Two studies have found that cannabis in Europe is getting more potent, and confirmed that it may be affecting the sperm count and fertility.
A study published last Sunday has concluded that cannabis and its extracts in Europe have become more potent and more expensive in the last 10 years.
According to the study, dried cannabis has increased in potency from 5% in 2006 to 10% in 2016.
As for cannabis extracts in Europe, most of those are hash and not cannabis oils, THC concentrations remained relatively stable between 2006 and 2011 before increasing rapidly from 10% to 17% between 2011 and 2016.
“These findings show that cannabis resin has changed rapidly across Europe, resulting in a more potent and better value product,” said Dr Tom Freeman
The price of dried cannabis rose from €7.36 per gram in 2006 to €12.22 in 2016, while the price of hash went from €8.21 per gram to €12.27 over the same period.
While the price and amount of THC have increased somewhat proportionately, the amount of CBD found in the same cannabis tested was little-to-none.
The researchers attribute this change in cannabinoids to the differences in the production techniques in Morocco and Europe.
“CBD has the potential to make cannabis safer, without limiting the positive effects users seek,” Freeman said. “What we are seeing in Europe is an increase in THC and either stable or decreasing levels of CBD, potentially making cannabis more harmful.”
Cannabis could hurt sperms and affect fertility
Another study conducted by the Duke University Medical Centre revealed that the “use of bhang by men causes potential risk to their future children as the active ingredient of the drug, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), causes sperm to change”.
The reignited the age-old discussion whether cannabis lowers the sperm count and reduces fertility.
The research paper named “Cannabinoid exposure and altered DNA methylation in rat and human sperm”, byDr Scott Kollins provides an in-depth look at the effects of THC in both humans and male rats.
According to the paper, THC affects epigenetics, triggering structural and regulatory changes in the DNA of users’ sperm.
“We don’t yet know what that means, but the fact that more and more young males of child-bearing age have legal access to cannabis (in the US) is something we should be thinking about,” Dr Kollins said.