harmful to a lot of us.

    For some reason, most if not all of us appear to be really bad at judging risk. It would be helpful if we could keep in mind or even find out what the actual risk of each of these “poor behaviors” is. Then we could make informed decisions as to whether to indulge in them or to forgo them.

    1. I think the tone of the video becomes a bit more serious at t=3:14f. The journal article pull-quote (posted on nature.com),

      SC Jaques; Cannabis, the pregnant woman and her child: weeding out the myths, Journal of Perinatology volume 34, pages 417–424 (2014)

      is the last item in the bibliography (Sources Cited), including footnotes 4 and 5:

      https://www.nature.com/articles/jp2013180

      I think I would not easily dismiss the potential harm of smoking marijuana while pregnant until I reviewed articles like this one in more depth. I do get a slight sense of bias in this author’s writing (word selection), but it’s still good information to add to one’s own database.

    2. Dr. J, it is shamelessly reaching to compare choosing to smoke marijuana or even choosing to smoke anything, to imperfect air and water quality… We need to breath and drink water, but if you want to compare unavoidable pollution to purposefully smoking weed, it would be more accurate to describe a pregnant woman purposefully huffing traffic fumes or drinking relatively old Troy MI tap water. Now the food is clearly relevant and comparable except people are so ignorant about the foods they eat at least it’s done in ignorance.

      1. Well S you said exactly what I was thinking . If polluted air is an excuse to smoke , it could be an excuse to do almost anything .People will rationalize whatever it is they want to do .

        1. S and mrpinkerton,

          I simply referenced poor quality air and water as risk factors for causing harm during pregnancy; I omitted my statements about political action to attempt to improve the quality of both through increased regulation which is actually enforced, consumer activism, etc. I don’t believe that pollution is unavoidable, but I do believe that we lack the will, and perhaps ability, to do anything about it. Which is an indictment of our society.

          The statement was not an “excuse” to do almost anything. Well, maybe it is. Have we all done all we could to work toward improving air and water quality? Have you? Have I? If not, that is the shame.

          That said, the statement was not made to rationalize doing whatever you want to do. It was made as part of an assessment of risk. And to more easily assess the relative risk of marijuana amidst all the other risks in our lives, those that we can personally control and those that we can’t. I don’t know how you make your decisions about what to do and not do in your lives, but I like to have as much evidence and data possible for the decisions I make.

          1. Dr. J,

            Thanks for clarifying, it sounded a lot like rationalizing the decision to smoke marijuana while pregnant/breast feeding so that’s the way I took it.

            When I say pollution is unavoidable, I don’t mean that it’s inevitable and there aren’t many things we can do to prevent, clean up, and protect ourselves form it, but it’s certainly unavoidable to the public to a significant degree. I too am appalled at the apathy of much of the public and the carelessness of businesses and politics in regards to pollution.

            “And to more easily assess the relative risk of marijuana amidst all the other risks in our lives, those that we can personally control and those that we can’t. I don’t know how you make your decisions about what to do and not do in your lives, but I like to have as much evidence and data possible for the decisions I make.”

            I’m just not sure how that is relevant to the subject… We already know there are many risk factors to disease from diet, to environment, etc. Some we can control much better than others, others we can only do our best. But I’m just not sure what that has to do with the subject of whether or not pregnant or nursing women should be given the ok to smoke marijuana or smoke anything. And I’m not sure how other risk factors would play into the decision of smoking or not smoking while pregnant/nursing. You wouldn’t learn that drinking wine while pregnant is harmful to the fetus so then you think “well, let’s compare it to other things that might be harmful,” you would just stop drinking.

  3. “There are “several lifestyle factors [that] have been associated with [diminished] sperm production,” such as smoking cigarettes. But what about smoking marijuana?”

    And how about the effect of WiFi microwaves from laptops and cell phones? And how about the effect of smoking marijuana and microwaves together?

    Fertil Steril. 2012 Jan;97(1):39-45.

    “Use of laptop computers connected to internet through Wi-Fi decreases human sperm motility and increases sperm DNA fragmentation.”

    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of laptop computers connected to local area networks wirelessly (Wi-Fi) on human spermatozoa.
    DESIGN: Prospective in vitro study.
    SETTING: Center for reproductive medicine.
    PATIENT(S): Semen samples from 29 healthy donors.
    INTERVENTION(S): Motile sperm were selected by swim up. Each sperm suspension was divided into two aliquots. One sperm aliquot (experimental) from each patient was exposed to an internet-connected laptop by Wi-Fi for 4 hours, whereas the second aliquot (unexposed) was used as control, incubated under identical conditions without being exposed to the laptop.
    RESULT(S): Donor sperm samples, mostly normozoospermic, exposed ex vivo during 4 hours to a wireless internet-connected laptop showed a significant decrease in progressive sperm motility and an increase in sperm DNA fragmentation. Levels of dead sperm showed no significant differences between the two groups.

    “Progressive sperm motility (PG) was significantly reduced in the group incubated under the laptop compared with that of control group (68.7% +/-
    8.8% to 80.9% +/- 7.5%, *P<.01). No difference was found in the percentage of nonprogressive (NP) spermatozoa between groups. Immotile
    sperm (IM) were significantly increased after laptop exposure (24.5% +/- 7.6% vs. 13.6% +/- 5.6%, *P<.01)."

    "Sperm DNA fragmentation was increased after 4 hours of laptop exposure. In the test group, 8.6% +/- 6.6% of the
    cells were fragmented, whereas only 3.3% +/- 6.0% of the controls showed DNA fragmentation (*P<.01).

    From: https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(11)02678-1/abstract

    1. alef,

      I thought about you and wifi/laptops/cell phones when the fertility topic came up.

      Pot smoking, plus technology might increase the issue.

      If the Adventist study observation was right, the vegans might already have less active sperm, to begin with.

  4. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should probably be advised to either decrease, or where possible, cease cannabis use entirely.
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    “…or where possible…” ?? Is this suggesting addiction?

    Please keep the abortion clinics open… we have enough manual laborers as it is.

    1. ?????

      Not sure who “we have enough manual laborers as it is” means.

      I am aware of the eugenics historical roots of abortion, but that usually isn’t proclaimed out loud.

        1. Lonie,

          Sorry for the Jiminy Cricket comment.

          Abortion as a form of population control is an issue, which should be examined soberly.

          The mass killing of girls in China. Down Syndrome children in Iceland.

          The history of racism in the early vision of having abortion be “useful” for population control of certain races and people with certain disabilities and intelligence level.

          Hitler sent a Thank you letter to Davenport for inspiring him with the concept of Eugenics.

          He wasn’t the only one who thanked Davenport.

        2. Generally, when people want other people to have abortions that is something entirely different…
          ——————————————————————————————————————————
          Deb, I think most marijuana “addicts” don’t really want a child. It probably isn’t going to affect me if they get an abortion or not, still, I think the clinics should be left open so the “addicts” can decide for themselves if they want to exercise that option.

          I do understand that due to your belief system you probably are against abortion. Personally, I don’t think you have the right to decide for another person what to do with their choice.

          1. “Personally, I don’t think you have the right to decide for another person what to do with their choice.”

            Agreed… if their choice is whether to play golf or basketball or to get a tattoo or not or so one… that would fall under the category of their choice. The problem lies in the fact that where another’s life begins, that is where your rights end–it’s no longer a personal choice.

            I’m all for population control through sterilization… Idealistically, to my mind, it should be easy access for people who don’t want kids to get sterilized and I think for some people it should become mandatory for sterilization for example child molesters, rapists, murderers, etc.

            As for the whole selective abortion thing, I have to say… based on my experience with people, I think that the mentally handicapped tend to be people who make the world a better place. Not that I wish an ailment on them, but they are lovely people.

            1. or to get a tattoo or not or so one… that would fall under the category of their choice.
              ——————————————————————————————————————-
              Begrudgingly I agree with that statement… although I believe getting a tattoo is a skin sin. So I will continue speaking out against it in hopes I may give someone pause before getting one.

      1. Deb, not a racist remark but a “too dumb to have kids” remark for anyone smoking pot (or anything for that matter) if pregnant.

        There’s some data out there that children born to pot smoking mothers are intelligence-challenged when they become older. I suspect as more data is available, we are going to learn of a lot more challenges for such kids.

        They already have one strike against them as their mother is obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but adding the possible damage of the more potent marijuana of today into their embryonic system may just be making “dumbs and dumbers.”

        Don’t get me wrong… I’m not against anyone past their child bearing years smoking/eating marijuana as it is apparently needed to get by.

        1. Laughing.

          Lonie,

          Just had to check. Sorry.

          Historically, even the “too dumb to have kids” was so misused by our government in ways that already have made the issue so complicated to me.

          Iceland has already pretty successfully used abortion to get rid of Down’s Syndrome. I understand the motivation, but if we start down the slippery slope, which condition goes on the chopping block next.

          I think I feel like people ponder abortion as an intellectual exercise, which is what they were doing in the decades before Hitler.

          China really is in a position where so many girl babies have been aborted that it is likely going to be a national crisis at a ridiculously high level.

          One historian said that wherever there have been cultures where there are way more males than females, we end up with things like the Wild West and war. Might be the whole King Arthur and King David from the Bible thing. The men with time on their hands got in even more trouble than when they were at war. Or something like that. I really did listen to a historian discussing it, but that was years ago and I am pretty sure my brain was way more broken then, but I listen to talk radio and talk television.

      1. We have far more internet trolls than manual laborers, hands down. At least the latter has a use to humanity.
        ————————————————————————————————————————————————
        Heh, I’m giving you a reply as a “participation trophy” even though your post is in reality a perfect example of posting about something or someone you have no understanding of.

        Not trying to discourage you from posting as participation is good for you. ‘-)

        1. And I mean your comment.

          Not Lonie’s sarcastic comment, which ended up in the middle.

          Laughing, that happens.

          I do appreciate your participation for this issue.

          Honestly, I have a lot of “negative anecdotal” and for me to really figure out the truth, I have to hear both sides of the discussion.

          I look and see them being #9 in the world in schizophrenia and that will be on my internal question list.

          I look at their lung diseases – two in their top 10 causes of death and I really would love it if there was someone doing the process with them as a WFPB community for contrast between them and the Adventists and the Nun Study.

          That would be helpful because pot is one of the few differentiating factors.

      2. Manual laborers are extremely important and many of the most intelligent people I’ve met are or have been manual laborers. It’s ridiculous out of touch for anyone to suggest otherwise, but… I didn’t take it that seriously.

          1. I didn’t read all the comments, I was referring to Lonie’s joke about manual laborers. For some reasons I felt the need to clarify, just in case. I’m tired, I become overly clarifying lol.

        1. Manual laborers are extremely important and many of the most intelligent people I’ve met are or have been manual laborers.
          ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
          Thank you for the kind remark… as I have been a manual laborer at times in my life. ‘-)

          But my point is that we are moving toward a society where machines/robots are doing most of the manual labor. The reason we need fewer manual laborers is because eventually there will be fewer jobs of that type, and then they just become welfare recipients which no self-respecting worker wants to be labeled as.

          1. Lonie,

            I think that we are moving toward a society where robots do a lot of the “educated” labor as well. As just a few examples, AI is now starting to do disease diagnoses, research and write legal documents, and write computer code. So, perhaps doctors, lawyers, programmers (and many, many others) will “just become welfare recipients” as well. “Which no self-respecting [educated] worker wants to be labeled as.”

            1. So, perhaps doctors, lawyers, programmers (and many, many others) will “just become welfare recipients” as well. “Which no self-respecting [educated] worker wants to be labeled as.”
              —————————————————————————————–
              Heh! point taken. But I think you are overlooking the need for a higher order of thinking to oversee the AI algorithms and robots.

              As we were warned in “2001 A Space Odyssey” we need someone able to pull the plug on a future HAL. ‘-)

            2. Speaking of robots, a couple of weeks ago I discovered that all three of my local Stop&Shop supermarkets now have onboard a huge silver critter called “Marty.” ‘Tis said, Marty cost $80,000 (x 3). It’s got big beady eyes and moves itself around the store saying “Beep! Beep!” Some of us give it the finger, or glare at it. Food prices have gone up too.

              Marty’s function is to check the floor for bits of food that might have fallen off a bin, etc. Loose food could, god forbid, cause a customer to slip, fall, and sue the company for big bucks.

              Last week I heard that familiar voice saying, “Clean up needed in the Produce Department (or “Aisle 7,” or wherever). It is expected that a designated porter will immediately rush over and clean up the mess. A coupla days ago I was in the produce area when I heard the call. I waited around to see if somebody would show up to pick up the couple of lettuce leaves that had fallen off the bin. I figured that’s what the voice was referring to. After a long wait (where nobody showed up), I left and continued shopping in the other sections of Marty’s terrain.

              We (customers and employees) can understand if somebody dropped a can of tomato sauce, with glass all over the floor, but how rarely does that happen? Usually, somebody got to it right away.

              Yup, with robots like Marty there will be no more need for employees. Maybe that’s the intention, in the long run. :-/

              1. AhHA. It’s clear to me a Mercury retrograde transit is on its way. :-( I see I added too many words here — sort of repeated myself.

              2. “Loose food could, god forbid, cause a customer to slip, fall, and sue the company for big bucks.”

                Couldn’t Marty cause someone to trip and fall, too? Lol wouldn’t that be an amusing irony–amusing if they weren’t seriously hurt, that is.

                YR, that is a very disturbing tale.

                  1. Lemme tellya, Marty got in the way of my shopping cart more than once.
                    —————————————————————————————————-
                    If I judge your personality correctly, Marty got a basket in the butt.’-)

                    1. :-) Next time I plan to give him a swift kick with my very own shoe. Although, it’s true I might be filmed. Even the employees believe we’re showing up on camera somewhere and our voices recorded.

                      I asked what looked like a new check-out clerk what she thought of her robot friend. She looked a little nervous, like I might be a company spy, so she said, “Oh it seems all right.”

                    2. More on Creepy Marty:

                      ““Today [Marty] called for cleanup because it detected something on the floor,” one Stop & Shop employee told New Food Economy. “The ‘something’ was someone’s cart. It will stop for anything it detects on the floor, even a twist-tie from produce, and someone has to go pick it up or the robot will keep announcing the need for a cleanup.”

                      https://newfoodeconomy.org/supermarket-robot-automation-ai-organized-labor-stop-and-shop/

                    3. Maybe it depends on which branch you heard the dollar amount. I go to all three in the area. One employee said Marty the Creep cost $80,000, and one of them today (in another branch) said he heard it was $27,000. Maybe the $80,000 represented the total of all three of them ($27,000 x 3 is pretty close to “$80,000.”) Still too much for a hunk of tin.

                      At the branch today, and because there was nobody else in the aisle, I purposely got in the way of Marty. When he moved, I moved…when he moved I moved, etc.. I had a lot of fun trying to drive him nuts, and didn’t care one hoot if I was being filmed. I was tempted to drop a lettuce leaf in front of him, too, just to see what would happen, but didn’t have one on me. Maybe next time.

                      Also at the branch today, Marty ordered one of the guys in the produce area to pick up a little something or other. I saw him bend over and do it, while Marty stood by…waiting. I couldn’t help laughing. The employee said, “I don’t know how we ever lived without him.” (Not meaning it, of course.) :-)

                    4. LOL, careful, YR, suppose Marty goes evil on us… don’t want to look out your window one night and see him in front of your house.

                      Oh yeah cause $27,000 is much more understandable for a less effective robo vacuum lol.

                      Genuinely it’s kind of terrifying to me that something that sounds ike it should be a joke is being seriously used let alone at such a pricey cost. I’ve referenced the movie Idiocracy here before, this brings it to mind again. Kind of degrading for the employees, too, as you describe it.

  5. Aloha,
    Always great information. If clusters of places where the people live long is referred to as Blue Zones, then why not clusters of populations that use cannabis be called Haze Zones? Seriously, do we have documentation of major mental or physical issues among RastaFarians?Is there documentation of high levels of birth defects among Rastafarians in Jamaica who consume far more cannabis daily than Americans?

    1. That would be an excellent population to examine. Their diet is mostly vegan. They are strict about not wanting chemicals in their food.

      They are spiritual people, similar to the Adventist and Nun studies.

      I would expect them to have the same longevity as the Adventists and Nuns.

      1. Aloha,

        They may not live as long as the Adventist and nuns due to other than nutritional factors.

        My inquiry is whether there has been shown any abnormally high rates of birth defects of any kind

        among Rastafarians, in Jamaica or other places in the world.

    2. Donald,

      Jamaican’s live to about 70.8. The Rastafarians don’t drink or do drugs or take meds or smoke or use pesticides or chemicals. They eat Whole Food Plant-Based, basically vegan.

      They talk about them living into their 70’s. That seems actually startlingly low for a basically Whole Food Plant Based community.

      I couldn’t find any mention of any abnormally old Rastafarians – and they live all over the world. They do consider it abnormally old when they live over their mid-70’s and I will say that some of the people in my life who lived over that age – drink moderately, smoked cigarettes for decades while they were younger and eat meat and sweets in moderation. The ones who don’t have the word moderation die in their 40’s and 50’s, in my family. The ones who use moderation live very long lives. My uncle on my father’s side is about to turn 90 and he wasn’t into exercise and he still likes to have a few glasses of wine. In my family, people either live long or die very young. We don’t have a whole lot of died in their mid-70’s.

      Is it genetics that they would live like the Adventists and Nuns and still die that young?

      I do wonder if it is B12 or pot.

      They describe them as a pleasure to be around. Spiritual. Not drinkers. No hard drugs. Not cigarette smokers. Not living wild lives.

      But one way they do get in serious trouble from not supplementing B12.

      They do have poverty, but if you look at populations like the Okinawans, or people like the nuns, who take vows of poverty. When people are poor and even have food scarcity, they often thrive even more and being poor generally should be expected to lower “rich diet” diseases. It is interesting to me that they don’t have that.

      Someone did point to the age of 76 and recommended to start smoking pot every day for longevity, but my elderly family members are eating similarly and are living into their 90’s. Could be genetics, but it just seems like they aren’t a Blue Zone and they aren’t all in Jamaica, so even if it was violence in Jamaica, they could have become Blue Zones all around the world.

      1. Is there a study Between vegans who supplement B12 and those who don’t?

        I guess you couldn’t do it, but the Rastas were hard to convince to supplement and they are a group.

        Do the Adventists and bananas on the nun study supplement B 12?

      2. One of the resources I looked at had said that their life expectancy had dropped to 70.

        I will accept the WHO’s 2016 data over that because at least I know who the WHO is.

  6. Over the last 3 decades I have known a great many women who used cannabis to deal with morning sickness during pregnancy. Not one of their children had any sort of learning difficulty, in fact most of their kids were at the head of their classes and brilliant people.

    Also :
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/marijuana-smoking-sperm-counts/
    Marijuana smoking linked with higher sperm concentrations
    February 5, 2019

    To only notice 4 year old research (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26283092) that chimes in with ones own opinions cheapens any other advice given by that person when they try to use research as their proof of reasoning.

    1. The fact that these videos were made months ago and the study you are pointing to is also this year, you could be polite and ask it as a question.

    2. Over the last 3 decades I have known a great many women who used cannabis to deal with morning sickness during pregnancy. Not one of their children had any sort of learning difficulty, in fact most of their kids were at the head of their classes and brilliant people.
      —————————————————————————————————————————————–
      Keep your eye on them… report back if they kill their parents sometime in the future. ‘-)

  7. 35 year old male reporting in. I vaporize herb daily, and even eat edibles on the side. I exercise daily (12mile bike ride, yoga, 1-3mile dog walk). I eat a WFPB diet (supplement some red meat once in a while).

    Got my wife pregnant on our first round just last month. It certainly didn’t affect my sperm count.

    1. Got my wife pregnant on our first round just last month.
      ——————————————————————————————————————————
      So, you’ve done a genetic test in the womb?

      1. Good grief, Lonie,

        Go ahead, blame parents if something goes wrong during pregnancy or childhood! I know so many people who have children with various disabilities and diseases, and they already blame themselves, wondering what, despite their best efforts, they did that they could have avoided doing to prevent these problems. And you just go heaping more blame onto them, implying or outright claiming that something they did WRONG caused their children’s conditions. Are you trying to further crush them, grind them into the dirt?

        What did you do, check your compassion and empathy and understanding before you entered this website?

        Life is a crapshoot. So is having children. I hope you pause to think in the future before you type some your comments.

        1. And you just go heaping more blame onto them, implying or outright claiming that something they did WRONG caused their children’s conditions. Are you trying to further crush them, grind them into the dirt?

          What did you do, check your compassion and empathy and understanding before you entered this website?

          Life is a crapshoot. So is having children. I hope you pause to think in the future before you type some your comments.
          ————————————————————————————————————————————————–
          Science isn’t about empathy, otherwise it would not use cute little animals for testing. Empathy is the bailiwick of Medical Dr.s with patients who are paying for their services.

          And being a (sic) Apoligist for those at fault by not assigning blame does not help prevent the same errors occurring in future.

          1. “Science isn’t about empathy, otherwise it would not use cute little animals for testing.”

            Science is supposed to be about science, torturing animals and gathering dangerously misleading or at best, pointless, results does not qualify as science. Vivisectors are not only monsters, they’re unscientific monsters. And if “in the name of science” were an excuse to enslave and torture and kill innocent lives, they would still be experimenting on humans like they did during WWII which while also demonic and inexcusable no matter what, would actually be more relevant to science, ironically.

    2. Thanks for sharing.

      Congratulations!

      Is it your first child?

      I ask. I had one pot-smoking DeadHead relative who had 5 children with 4 different young women, most of them out of wedlock.
      Pot didn’t decrease his fertility and Lonie, I love his children, but, boy, I wish pot had decreased his sperm count.

      He never wanted to work all that much and also did dumb things, like getting killed in a crazy way, which was his fault, but it has left a gaping hole in his children’s lives, even though he wasn’t much of a father at all.

    3. Maybe it did… maybe you would have had multiples… possible correlation I’ve read. In any case, anecdotes aren’t science, but congrats in any case lol.

  8. Wow, the recommendations here are pathetic… “pregnant or nursing women should be advised to either DECREASE or WHERE POSSIBLE cease…” Are you freaking kidding me? How about the fact that smoke inhalation deprives an infant of oxygen? Or was I taught wrong about that? And ok, so we know that smoking marijuana causes impermanent brain damage in adults who smoke and causes permanent brain damage in adults who smoke very heavily regularly and causes brain damage when teens smoke it which will be permanent if they don’t quite in their 20’s, but HMM, maybe it’s OK for pregnant and breast feeding women to smoke weed? This world is out of its mind. If you smoke week and you’re pregnant or nursing, why did you get pregnant? You’re just irresponsible and being a horrible mother. If you smoke effing CLOVE while you’re pregnant you’re being selfish and quite stupid, come on….

    Is it seriously that important to be pro-weed these days that we can’t even be logical about the most basic things like pregnancy and breast feeding? That was actually rhetorical. If the comments here are anything like the comments under the other negative-ish light on marijuana videos, I think I will just leave it at that and not participate.

  9. Maybe, folks should get high on life, on nature, on physical activity, on improving one’s health and feeling good, in general. On having the discipline to do things that help in the long run, to avoid drugs. The ultimate goal, to take nothing but WFPB diet.

    The chemical high’s do help folks avoid facing reality and help them forget bad memories, etc. They tune out of life, with new personality, etc., at least for a while.

    An inebriate. And smoke is a slow acting poison. Take it if you like, but do not further avoid reality by calling it a cure–the solution looking for a problem (for most).

  10. Different topic, but since we had a series on duct tape and warts, I don’t think this is too far fetched.

    Earthing? Legit or hype?

    thanks.

    1. All the studies I’ve found are all paid for and equipment supplied by the companies with a financial interest. Then I found where Andrew Weil noted the same thing, that we need more studies. So I’ll go with Andy on this one, at this point. But that I do put my bare feet on the ground regularly. And WFPB has raised my health to the greatest levels ever.

      Was asking here because I don’t have (pay for) access to all the studies we can find, I can only read the freebies. Others here may have better access or have looked into this previously. Thanks

  11. Didn’t wade thru all the comments, and this may be repition, but IMO cannabis use may decrease fertility but it surely doesn’t decrease frequency .

    1. Assuming you’re referring to users who have children, I’m very tempted to joke that it might be due to being high causing people to forget to use birth control. But really, that probably is the case a significant amount of the time as it probably is also the case for being drunk.

  12. Hello doc im a long time viewer and plant based advocate. My father has been diagnosed with polymialgia rheumatica and was prescribed prednisone. Please do a video on treating this, we would be very grateful. He also has high blood pressure and is eating more plant based as i encourage him to do so. Hes very open minded.

  13. Dennis,

    Glad to hear your dad’s willing to be experimental. Keep track of his pain and joint issues on a calendar to get a more accurate assessment as the changes can be either rapid or slow (over a few weeks)

    I’d highly encourage him to go full in on the PBWF approach and give it a few weeks. If the PR persists start looking at elimination of any of the potential allergenic foods. Think of course of gluten grains, soy, corn, peanuts and others, as a first step. Take one or more suspects completely out of his diet at a time and be patient. Give the experiment a few weeks.

    I’ve had multiple successes with many patients using this approach and often times accelerated their response by the use of supplements focused on mitochondrial support and inflammation, and …..almost never with any of the RX’s typically used.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.CenterofHealth.com

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