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Cannabis, sperm & autism

Published: October 8, 2019
Last updated on June 3, 2021

With scientists calling autism a ‘disorder’ of intelligence and researchers talking about Aspies as Human 2.0, if one were a conspiracist they might think the Illuminati is behind the legalization of cannabis in Canada.

An illustration of cannabis leafs.

Why? Because unknowingly the (Canadian) government may be an accomplice in the making of autistic children. Could it be that the Super Autistic Shadow Government is behind this? Let’s not be too quick to draw conclusions, but let’s investigate the allegations in autistic fashion!

A superhero-like emblem consisting of a shield and the letters ‘SA’ for ‘Super Autistic’.


Research from 2019 by Susan K. Murphy et al. from Duke University Medical Center has indicated that smoking cannabis changes sperm via methylation, essentially turning on a gene (DLGAP2)[1]Gene linked to autism undergoes changes in men’s sperm after pot use[2]Cannabis use is associated with potentially heritable widespread changes in autism candidate gene DLGAP2 DNA methylation in sperm which is known to be associated with autism.

An illustration of a gene with the the name of the DLGAP2 gene divided among its segments.


How much of a big deal can turning on a gene make?

The two mice—slim Salley (healthy, slim, dark coat) and heavy Harriet (prone to cancer, obesity and heart disease, light coat)—seen in the video below are twins, which is to say they are genetically equal. And yet, one becomes obese with a light coat, while the other stays slim and with a dark coat. The difference between the two is DNA methylation.

A schematic representation of DNA methylation.
A schematic representation of DNA methylation (specifically shown is DNA methyltransferase)

The video below is well worth a quick watch to understand its dramatic effects.

Basically, when Salley and Harriet’s mother was fed a diet rich in methyl groups, the gene for certain disorders was turned off, which changed the offspring.[3]Transposable Elements: Targets for Early Nutritional Effects on Epigenetic Gene Regulation

But don’t think that methylation is always about disease. Sometimes methylation can make a different ‘version’ of the same genetics. For example, in bees methylation is used to change existing bees in the hive to whatever class bee is needed. So for example, when the hive needs more nurse bees, worker bees can become nurse bees via reversible DNA methylation.

So differences in DNA methylation patterns in bees (that have identical genetic sequences) result in vastly different behavioral patterns.[4]How bees decide what to be: Researchers link reversible ‘epigenetic’ marks to behavior patterns[5]Reversible switching between epigenetic states in honeybee behavioral subcastes

Embrace Autism | Cannabis, sperm & autism | illustration Bee

So how does this relate to the government being an accomplice in producing more autistic people? Bear with me…


Scientists from the 2019 study have found that men who smoked or ingested marijuana had several gene alterations in their sperm, including alterations in DLGAP2.[6]Gene linked to autism undergoes changes in men’s sperm after pot use[7]Cannabis use is associated with potentially heritable widespread changes in autism candidate gene DLGAP2 DNA methylation in sperm This gene is involved in transmitting neuron signals in the brain, and has been strongly implicated in autism[8]Deep exon resequencing of DLGAP2 as a candidate gene of autism spectrum disorders[9]Further Evidence for DLGAP2 as Strong Autism Spectrum Disorders/Intellectual Disability Candidate Gene (as well as schizophrenia[10]Role of the DLGAP2 Gene Encoding the SAP90/PSD-95-Associated Protein 2 in Schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder).

An illustration of a sperm cell.

Lead author and Ph.D. student Rose Schrott said:[11]Gene linked to autism undergoes changes in men’s sperm after pot use

We identified significant hypomethylation at DLGAP2 in the sperm of men who used marijuana compared to controls, as well as in the sperm of rats exposed to THC compared to controls.

She continues:

This hypomethylated state was also detected in the forebrain region of rats born to fathers exposed to THC, supporting the potential for intergenerational inheritance of an altered sperm DNA methylation pattern.

In other words, the altered DLGAP2 gene which has been linked to autism is likely to be passed off to the father’s offspring. So it seems cannabis use is one of the ways in which genes that contribute to autism can transmit.


So what about the claims at the start of the article about government involvement? Well, I was being facetious, but considering the Canadian government legalized cannabis on 17 October 2018,[12]Marijuana to be legal in Canada starting October 17, Trudeau confirms | Global News they are unknowingly and possibly unwillingly involved in the distribution of the altered DLGAP2 gene; and they are the second nation after Uruguay to support autism in this fashion.[13]Canada becomes second nation in the world to legalize marijuana | CNN

As for the Super Autistic Shadow Government, just forget I ever mentioned them. They don’t exist, and they are certainly NOT secretly putting cannabis in our drinking water.

A poster of the Super Autistic Shadow Government. You saw nothing though.


This article
was written by:

Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht ND RP is a dually licensed naturopathic doctor and registered psychotherapist, and a Canadian leader in trauma, PTSD, and integrative medicine strictly informed by scientific research.

She was diagnosed at 46, and her autism plays a significant role in who she is as a doctor, and how she interacts with and cares for her patients and clients.

Want to know more about her? Read her About me page.


Although our content is generally well-researched
and substantiated, or based on personal experience,
note that it does not constitute medical advice.


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