Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
A Physiologist and former acting Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, has said that Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana) used by women of childbearing age could prevent pregnancy and affect the quality of semen for men.
Olatunji-Bello, who was the guest lecturer at the 2018 alumni lecture of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association (ICOMAA) worldwide, made this revelation at the event held at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
In her lecture titled “Use of medicinal plants: myths and facts”, the professor, who also doubles as the wife of the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, said study has found that Marijuana leads to a decrease in the level of LH hormone (a hormone that regulates the menstrual cycle and egg production) by as much as 80 per cent.
This, she said can cause inhibition of the process of ovulation thus preventing pregnancy.
She said: “Marijuana, in the few cases where fertilisation occurs, delayed implantation leading to early miscarriage.
“Marijuana smokers are reported to have higher levels of testosterone within the same range as cigarette smokers.
“Our findings are of public interest as Marijuana use is common and may be contributing to recent reports of poor semen quality.”
On the myths surrounding the use of medicinal plants, Olatunji-Bello categorised the most common myths into three categories viz; a medicinal plant can cure many diseases; medicinal plants are natural so they can’t be harmful and that medicinal plants have no side effects.
For all the aforementioned three categories, the varsity don harped on the need for scientific-based research to authenticate potency of the herbs before administration.
She stressed that, “we can say comfortably that one herbal product can treat multiple disease conditions. However the problem arises when one overstates the claim of potency of their herbal product without scientific evidence.”
She also recommended that government should formulate a policy on regulation of the use of the herbal medicine in the country and put in place a proper enforcement unit, or empower NAFDAC to do it.
Earlier the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Abel Olayinka and President of ICOMAA worldwide, Dr. Abib Olamitoye, congratulated all the members of the association on the 2018 celebration.
Dignitaries at the event included the Deputy Managing Director, THISDAY, Kayode Komolafe; the Chief Medical Director of UCH, Prof. Temitope Alonge; Provost, College of Medicine, Prof. E. Oluwabunmi Olapade-Olaopa; Prof. Fatai Adeniyi; Dr. Olufadekemi Kunle-Alabi; Prof. S. B. Olaleye; Dr. A. O. Ige; Dr. Kehinde Adigun and Prof. Olayinka Omigbodun, who was the chairperson for the event.