Research studies from different time periods are examined to explore how weed or THC affect testosterone levels. Surprisingly, findings from these studies present conflicting results, with some suggesting a link between cannabis use and lowered testosterone, while others show an increase in testosterone levels among cannabis users.
The complexities of dose-dependent effects and the proposed mechanisms through which cannabis may influence testosterone are also discussed. Additionally, recent research on non-human primates sheds light on the negative effects of cannabis on testosterone levels.
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What is testosterone?
Testosterone, the primary hormone responsible for male sex characteristics, plays a crucial role in regulating various aspects of men’s health. It influences libido, muscle mass, bone mass, body fat distribution, and the production of sperm and red blood cells.
The synthesis of testosterone primarily occurs in Leydig cells. Where cholesterol is transformed under the direct control of luteinizing hormone secreted by the pituitary gland.
This pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain produces hormones like growth hormone, oxytocin, endorphins, and testosterone. Leydig cells, found in the testes, are responsible for the biosynthesis and secretion of androgens, including testosterone.
Low testosterone levels in men can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, decreased libido, loss of bone density and muscle mass, and an increase in body fat. To address low testosterone levels, doctors may prescribe hormone replacement therapy. However, it remains important to understand how cannabis use affects testosterone levels.
Does Weed Lower Testosterone?
In the mid-1970s, researchers embarked on a study to explore how weed affect testosterone levels. The study involved twenty male subjects aged 18-28, comparing chronic cannabis users to non-users.
Surprisingly, the limited study revealed that testosterone levels nearly doubled among non-users, suggesting a possible link between THC and lowered testosterone.
Furthermore, the researchers observed a dose-dependent decrease in testosterone levels among cannabis users. It means that the more a subject used cannabis, the lower his testosterone levels became.
Interestingly, when cannabis users abstained from cannabis during the study, they experienced a marked increase in testosterone.
However, a follow-up study observed a population of hospitalized cannabis users. And found no significant decrease in testosterone levels over the course of one month. This discrepancy raises questions about whether the original data were solely attributed to cannabis or influenced by other uncontrolled factors.
A 1983 study discovered that a single cannabis cigarette or intravenous THC dose caused a temporary decrease in testosterone levels for approximately 24 hours.
The authors of a 2020 study on the subject suggest that THC may affect testosterone through various mechanisms. Such as luteinizing hormone modulation, receptor activity within the testicles, central suppression, hypothalamic modulation, or effects on multiple levels.
They also propose that THC use may lead to androgen receptor insensitivity. And also require higher amounts of testosterone for normal receptor activation in THC users.
The interactions between cannabis and testosterone, as well as the androgen system, are undoubtedly intricate. The evolving understanding of the endocannabinoid system prevents definitive statements about how cannabis precisely affects testosterone.
It is worth noting that recent studies conducted on non-human primates align with similar animal studies. According to them, cannabis use among male animals and primates can lead to negative effects. For example, lowered testosterone levels, reduced sperm count and quality, and decreased testes size.
These findings add another layer of complexity to the relationship between cannabis and testosterone, requiring further research and exploration.
Does Weed Increase Testosterone?
In 2020, researchers revisited the question of whether weed increases testosterone levels. Scientists from the Universities of Chicago, Miami, and Baltimore conducted a study to examine the association between testosterone levels and cannabis use.
Surprisingly, the study revealed that men who reported using cannabis 2-3 times per month had slightly higher testosterone levels.
This finding is particularly noteworthy considering that 82% of cannabis users in the study reported consuming cannabis 4 or more times per month. The data raises the question of whether the dose and frequency of cannabis use impact testosterone levels.
While the researchers could not draw definitive conclusions, they noted that the increase in testosterone declined as individuals consumed greater amounts of cannabis.
To add further complexity to the matter, a 2017 study discovered that recent cannabis users had higher testosterone levels. Compared to subjects who had never used cannabis or subjects who had used cannabis in the past.
The researchers emphasized that the recency of cannabis use, rather than the duration or frequency of use, showed the strongest relationship with testosterone levels.
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In conclusion, “How weed affect testosterone levels?” is a complex and multifaceted topic with conflicting findings from different research studies. While some studies suggest a link between THC and lowered testosterone, others show an increase in testosterone levels among cannabis users.
The dose-dependent effects and proposed mechanisms through which cannabis may influence testosterone further contribute to the complexity of this relationship. Additionally, recent studies on non-human primates provide insights into the potential negative effects of cannabis on testosterone levels.
As our understanding of the endocannabinoid system continues to evolve, further research and exploration are essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of how cannabis precisely affects testosterone and its implications for men’s health.