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As modern society moves towards more acceptance of marijuana, rules and regulations are being changed in order to make these products easy to obtain. The benefits of smoking marijuana and chronic pain conditions are impressive and earlier studies show that the risk of lung cancer seems to be lower in marijuana smokers compared to traditional cigarette smokers so it seems as if there is no downside to this new revolution in alternative medicine. Before you jump in the car to get your own medicinal marijuana license, however, be warned that new studies are now being done to determine the effects of marijuana usage on sexual function. 

Earlier studies were inconclusive about the effects of this substance on male sexual health with some even finding that after smoking, males may be more relaxed and have better erections. As more studies were done, however, these promising findings are now distant memories and current evidence suggests that it is actually harder to achieve an erection after marijuana usage. In a large study conducted in Denmark where marijuana use is quite common, 1,215 males were surveyed to determine drug usage as they were completing physicals for mandatory military recruitment. These candidates were all between the ages of 18 and 28. Those who had smoked marijuana at least once a week were found to have a sperm concentration that was 28 percent lower than those who did not smoke while the sperm count was 29 percent lower. More consistent marijuana usage or marijuana used with other recreational drugs further decreased potency by over 50 percent in both categories. This may not be worrisome for young teenagers who are not ready for children but when an adult approaches 30, it may become harder to fertilize eggs if you hope to have a family. It was also seen in studies that men who smoked marijuana daily tended to have difficulty achieving an orgasm. 

Studies also show that those who tend to use marijuana more frequently also tend to engage in unprotected sexual activities with more partners than those who do not. With a number of sexually transmitted infections that can lead to long-term impotency problems, marijuana use can be a precipitation factor that leads to this decline in potency. 

These sexual implications are non-discriminatory and women who routinely smoke cannabis also risk impotency. Recent studies show that the active ingredient of cannabis, THC, is an inhibitor of a number of important enzymes like LH and FSH that control female ovulation. The more a woman smokes, the harder it will be for her to ovulate. Without ovulation, it is impossible for the women to get pregnant. 

Although studies are unable to confirm how long these effects may last after stopping marijuana usage, trends depict that the longer someone smokes, the more physiological changes occur. Receptors can be altered to be dependent on THC and there are case studies demonstrating that those who smoke marijuana daily still have problems achieving an erection 2 years after halting marijuana use. 

It is important to take all this information into consideration as new regulations will be passed in the coming years permitting marijuana usage commercially. Although it may help you relax, studies show that it may also prevent you from being able to have children. 

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