Is there a link between cannabis and testosterone?
A commonly-held belief is that cannabis use lowers testosterone levels. This has resulted in a large group of people who avoid cannabis like the plague, under the impression that it causes hormonal imbalances.
But are these claims valid? Could cannabis really be impacting people this negatively?
Today, we’ll examine the relationship between cannabis and testosterone. We’ll look at past and recent studies regarding the two, and use deductive reasoning to come to a conclusion.
Ready? Let’s get into it.
Does Cannabis Use Lower Testosterone?
A 1974 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that testosterone levels in cannabis-using men were markedly lower than those who didn’t use. Testosterone levels were said to return to normal after abstaining from use. Additionally, a 1983 study claimed that smoking even a single joint caused T-levels to drop for 24 hours or more.
Pretty clear-cut, right? Not exactly. A second study was published in 1974, this one claiming that cannabis had no effect on testosterone levels.
The years following saw reports from both sides; some claimed cannabis use lowered T-levels, with others claiming no correlation at all. The lack of consistency made the topic murky and unclear, with cannabis being seen as a potential threat to testosterone.
That is, until recently.
Does Cannabis Use Increase Testosterone?
A 2017 study conducted in Denmark found that men experienced higher T-levels after using cannabis. Here, the higher T-levels were dependent on recency, not on frequency or duration. Men who had recently consumed THC experienced a brief boost in testosterone. Another 2017 study from Stanford University’s Department of Urology that THC is “independently associated with sexual frequency” and that it does not impair sexual function.
On top of that, a 2019 study in the journal Human Reproduction found that men who had used any amount of cannabis in their life had higher sperm counts and concentration, as well as higher T-levels.
But wait, there’s more! A 2020 study published in the World Journal of Urology found that men who had smoked THC within the past year had higher T-levels than those who didn’t. Those who used cannabis at least two or three times a month had the highest T-levels, even when considering other influencing factors.
Wait, Cannabis Use Does Increase Testosterone?
When we’re talking about higher T-levels, what’s important to remember is that we’re talking about healthy baseline testosterone levels. Having low T-levels can affect sexual function, but it also contributes to hair loss, low energy, weight gain, and depression.
Cannabis is unlikely to make you super muscular or grow hair in places you didn’t before. However, these recent findings give a lot of credit to the idea that cannabis use can contribute to your health when used properly. Furthermore, when it comes to the use of cannabis or any other substance, factual information is of the utmost importance. It does nobody any good to base one’s beliefs on info that is outdated or agenda-driven, especially when there are benefits to be had.
But let’s be thorough here: are there any recent studies that support the theory that cannabis lowers testosterone? Well, a recent study found that cannabis lowers testosterone in nonhuman primates. There are also studies that support these findings in rats.
So what do we make of this? While there is a lack of consistency in the research, recent findings seem to support the theory that cannabis may increase testosterone. And evidence that supports the opposite is dwindling.
It should be stated that some online sources still claim that cannabis lowers testosterone. At the same time, readers should take note of whether or not these claims are based on human studies. Or if the website is trying to sell testosterone replacement therapy.
Wanna Learn More?
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Also, ever wondered which is safer: cannabis or alcohol? We’ve got a blog post on it right here!