Ask a Stoner: Will smoking pot kill my sperm?

Ask a Stoner: Will smoking pot kill my sperm?

Dear Stoner: I recently started using medical marijuana to control the nausea that comes with Crohn's disease. It works better than any of the old drugs I used to use; is it doing something different?


Dear JH: Not different, just better. According to researchers, high amounts of THC in your system help block the release of serotonin into the postsynaptic neuron by binding to your body's natural cannabinoid receptors. In English: THC stops the natural chemical reaction in your body that tells your brain you're feeling queasy. That's the same thing most pharmaceutical anti-nausea drugs do, but cannabis does it more effectively.

For many people — including yours truly — marijuana is one of the only anti-nausea drugs that doesn't come with pretty major side effects. Drugs like Ativan, Halcion and Ondansetron can cause reactions such as severe itching and hives, swelling of the hands, shortness of breath, headaches and constipation (something you definitely want to avoid when your belly isn't doing well).

For others, those drugs simply don't work. A 2001 study comparing Ondansetron to cannabis found that only 64 percent using Ondansetron reported the easing of their nausea, while 71 percent of cannabis users reported no nausea whatsoever. The severity of nausea was much lower with cannabis users as well.

Dear Stoner: The wife and I are trying to get pregnant, and she's insisting that pot is killing my little swimmers. It sounds like pot paranoia to me. But is she right? Should I stop smoking for a while?

C. Mann

Dear C: While there are a few studies to the contrary, most physicians and research shows that marijuana use does have some effect on your tadpoles — particularly in their shape, how straight they swim and how well they release hormones that allow them to break into an egg. So, yes: Laying off the herb isn't a bad idea if you're trying to increase your odds of having a kid.

The good news is that any damage you may have done up to this point is probably reversible within sixty to ninety days. And let's face it: Those stats haven't stopped stoners throughout history from having plenty of kids. If Willie Nelson can father seven children, you've got good odds.

That said, my advice is to do what your wife wants. If you haven't figured out by now that you aren't happy unless your wife is happy, this may be a good learning opportunity.

My Voice Nation Help

Hopefully it kills your sperm forever.


Mid 40s and professional. Just started by vaping about a year ago. Usually 2-3 times per week always before bed. And like the orignal poster, I'm also concerned if there are some subtle long term effects that I have from regular use. It's hard to tell the background and occupations of the posters at the MJ sites so i was wondering if there were other professionals who vape regularly and what do they experience the next day.

In general, I find that I can keep up with conversations and do fine in my fast paced job. Sometimes I do feel the effects the next day. Definitely dose and type dependent. If I have a strong indica dose, I'm a little out of it for the next morning. Sometimes I'll have this strange sweat/fever attack for a few minutes the next day. Never seen anyone talk about that but it definitely is related to the next day after I vape.

On the positive side, I notice that my anxiety is lower the next day but sometimes if I wonder if i get too apathetic about things I'm working on. And the general pain relief from being 40ish seems to last for a day or so.

It's hard to know how much I vape compared to someone who smokes. Very little in my Volcano can take me out of it for a few hours. Seems strange how little it takes. Definitely have saved hundreds with the Volcano. If I put a little more in to just cover the mesh screen, I really get out of it and my perceptions are distorted in a fun way. Those doses, depending on the strain, are the ones I feel a bit the next day.

I will say the one and only time I tried eating MJ I was unable to function the next day and felt horrible. Maybe I ate too much (a whole 4 dose brownie). Only vaping for me and vaping is healthier than smoking.

In comparison, I would be more concerned about the short and long term effects of getting drunk the night before than getting high. I think MJ is less potentially damaging across the board. It's just that there's money in alcohol and not MJ.

Like everyone says. Everything in moderation.


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