Science News

Benin-grown hemp can improve semen parameters

Researchers from Rwanda and Nigeria compared the compositions of Benin hemp ethanol extract (BHE) and Nigerian hemp, and evaluated the effects of BHE on semen parameters, reproductive hormones and antioxidant status. Their findings were published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Nigerian hemp (Cannabis sativa) causes male gonadotoxicity by inducing hyperprolactinemia, the down-regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis and oxidative stress.
  • Illicit users in Nigeria prefer hemp from the Republic of Benin, but its effect on male fertility is not known.
  • For their experiment, the researchers blindly randomized 36 male rats into six oral treatment groups:
    • Group I received normal saline
    • Group II received 3 milligrams per kilogram body weight (mg/kg) bromocriptine, a prolactin inhibitor
    • Group III received received 2 mg/kg BHE alone
    • Group IV received 2 mg/kg BHE with bromocriptine
    • Group V received 10 mg/kg BHE alone
    • Group VI received 10 mg/kg BHE with bromocriptine
  • The researchers reported that, compared to Nigerian hemp, BHE contains no cannabichromene and tetrahydrocannabinol but has a very small amount of cannabinol and large amounts of fatty acids.
  • Both doses of BHE increased sperm count, morphology and viability but not sperm motility.
  • BHE + bromocriptine lowered sperm count but increased sperm morphology and viability.
  • Bromocriptine and/or BHE reduced plasma prolactin levels, increased plasma superoxide dismutase activity but did not change plasma gonadotropin releasing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone (except for group VI), luteinizing hormone, estradiol, malondialdehyde and glutathione peroxidase levels.
  • Group VI exhibited increased total antioxidant capacity, catalase activity and follicle stimulating hormone levels.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that BHE improves semen parameters by reducing plasma prolactin and enhancing plasma antioxidant status. They also associated its pro-fertility potential with its deficiency in gonadotoxic phytocannabinoids.

Read the full study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Alagbonsi AI, Olayaki LA, Abdulrahim HA, Adetona TS, Akinyemi GT. CANNABINOID-DEFICIENT BENIN REPUBLIC HEMP (CANNABIS SATIVA L.) IMPROVES SEMEN PARAMETERS BY REDUCING PROLACTIN AND ENHANCING ANTI-OXIDANT STATUS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 17 June 2019;19(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-019-2541-5

comments powered by Disqus