The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Negative effects of cannabinoids on human sperm

    Delta(9)- and Delta(8)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are potent inhibitors of mitochondrial respiration in human sperm, according to this study by researchers at the State University of New York, Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

    First, the details.

    • 41 men being evaluated for their fertility were studied.
    • A phosphorescence analyzer was used to measure the oxygen concentration in sperm suspensions over time as a reflection of spem respiration.

    And, the results.

    • There was an immediate decline in the rate of respiration in sperm in the presence of Delta(9)-THC or Delta(8)-THC.
    • This effect was concentration dependent, with Delta(9)-THC the more potent of the two compounds.
    • Respiration was much less affected when Delta(9)-THC or Delta(8)-THC was added to semen that was not exposed to pot, suggesting the presence of protective factors in seminal plasma.
    • Both compounds inhibited the respiration of isolated mitochondria, illustrating that direct mitochondrial damage is likely the primary mechanism of action.

    The bottom line?
    The 2 main active cannabinoids of the marijuana plant, Delta(9)- and Delta(8)-THC, are potent inhibitors of mitochondrial oxygen consumption in human sperm.

    The authors concluded, “These findings emphasize the adverse effects of these toxins on male fertility.”

    6/24/08 21:32 JR

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