Semester of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Science (MS)


School of Animal Sciences

Document Type



Despite the increasing use of cannabidiol, both for medical and social purposes, the effect of cannabidiol on male fertility is poorly understood. Previous studies have been carried out in rodent models, but a large animal model does not exist at this time. This experiment proposes chronic cannabidiol (CBD) exposure using a goat model to understand the impact CBD has on male reproductive performance. The purpose of this project is to determine if daily exposure to CBD in male goats would impact reproductive parameters such as sperm quality and testosterone levels.

Two studies were conducted to determine the effects of CBD exposure on reproductive performance. The first study, which was carried out twice over a two-year period, investigated the effects of CBD on scrotal circumference and semen parameters including sperm concentration, total sperm per ejaculate, ejaculate volume, and sperm motility. Samples were collected at the beginning of treatment, middle of treatment, and twice at the end of treatment. In both years, treatment with CBD did not significantly alter scrotal circumference, motility, or total sperm per ejaculate. In the second year, CBD treatment significantly increased the ejaculate volume. The total sperm count per ejaculate was not significantly altered, but the increased volume did decrease the overall concentration of the ejaculate.

In the second study, testosterone levels were measured to determine the effects of CBD on circulating testosterone. Plasma samples were analyzed from an unstimulated challenge and an hCG stimulated challenge. The hCG stimulated challenge was to test not only the circulating levels of testosterone, but the ability of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis to respond to stimulation with increased testosterone synthesis. In both the stimulated and unstimulated collections, no significant differences were observed in plasma testosterone concentrations between CBD treated and untreated animals. The CBD treated animals responded to hCG stimulation with a significant increase in circulating testosterone, which remained elevated above baseline for the full 48- hours of the treatment.



Committee Chair

Kenneth R. Bondioli