Marijuana and Testosterone: The Effects of Cannabis on Male T Levels

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This is not the first time I’m write about marijuana and testosterone. In fact, about 6 months ago I wrote a post showcasing all the studies about its effects on androgen production, but since some serial-stoners decided to spam the shit out of the article, claiming that I was promoting propaganda, I just got tired of that and removed the whole thing.

After the deletion of the original posts, I’ve received a ton of inquiries about the subject, which is why I’m finally rewriting the old article about weed and testosterone.

Here you go:

Weed and Testosterone Levels

 

Marijuana and testosterone levelsI don’t actively smoke weed myself, but I have nothing against pot, or against the people who use it.

Which is why I try to be as objective about the subject as I possibly can.

I’m sure most of you have already seen the alarming titles, such as: “Smoking pot causes man-boobs. Beware!” or the classics like “Marijuana using men are the worst lovers.”

I also know that a lot of bro’s at the gym like to claim that smoking pot would completely mess up your ability to gain muscle. When it comes to marijuana and testosterone, there is going to be a lot of crazy claims.

However, in my opinion, claims such as those above, are nothing more than fear of the unknown and unnecessary hysteria. There’s plenty of guys who have smoked weed for most of their lives, who don’t have man-boobs, and on top of that, some of the biggest guys in the bodybuilding scene are avid pot users.

Marijuana is just a goddamn herb. To claim that a single herb would be powerful enough to stop muscle growth, is beyond the scope of my understanding. It’s unlikely that you’d grow breasts by smoking it either.

Does this mean that marijuana is harmless for hormones? Well, not entirely I suppose:

The Research Behind Marijuana and Testosterone:
a) The claim that marijuana causes man-boobs has more than likely originated from these few in-vitro studies (study, study), where crude marijuana extract had estrogenic effects on isolated rodent cells. Now, if something acts like estrogen, it can definitely induce some man-breast growth… However, it’s important to note that the studies were done on isolated cells taken from rats, and the whole experiment was conducted inside test-tubes. On top of that the effects haven’t been seen in in-vivo studies (inside a living organism).

b) It has been noted in several notable studies that THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) can potentially be an endrocrine disruptor in humans and animals, since it blocks GnRH secretion from the hypothalamus, which eventually leads to lowered LH and FSH production and therefore also lower testosterone production. THC has also been shown to inhibit several testicular enzymes needed in testosterone production in-vitro (study, study, study, study, study, study). Although it’s worth mentioning that in all of the studies I’ve seen, the effects have been reversible.

c) As weird as it is, some studies have shown that cannabis does not lower testosterone levels (study, study), despite the fact that a pile of studies has already shown that it does. Albeit, these review studies do contain research which shows cannabis to suppress testosterone, the abstracts still cleverly state that “chronic marijuana use showed no significant effect on hormone concentrations in either men or women.”.

Conclusion on Marijuana and Testosterone

 

 So does marijuana lower testosterone levels or not? I believe it does, but with not such a magnitude that is often claimed.

Definitely not significantly enough enough to cause man-boobs or completely wipe off your gains in the gym, if that’s what you’re afraid of. Again, it’s just a herb.

And even if the testosterone lowering effects would be significant, it’s still reversible. One of the studies showed that 24 hours after smoking a joint, testosterone levels had returned back to pre-smoking levels.

 NOTE: If you’re interested in learning everything you must do with your diet, training and lifestyle to raise testosterone as quickly as possible, check these out .

Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala is the founder of Anabolic Men, and an Independent Researcher that has been credited with organizing the findings that have helped thousands of men reach hormonal balance. alikuoppala @anabolicmen
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31 Comments

  1. Manly Venusian Man. Really. on 04/05/2015 at 21:43

    Why does everyone that is neutral or with marijuana usage have to say “It’s just a herb”? Like holy fuck, NOBODY knew it’s a herb. It’s like constantly saying Hitler was a nazi, had a pencil stache or hated jews.

    Worse yet, it’s EXACTLY like constantly saying that you are not gay…BUT you SUPPORT gay rights.

    I just love how human language is used sometimes.

    Hmm, talking about gays, are there any studies that show a relationship between homosexuality and testosterone?

    • Ali Kuoppala on 04/05/2015 at 23:47

      Probably because the claimed effects are often something that could not be achieved with even the strongest prescription drugs.

      I haven’t really looked into the topic of testosterone and homosexuality, but if I recall correctly, I’ve seen something about TRT being tested as a “cure” for gayness at some point.

      I would guess that homosexuality goes far beyond hormones though.

      • MisterE on 18/02/2016 at 05:08

        Yeah, I’m gay and on TRT, it just makes me extra horny

    • MisterE on 18/02/2016 at 05:04

      Seriously? There is a plethora of straight people who support gay rights (the President, the supreme court, Unitarian Universalist church, United Church of Christ, idk actually this is stupid because there are so many, and supporting gay rights implies nothing about one’s sexual orientation). You are ridiculously ignorant.

  2. Alan on 05/05/2015 at 00:14

    I’d really like to see you post some articles on hemp products such as shelled seeds, hemp oil, and other hemp products and their effects on T.

    My thought would be that they would be bad because of their polyunsaturated fat levels but you being the expert it’d be great to get your point of view on it and if they really are good or bad for increasing T

    – Alan

  3. isaac m on 05/05/2015 at 01:53

    I don’t think Marijuana will have effects on your gains in the gym unless your so stoned all the time you can’t keep up a good routine for health (exercise, diet, supplements).

  4. Pedro Mendes de Araújo on 05/05/2015 at 01:54

    There are a lot of people around the internet who would pass off scientific data as “propaganda”. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Still, if you tell someone the truth and they say it’s “biased”, it doesn’t stop being the truth, doesn’t it?

  5. Will on 05/05/2015 at 07:06

    Playing devils advocate, but what if someone ran a test to see if weed helped T-levels because of it’s stress relief properties it can have on some? Being stressed out surely can be negative and effect test, one would think. Well, what if you are incredible stressed and smoke a joint occasionally, relax right after and let the weight of the world off your chest. It might have a positive impact on T levels.

    Just food for thought to create some interesting conversations.

  6. Peter Reynolds on 05/05/2015 at 14:04

    I sympathise with the first point in your article. The cannabis campaign is plagued with angry stoner evangelists who wage aggressive war on anyone who suggests any possibility of anything negative about cannabis use. They are in fact deeply damaging to the campaign and cause far more harm than good.

    Thanks for an interesting article.

    • Lex Quin on 11/01/2016 at 21:09

      No, i do not “wage war” on pretentious moron’s like yourself, who claim to have legitimate concern for cannabis legalization and it’s recreational, or medicinal consumption, because it’s supremely obvious that you don’t. The only people saying bad things about cannabis, or about the people who consume it, shouldn’t fucking matter, or at least their opinion’s shouldn’t, because it has absolutely no effect on their lives, and yes, bald pretentious idiots like you, anger me.

      Thanks for triggering me while i struggle with insomnia that i wouldn’t have, if i had cannabis, fuck you.

      • Peter Reynolds on 11/01/2016 at 21:28

        Astonishing to get your rude, ignorant, foul-mouthed response eight months after I left a polite and considered comment.

        Nothing more needs to be said because it is all too apparent from your own words. You are the enemy of reform and people like me are well used to having to clear up after your sort of behaviour.

        Go suck it up nutcase. karma will get you in the end.

        • Lex Quin on 11/01/2016 at 21:43

          Nutcases believe in karma, you regressive. Your comment was nothing but provocative, and stupid.

          • rusty on 13/01/2016 at 19:04

            Chillax mate, we know the law an ass in regards to weed! We need to keep fighting the government not each other! I hope you got some doobies with you tonight. 😉



          • Lex Quin on 13/01/2016 at 19:55

            We, or the public, doesn’t know shit about it, at least in Australia. The government actively funds misinformation campaigns while there no scientific studies to justify a campaign for, or against it. All we have, is anicdotal examples such as Colorado and dc, of a successful government regulated cannabis distribution scheme, that hasn’t resulted in the implosion of the workforce, or any considerable reduction in the mental health of it’s consumer base.



          • rusty on 13/01/2016 at 21:33

            Yes, I’ve seen the sloth ad and I think that will only encourage more to smoke weed! Its Very funny mate! I 100% agree with your points! I just think they think we are all idiots, but we do vote them into power so maybe they are right!!!! Free the weed.



      • John Doberman on 13/01/2016 at 08:49

        I gave you an upvote for making me laugh. 🙂

  7. Nitin Reddy on 11/06/2015 at 11:28

    I was smoking an average of probably 2-3 joints daily for the past couple years. I’ve stopped for a week now and don’t see any return in libido or erections which have severely decreased since then, I’m 21. How long do you think it will take? Should I get my test levels checked now or wait a while? Is it even reversible?

    • itchy8me on 25/08/2015 at 11:23

      I have stopped recently and noticed a huge decrease in muscle mass, sex drive and appetite. All things related to low androgen levels.

      I have actually done this on multiple occasions, all with the same result. If i start again, my muscle tone increases , sex drive increases, and appetite increases.

    • David on 22/04/2016 at 02:16

      Hard to say exactly – there’s going to be both a physical and psychological adjustment period. I’m going to do the same thing. I typically only vape a little bit every night to relax and sleep, but I expect I’ll have trouble sleeping for a week plus I’ll feel extra warm (basically hot flashes) and be somewhat irritable.

      But this is the season where I usually ramp up my cardio for a big 150km+ bike fundraiser I do every June so I get more of those natural endocannabinoids which helps. Plus my winter semester just ended and I have a week before my summer practicum starts so now seems as good a time as any. It’s good to give your body a break now and then.

      How are you feeling now (~10 months)?

  8. Jonathan D Saunders on 03/09/2015 at 20:34

    Thank you for the article.
    I am a chronic user but that does not mean I shut myself off to science. Just the opposite of course.
    I also appreciate your objectivity on the matter.

  9. Sean on 20/12/2015 at 05:45

    I also wonder if its what you use it for. The stereotypical stoner is portrayed as a lazy, jobless, stupefied man who sits on a couch eating chips and watching television, while saying dude a lot. I would guarantee that that man’s t levels are much lower than the average. If one were to use it for exercise I imagine it would benefit them. It would probably be accurate to say that in most cases in makes them lazy weaklings.

  10. Fitman1 on 10/02/2016 at 16:43

    I had my T checked before I used cannabis oil for 3 months. I was using it to try and get some relief from burning neuropathy. Unfortunately no results. I had my T checked a few months after I discontinued use and it was down 40 points from the previous test and was below the level where the medical establishment will treat you for it. I don’t want the synthetic hormones and will try some herbs first or maybe an alternative doctor who specializes in bio identical hormones. Not saying the cannabis caused the lower number, just suspicious it could have.

    • MisterE on 18/02/2016 at 05:12

      40 points? That’s the entire drop? That’s nothing. That guideline of “normal” numbers is for people who are 70-80 years old, because they’re the most common people to take the test. If you’re in your 20s, you ought to be around 700ng/dL. I think the common “threshold” for TRT is like 250ng/dL. But if you’re not that old you were already low. Testosterone levels fluctuate depending on time of day, if you just exercised, and actually a ton of other variables.

  11. rossm21uk . on 02/03/2016 at 02:37

    Personally I myself am a stoner. I love the weed, getting high is extremely relaxing and enjoyable. That being said I do not like pro cannabis activists who try and downplay it as “just a herb” or harmless or whatever. If you look at the big picture this herb produces an extremely powerful psychoactive drug. A drug that plays havoc with our neurotransmitters. Anything which is messing around with our brains chemicals is also more than likely affecting our hormones, so it would be foolish to think that living your day to day life imbalanced neurontransmitters and hormones is gonna be fine and dandy. No, imo it spells many mental and physical health issues. We are all for comparing the drug to alcohol and lambasting booze as evil and something which causes health issues and ruins lives. Well, when used sensibly and in moderation, no it doesn’t. Same with weed, however a lot of cannabis users think its fine to take it every day and night. Same as myself. Ive just commited to end my daily habit, and this is night number 3 without it, it feels like night 300 already. I can’t sleep, ive broke out in terrible bacne, My mood is all over the place. Its taken my 15 years to realise this drug is not as light and harmless as many make out. As an added point I have smoked right through the danger years of adolescence and I have shown development congruent with reduced T levels and which do not run in my family. Just speculation but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in fact my use of cannabis which caused it.

  12. […] even though smoking itself is not too healthy thing to do.   When it comes to cannabis, some studies say that the active ingredient (THC) can inhibit testicular enzymes needed in testoster…, though the effects are reversible and not as significant as some people claim. In fact there have […]

  13. David on 21/09/2016 at 01:23

    ‘Albeit, these review studies do contain research which shows cannabis to suppress testosterone, the abstracts still cleverly state that “chronic marijuana use showed no significant effect on hormone concentrations in either men or women.”’

    Don’t call yourself an “independent researcher” if you don’t know what significant means in a study. It means there is some threshold set so that effects are unlikely to be due to random chance. It’s pretty common for that threshold to be a 19/20 chance that the results are due to a real observed effect, which might also show up as p < 0.05 in the literature (less than 0.05 chance that the findings are due to random chance in your sample).

    It's good research to say what is and isn't above that threshold of significance so that you're not reporting an effect which has a high probably of coming about due to random chance – not just the researchers being clever.

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