The Effects Of Cannabis On The Human Reproductive System

1749 words - 7 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

This is the state in which the sperm go into hyper activated swimming to fertilize the egg. The sperm goes into this spastic swimming because women's reproductive tract has fluids that prepare the sperm to impregnate. Introducing lower levels of THC, otherwise known as AM-356 (synthetic version), actually stimulated the hyperactivity, which is how they have proven that anandamides do regulate sperm swimming patterns and the precise timing needed for the sperm to nestle up to the egg.The findings concluded AM-356 regulated the sperm's ability in three different ways:* AM-356 produces opposite effects on hyper activated sperm swimming,depending on the amount. Too much (a concentration of 2.5 nano Moles) inhibitshyper activated motility, while at a 10-fold lower concentration, it stimulateshyper activated swimming. Because anandamide is present in human-reproductivefluids and human sperm contain cannabinoid receptors, it is possible thatlocalized differences in anandamide concentration may regulate sperm swimmingpatterns within the female-reproductive tract.* Both AM-356 and THC inhibit structural changes over the acrosome. Thestructural integrity of the acrosome during capacitation is known to be acritical factor in sperm's ability to fertilize eggs.* AM-356 significantly inhibits sperm binding to the zona, or egg coat. Thisobservation provides the first evidence that anandamide (which AM-356 mimics)can regulate directly sperm fertilizing potential in humans.The National Institute on Drug Abuse in 1984 did these very same studies and found the same conclusion with different means of explaining it, as they did not know about anandamides. There are factors involved in how much it affects males as it is dependant on how much they smoke, how long they smoke and whether or not they were fertile before ingesting THC. Basically what this says is that THC makes sperm lazy and unproductive, which is exactly what we would all agree that most people who have orally ingested marijuana are.Now the effect of THC on the female ovary system is that (in rats) that it reduces the weight of the ovaries themselves. Studies showed that THC inhibits the ovarian steroid synthesis and LH secretion. The fascinating thing about it is that it is the non-psychoactive cannabinoids that affect the ovaries more than the psychoactive properties. Which is interesting because that is the opposite of what THC affects in male sperm.Since we have learned that the pituitary gland and hormones produced there, lend themselves to the creation of testosterone in males, which tells the testes to create sperm, it also controls the sex drive or desire for sex in females. Since THC acts on the pituitary hormones we can conclude that THC directly affects women's sex drive. Perhaps males will learn that pumping a female full of pot will not necessarily conclude in sex. There are variables associated with how much THC affects females by how much, how long they have been smoking and how fertile...

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