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marijuana lowers testosterone

Frequently asked questions

Male fertility:
Do cannabis or THC have a negative influence on sex hormones and sperms?

    Wayne Hall, Nadia Solowij & Jim Lemon
    High doses of THC probably disturb the male and female reproductive systems in animals. They reduce secretion of testosterone, and hence reducing sperm production, motility, and viability in males. It is uncertain whether these effects also occur in humans. Studies in humans have produced both positive and negative evidence of an effect of cannabinoids on testosterone, for reasons that are not well understood. Hollister has argued that the reductions in testosterone and sperm production observed in the positive studies are probably of “little consequence in adults”, although he conceded that they could be of “major importance in the prepubertal male who may use cannabis.” The possible effects of cannabis use on testosterone and spermatogenesis may be most relevant to males whose fertility is already impaired for other reasons, e.g. a low sperm count.
    (Please note: This text has been taken from a scientific article. Some sentences have been changed to improve understandability.)
    Hall W, Solowij N, Lemon J. The Health and Psychological Consequences of Cannabis Use. National Drug Strategy Monograph Series No. 25. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1994.

Laura Murphy
In human males, cannabis smoking has been shown to decrease blood levels of the three hormones LH, FSH, and testosterone. Moreover, an increased incidence of low sperm count has been reported in men who were heavy marijuana smokers. Other studies did not find measurable differences in men who were light or heavy marijuana users. Acute THC treatment produces a consistent and significant dose- and time-related decrease in LH and testosterone levels in male rodents. In the male rhesus monkey, an acute dose of THC produced a 65% reduction in blood testosterone levels by 60 min of treatment that lasted for approximately 24 hr.
(Please note: This text has been taken from a scientific text. Some sentences have been changed to improve understandability.)
Murphy L. Hormonal system and reproduction. In: Grotenhermen F, Russo E, eds. Grotenhermen, F., Russo, E. (eds.): Cannabis and cannabinoids. Pharmacology, toxicology, and therapeutic potential. Haworth Press, Binghamton/New York 2001, in press.

Lynn Zimmer & John Morgan
By giving large doses of THC to animals, researchers have produced appreciable effects on sex hormone levels. However, the effects vary from one study to another, depending on the dose and timing of administration. When effects occur, they are temporary. (. ) In neither male nor female animals have researchers produced permanent harm to reproductive function from either acute or chronic marijuana administration. (. ) There is no convincing evidence of infertility related to marijuana consumption in humans. There are no epidemiological studies showing that men who use marijuana have higher rates of infertility than men who do not. Nor is there evidence of diminished reproductive capacity among men in countries where marijuana use is common. It is possible that marijuana could cause infertility in men who already have low sperm counts, However, it is likely that regular marijuana users develop tolerance to marijuana’s hormonal effects. (. ) Marijuana has neither a masculinizing effect in females nor a feminizing effects in males.
Zimmer L, Morgan JP. Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts. A review of the scientific evidence. New York/San Francisco: The Lindesmith Center, 1997.

House of Lords
Animal experiments have shown that cannabinoids cause alterations in both male and female sexual hormones; but there is no evidence that cannabis adversely affects human fertility, or that it causes chromosomal or genetic damage.
House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology. Cannabis. The scientific and medical evidence. London: The Stationery Office, 1998.

Frequently asked questions Male fertility: Do cannabis or THC have a negative influence on sex hormones and sperms? Wayne Hall, Nadia Solowij & Jim Lemon High doses of THC

Cannabis And Your Testosterone Levels: Does Blazing Up Bring Them Down?

We all know that Afroman skipped out on a load of stuff because he got high. School, tidying his room and even making love was all he stuff missed out on because he got high. But do you reckon he knew what cannabis was doing to his testosterone levels? Probably not, because he got high.

If he had, he might’ve not missed a semester of school work or wound up ‘messing up his life because I got high’. Not to say that I’ve got anything against Afroman or cannabis though. Pretty much the opposite.

But, smoking weed regularly can impact your testosterone levels. And if you’re hitting the gym a few days a week, wind up damaging your muscle gains and overall health too.

Let me be clear though, I’m not talking about getting high and working out here. Just getting high generally and your testosterone levels.

With weed becoming more available and currently legalized for recreational use in 9 states at the time of writing, what weed does to testosterone levels is a question that’ll be asked more and more.

First up, to understand the outcome of blazing up a doob and your T levels, you need to understand what testosterone is.

Introducing testosterone

Testosterone is a sex hormone. It’s classed as an androgen, which is a male type of sex hormone. Generally, most of a mans testosterone is produced in his testicles. Adrenal glands also produce some, and so do ovaries in women.

Still got you? It’s ok if you want to grab a handful of munch or take another hit on the bong. I’ll wait.

Now, testosterone has two main functions inside you. Anabolic effects are ones that control muscle growth, bone health and metabolic rate. The other effect is androgenic, which is basically what turns you into a man. So, balls dropping, voice breaking and beard growing (if you’re lucky).

Your body creates testosterone from cholesterol. If you don’t have enough testosterone, you can experience some pretty grim side effects. Fatigue, moodiness and complete loss of libido to name just a few. You might know a loss of energy and libido all too well…

What do the stoner studies say?

According to a couple of studies the effects that mary jane has on testosterone isn’t great. One study found that; “cannabinoid administration acutely alters multiple hormonal systems, including the suppression of the gonadal steroids, growth hormone, prolactin, and thyroid hormone and the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.” [1]

If that exhausting sentence was a bit too much, it basically says that the active compound of weed fucks your test levels and other hormones.

You might be sitting there worrying about the joint you just had instantly degrading all your muscle mass and reducing your testicles to the size of raisins. But don’t. The effects aren’t that adverse, in fact some studies reported little to no change in testosterone levels because of cannabis consumption.

A later study [2], in 1991, took men and woman who smoked weed in varying amounts and looked at their sexual hormones.

This study returned no notable results on ganja bringing testosterone levels down. In fact it barely touched any other hormones either.

Grab another handful of Cheetos, maaaaaan. We’re not done yet.

Stoned swimmers – Cannabis and sperm quality

More recent studies haven’t really shown anything different. Your testosterone levels will be pretty safe from the effects of the devils lettuce. But, whilst your test levels are probably normal, you’re little swimmers will be blazing up having their own party.

Your testicles will essentially become hot boxed and sperm more focused on watching back to back fail videos or ordering 2 pizzas each, than properly functioning as sperm.

The effects of cannabis have been proven to negatively affect sperm quality, count and other markers of reproductive health. The study that investigated this found a 29% lower count, which is pretty hiiiiiiigh. There’s also been reports heavy cannabis use can cause sperms to swim in circles. Seriously.

If you’re not in a hurry to have any kids, then you might not need to worry so much about the effects of weed. But we’d recommending giving yourself a load of time off if you plan on becoming a parent soon.

The effects on sperm are only something to worry about if you’re a heavy smoker though. Luckily your sperm is used and replaced pretty quick, with the stoners pushed out in favour of some fresh Olympic level swimmers within a couple of days.

Munching away at your own testosterone

In a great mood because you’ve found out cannabis isn’t going to harm your testosterone? Enjoy it.

To put a sad spin on things and bring you down to earth a bit, we thought we’d leave you with a tale of caution.

Every time you get high you might find yourself reaching for a bag of munchies (I’m going to presume that it’s not a bag of carrot sticks and hummus you’ve got your hand in either), those munchies can be testosterone killers.

It sounds pretty dramatic and I’m not going to sit here lecturing you on what you should be eating but remember that shitty foods are like a sort of kryptonite to your super-testosterone-maaaaaan.

Sugar for example has been proven to cause a marked decline in testosterone in men and the added levels of body fat can also promote the release of estrogen. The primary female sex hormone.

If you were to ditch the soda, crisps, cake and pizza in favour of healthy greens and whole foods, you’ll be in a far better place when it comes to the stoneover the morning after. Giving your body what it needs to function, as opposed to shutting down both your brain and body.

Testosterone levels may also increase slightly. Your sperm might not end up chasing it’s tail as much. And you might start to have a bit more energy.

But that might not sound like as much fun as packing a bowl with laughing grass and hitting the snack cupboard. Bowls in your court.

[1] Brown, TT et al. Endocrine effects of marijuana. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

[2] Block, RI et al. Effects of chronic marijuana use on testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin and cortisol in men and women

Smoking weed regularly can impact your testosterone levels. And cannabis could wind up damaging your muscle gains and overall health too.