Study warns THC in marijuana may have major impact on fertility

A newly published study has found that consuming cannabis ("marijuana") or an edible containing its psychoactive compound THC may have a major impact on female fertility. The findings will be presented at the ENDO 2020 event, according to the Endocrine Society, which reported on Thursday that women who consume THC products may struggle to experience a viable pregnancy.

Cannabis, the plant most commonly known as marijuana, is often used for recreational purposes, but the number of people turning to this plant for its various potential medicinal uses has been steadily growing. Marijuana contains multiple compounds, the two big ones being THC and CBD.

Whereas CBD doesn't have any sort of psychoactive effects, THC is the compound that produces the type 'high' associated with the plant. This same compound may impact female fertility at typical therapeutic and recreational doses, the new study found; the researchers used cow eggs that were exposed to varying levels of THC.

After exposing the eggs to THC, the researchers monitored the resulting embryos and found that the more THC exposure the egg experienced, the greater the struggle of these embryos to reach various 'critical stages of development' at the appropriate times.

Egg changes associated with THC exposure hinted at impaired embryo development, making the embryo less likely to survive, according to the researchers. The findings indicate that women who regularly consume THC products, particularly at high doses, may be at risk of infertility as a result. Women who hope to get pregnant and who are seeking fertility treatments are advised to avoid THC consumption.