Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most abundant phytocannabinoids present in the plant Cannabis sativa (marijuana). There have been several studies of CBD in the last few decades, mainly focused on its neuroprotective properties, particularly after the identification of the endocannabinoid system and its participation in the central nervous system. On the other hand, the peripheral effects of CBD, particularly on reproductive physiology, were also evidenced. A narrative review was conducted using the PubMed database to identify studies that analyzed the pharmacological effects of CBD on the male reproductive system of vertebrates and invertebrates. Thirty-two citations (in vivo and in vitro) were identified. Among the vertebrates, the studies were carried out with men, monkeys, rats and mice. Studies with invertebrates are centered exclusively on the sea urchin. The CBD treatment periods include mostly acute and subacute evaluations. Exposure to CBD is associated with a reduction in mammalian testis size, the number of germ and Sertoli cells in spermatogenesis, fertilization rates, and plasma concentrations of hypothalamic, pituitary and gonadal hormones. Moreover, chronic doses of CBD have impaired sexual behavior in mice. From the studies identified in this review, it is possible to conclude that CBD has negative effects on the reproductive system of males. However, knowledge is still limited, and additional research is required to elucidate fully the mechanisms of action, as well as the reversibility of CBD effects on the reproductive system.
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.