Some job requirements have people taking urine tests to detect whether or not cannabis is present is a person's system, as traces can sometimes remain in someone's system weeks after the person's last use. But now there may be another place where THC can be infused and detected: semen.
A Harvard Medical School study looked into the matter and found that THC can indeed be infused into certain men's semen. This research is less to do with job recruitment and more closely linked to pregnancy.
The study was published in the Journal of Reproductive Physiology and Disease.
THC in semen
The researchers at Harvard Medical School working on the study selected 12 healthy, long-term, and heavy cannabis users for their work. These men had smoked the plant anywhere between 25 to 30 days during the previous month.
The team did indeed find traces of THC in some of the men's semen.
"This is the first study to identify and quantify THC in human semen, demonstrating that THC can cross the blood-testis barrier in certain individuals," as per the study's notes.
Why look into the matter?
The importance of this study is related to pregnancy. The study found that men of reproductive age "are the most prevalent consumers of marijuana," and that the effects of marijuana on semen are still a point of research.
According to a 2018 study reported by Marijuana Moment, 16.5% of men and 11.5% of women who are trying to conceive report using marijuana during that period. Some researchers have noted slower "swimmers" in the THC-infused semen, however, this has yet to be fully and further tested.
However, just knowing that THC can be found in semen will help future studies on the matter. As the study noted "The ability to quantify cannabinoids in human reproductive tissues and fluids gives us the capability to directly study the effects of cannabis on early human reproduction."
The researchers also noted that the study only focused on very regular users — most of whom had consumed marijuana for at least five years — which doesn't necessarily apply to light or moderate weed users.