How does smoking marijuana affect sperm?

With the increased legalization of cannabis, especially medical marijuana, researchers are interested in finding out more about its effects on health. One area that is currently under exploration is that of marijuana’s effect on fertility.

As recent research shows, men in Western countries are facing a fertility crisis. Sperm count in males of reproductive age more than halved between 1973 and 2011.

According to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, approximately 9 percent of men in the United States have faced infertility.

Full story at Medical News Today

Is there a link between marijuana and COPD?

Marijuana is legal for medical or recreational use in several parts of the United States. Researchers continue to investigate whether marijuana can cause or even help treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Some people use marijuana to relieve chronic pain, and there is growing interest in using marijuana to treat a range of other health issues, including epilepsy and the side effects of cancer treatment.

However, there is also concern that recreational use of marijuana increases a person’s risk of developing conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Full story at Medical News Today

Daily use of marijuana among non-college young adults at all time high

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced that the latest Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey results on substance use trends as teens transition to adulthood are now available online, comparing substance use patterns of full-time college students to their non-college peers. Most notably, more than 13 percent of young adults not in college report daily, or near daily, marijuana use; alcohol use is more common among college students; some opioid use is declining in both groups, and the most sizeable difference is the higher rate of cigarette smoking in the non-college group.

Below are the highlights from the 2017 MTF survey results on drug use among college students compared to their peers not attending college (ages 19-22).

  • Daily, or near daily,marijuana use among non-college young adults has continued to rise, reaching its highest level (13.2 percent).  As a result, daily, or near daily, marijuana use is now nearly three times as high among non-college young adults as among college students.

Full story at drugabuse.org

Is it safe to use marijuana while breastfeeding?

Some women use marijuana to manage the side effects of pregnancy, to cope with anxiety, or to sleep better. Many also hope they can safely do so while breastfeeding.

According to 2017 research carried out on a group of pregnant women in California, about 7 percent of the women surveyed used marijuana. Research suggests that marijuana can get into breast milk, which means that it may not be safe to use while breastfeeding.

However, little research is available, and much of the research that does exist is incomplete, poorly designed, or very outdated. In this article, learn about whether it is safe to use marijuana while breastfeeding, as well as about the possible risks for the baby.

Full story at Medical News Today

Study questions link between medical marijuana and fewer opioid deaths

The association between medical marijuana and lower levels of opioid overdose deaths — identified previously in several studies — is more complex than previously described and appears to be changing as both medical marijuana laws and the opioid crisis evolve, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

The report — the most-detailed examination of medical marijuana and opioid deaths conducted to date — found that legalizing medical marijuana was associated with lower levels of opioid deaths only in states that had provisions for dispensaries that made medical marijuana easily available to patients. Opioid death rates were not lower in states that just provided legal protections to patients and caregivers, allowing them to grow their own marijuana.

In addition, the association between medical marijuana dispensaries and fewer opioid deaths appears to have declined sharply after 2010, when states began to tighten requirements on sales by dispensaries.

Full story at Science Daily