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For decades anti-marijuana and even pro-marijuana advocates have repeated a narrative about the potentially negative effects associated with smoking marijuana and the male sperm count. Smoking weed, we were told, decreases your ability to produce sperm. However, an extensive study published by none other than Harvard researchers this week, reveals quite the opposite may be happening.

The study, titled: Marijuana smoking and markers of testicular function among men from a fertility centre, was published on Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction. The study posed the question of "Is marijuana smoking associated with semen quality, sperm DNA integrity or serum concentrations of reproductive hormones among subfertile men?"

The answer was surprising as it directly contradicted their expected result based on previously held beliefs and found that marijuana use did indeed appear to have a positive effect on sperm count.

“Our findings were contrary to what we initially hypothesized,”saidFeiby Nassan, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study consisted of examining 662 subfertile men who were enrolled at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center between 2000 and 2017.

"The men provided a total of 1143 semen samples; 317 men also provided blood samples in which we measured reproductive hormones," according to the study.

The men self-reported the use of marijuana. Interestingly, whether or not they had smoked it recently or a decade ago did not appear to affect the results. The study's authors found that men who simply smoked weed at least once in their lives had a significantly higher sperm count than the men who never partook in the plant.

These findings, according to the team, "are not consistent with a deleterious effect of marijuana on testicular function." The researchers noted that because they found the opposite of what they were looking for, further studies are recommended to confirm their findings.

The study also found that the amount of weed smoked by men is important and noted this as a possible explanation for why they discovered this increase in sperm count—because no one has ever examined the sperm count in men who've only smoked once or twice in their lives.

“However, they are consistent with two different interpretations,” said Nassan, “the first being that low levels of marijuana use could benefit sperm production because of its effect on the endocannabinoid system, which is known to play a role in fertility, but those benefits are lost with higher levels of marijuana consumption.”

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Although the researchers urge us not to jump to conclusions, a Harvard study showing the benefits of cannabis in raising sperm count is still pretty exciting and can be added to the ever-growing mountain of studies showing the benefits of this plant—like reducing opioid dependency.

As TFTP previously reported, in a recently published study in a peer-reviewed journal, Melvin D. Livingston, Tracey E. Barnett, Chris Delcher, and Alexander C. Wagenaar, set out to see if any association existed between Colorado's legalization of marijuana and opioid-related deaths in the state.

The researchers looked at all of the available data from the year 2000 to the year 2015. What they discovered may come as a shock to many. While the rest of the nation struggles with a burgeoning fatal opioid and heroin overdose crisis, the State of Colorado saw opioid deaths reduced while its population exploded.

It has long been stated that cannabis is a "gateway" drug, which leads users to experiment with other drugs, leading up to the most deadly, such as heroin. But the researchers in the study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that the availability of safe and legal cannabis actually reduced opiate deaths:

"Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sales and use resulted in a 0.7 deaths per month...reduction in opioid-related deaths. This reduction represents a reversal of the upward trend in opioid-related deaths in Colorado."

The researchers concluded, "Legalization of cannabis in Colorado was associated with short-term reductions in opioid-related deaths."

It's not just that study either. There were other studies showing that deaths from opioids plummet in states with legal cannabis, and that 80 percent of cannabis users give up prescription pills. A Feb. 2017 study confirmed that opioid dependence and overdoses dropped significantly in medical cannabis states.

In January 2017, the National Academies of Science published an exhaustive review of the scientific literature and found that one of the most promising areas in medical cannabis is for the treatment of chronic pain.

As TFTP previously reported, a new experimental study showed exactly how cannabis works to treat actual opioid addiction – by actually blocking the opioid reward in the brain.

“This study sought to determine whether the cannabis constituent cannabidiol attenuates the development of morphine reward in the conditioned place preference paradigm. Separate groups of mice received either saline or morphine in combination with one of four doses of cannabidiol using three sets of drug/no-drug conditioning trials. After drug-place conditioning, morphine mice displayed robust place preference that was attenuated by 10 mg/kg cannabidiol. Further, when administered alone, this dose of cannabidiol was void of rewarding and aversive properties. The finding that cannabidiol blocks opioid reward suggests that this compound may be useful in addiction treatment settings.

Those who continue denying the evidence, while continuing to lock people in cages for a plant, will ultimately be judged by history. They will not be the heroes they claim to be now, however, they will be remembered as the ones responsible for mass incarceration, fostering the police state, and dealing a near-death blow to freedom.