The Effects of Cannabis on the Human Reproductive System.

Essay by dragon76College, Undergraduate October 2003

download word file, 6 pages 3.4

In sitting in class I have learned a tremendous amount about my own body that I had never known before. I find that I am most interested in my reproductive system as I am getting to that age where I am starting to think about future pregnancies. So far I have learned that we should all be careful with our bodies as, "for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction." I have chosen to find out about the effects of drugs, more specifically marijuana, on both male and female reproductive systems.

Marijuana is derived from the plant cannabis sativa and has been grown for over five thousand years. The major source of the psychoactive substance in marijuana is called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Along with THC, there are over four hundred other chemicals in the plant, all of which have close to no psychoactive effect. The effects of marijuana reported were lethargy, elation, a dream-like state and tiredness.

There are many effects to the oral use of marijuana, some of which are psychological, physiological, cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological.

In searching for evidence of the effect of marijuana on the reproductive system I learned of how they figured out that it does have consequences on males. They found a cellular signaling system that responds to THC as well as to anandamide. Now anandamide is a substance that has been found in human semen and is the chemical that activates a receptor for cannabinoids. Now these may help to regulate sperm functions necessary for fertilizing humans. Now if the brain produces its own THC-like substance, what happens when you smoke and have more of this substance in your brain?

Herbert Schuel, Ph. D. is the University at Buffalo professor of anatomy and cell biology. He introduced findings of male sperm...