Several research has suggested that CBD use may have a negative impact on both testosterone and sperm. Because cannabinoids have a direct effect on our endocannabinoid system, it is fair to believe that drugs like THC or CBD will have an effect on the hormonal system as well.
In the presence of high doses of THC, testosterone levels can decrease, resulting in a hormonal imbalance in males.
Before we dig more into what we know about CBD and testosterone, it's important to note that we'll be focusing on THC, as there hasn't been much research done on CBD and testosterone.
According to preclinical animal studies, it is possible to conclude that CBD has negative effects on male reproductive systems. However, more research is needed to discover whether these unfavorable findings are applicable to humans and at what level.
It must be obvious saying that THC is the primary component of cannabis that interacts with testosterone. And that's not to claim that CBD has no effect on testosterone levels. The scientific research is not clear, but it sheds a lot of light on the role that CBD can play in testosterone production.
How does CBD interact with sexual hormones? Does CBD lower testosterone?
Let’s find out!
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a male reproductive hormone that is mostly produced in the testicles. This hormone regulates a number of vital activities, including libido, fertility, fat storage and burning, muscle mass, red blood cell synthesis, and even mood.
Most of us are aware of the hormonal changes that males go through during puberty, the rise in testosterone levels is responsible for the change to lower voices, increased body hair, and muscular masses, as well as the penis and testicles. It is also responsible for sperm production.
In fact, testosterone levels peak between puberty and the 20s, and then gradually fall due to variables such as alcohol intake, exposure to pollutants, heavy metals, and pesticides, and obesity. Low testosterone levels in men can cause low libido, erectile dysfunction, exhaustion, depression, physical weakness, and brain fog.
Illegal drug usage is mentioned as a cause of lower testosterone levels, but it's important to note that widely prescribed pain relievers (such as opioids and even ibuprofen) can also suppress testosterone levels prematurely in young men.
Although testosterone is commonly considered to be a male hormone, it can also be found in women, and conversely, estrogen may play an essential role in male sexual health.
Since these hormones are found in both sexes, however, the levels vary depending on the sex. According to experts, our sex hormones contribute to the differences in how men and women experience cannabis.
CBD and Sex Hormones
In both males and females, sex hormone secretion is directly controlled by the pituitary gland and influenced by the brain. CBD appears to have an effect on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.
The production of the female hormone estradiol is clearly linked to endocannabinoid activity. The endocannabinoid system has been demonstrated to help regulate the menstrual cycle. Although these mechanisms are still being studied, it is known that the endocannabinoid system influences gonadal hormone release.
Our sex hormones: testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are important for the normal functioning of our entire body. Because the ovaries and testicles are hormone-producing glands, they are part of the endocrine system and hence tied to the endocannabinoid system. As a result, CBD can aid in the regulation of some sexual hormone abnormalities.
The study on mice showed that THC affected hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal integrity and negatively impacted reproductive function in female mice. Chronic CBD exposure also resulted in reduced sexual behavior and fertility in male mice.
CBD and Female Hormone
CBD provides numerous benefits for women since it helps balance their hormones. For this reason, CBD may be recommended during sexual hormonal imbalances, such as if you have a polycystic ovary or if you are beginning menopause. CBD may even aid in the regulation of your menstruation. It also aids in the relief of menstrual cramps.
CBD and the Estrogen Hormone
The estrogen hormone is almost solely responsible for a woman's health. It affects not just the reproductive system, but also the circulatory system, the skin, the brain, and so on. Since this hormone is a part of the endocrine system, CBD has an impact on it. Therefore, CBD consumption can help in controlling estrogen.
CBD and Male Hormone
The testosterone hormone is mostly produced in the testicles and controls mood, sexual desire, cardiovascular health, and other functions in men. The majority of male health is regulated by this hormone. Therefore, CBD maintains the balance and health of testosterone.
Does CBD Lower Testosterone?
First, it is important to note that the available scientific data on the effects of CBD on testosterone levels and hypogonadism is not entirely clear and unambiguous. Many more studies are needed to make a conclusion.
However, the available research articles appear to indicate that CBD has a generally favorable effect on hormone production and function.
CBD has been found to restore and retain the body’s homeostasis by interacting with ECS. Therefore, we can fairly state that CBD use should not damage testosterone production.
The ECS and its receptors can be found in the brain as well as in sexual reproductive organs, such as the testicles.
CBD can maintain testosterone levels by reducing stress and improving sleep schedules. However, taking CBD products containing THC (such as full-spectrum CBD Oil) might lower testosterone levels, resulting in a hormonal imbalance in men.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone levels can have a negative impact on a man's overall fitness and well-being, as well as his sexual life. Men's testosterone production naturally drops as they age. Normal testosterone production declines by 1% every year after the age of 40.
However, the following are the causes of low testosterone among young men:
Body Fat: The aromatase enzyme converts testosterone to estrogen (female hormone), reducing total testosterone levels.
Inflammation: Inflammatory cytokines have been linked to reduced testosterone levels in males by increasing the aromatase enzyme. Low testosterone might increase the likelihood of inflammation, resulting in a vicious cycle.
Sarcoidosis: a lung disease, is often associated with low Testosterone levels.
Mental Stress: Stress causes the adrenal glands to release the steroid hormone, cortisol (stress hormone) allowing a person to respond appropriately to a stressful situation. This reduces your body's ability to produce testosterone, which is required for a relaxed body and mind.
Other factors are:
- Injury to the testicles or other body parts can affect the blood supply to the penis.
- Chronic kidney disease
- Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes
- HIV AIDS
- High levels of prolactin, a milk-producing hormone
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Alcohol abuse and/or liver cirrhosis
- Medications, such as opioids and steroids
- Delayed puberty
- Metabolic disorders
- Infection of the testicles (orchitis)
THC, CBD, and Testosterone
The link between THC, CBD, and testosterone is found in the endocannabinoid system, which is linked to the neurological and endocrine systems. It is important to understand the role of cannabinoids in the human body, and thus the impact they may have on hormones.
THC and CBD both interact with the endocannabinoid system. The human body contains a system with CB1 and CB2 receptors that receive external cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. The endocannabinoid system interacts with the neurological system and, eventually, the endocrine system.
Testosterone is a sex hormone that is typically produced in men's testicles. However, the endocannabinoid system, like the rest of the hormones, can impact this. But do cannabinoids reduce testosterone levels?
How does THC affect Testosterone?
THC has an effect on the production of testosterone or other hormones that are related to it. THC has the ability to raise cortisol levels. This hormone is released when the body is exposed to extremely stressful situations. As a result, blood sugar levels rise and metabolism speeds up. Cortisol production can lower testosterone levels in this case.
However, there is no clear evidence on how testosterone is impacted after cannabis usage.
Does CBD Lower Estrogen?
The estrogen hormone is responsible for a woman's health. It has an impact on not just the reproductive system, but also the circulatory system, the skin, the brain, and other organs. Since estrogen hormone is a part of the endocrine system, CBD has an impact on it. Therefore, CBD ingestion may help with estrogen regulation.
Does CBD affect hormone levels?
Several studies have found that cannabinoids like CBD can have a direct effect on the production and secretion of hormones like cortisol, serotonin, dopamine, insulin, and melatonin. Moreover, CBD has a great impact on the ECS and influences the body's homeostasis.
Does CBD prevent muscle growth?
Although CBD does not directly stimulate anabolism, it does help in the maintenance of muscle mass and the prevention of muscle loss. According to research, CBD helps with muscle growth, motivation, and concentration during workouts.
Does Hemp Seed reduce testosterone?
Several studies have shown that THC and CBD can both reduce testosterone production in the body by activating CB1 and CB2 receptors directly or indirectly. However, while occasional cannabis usage is unlikely to have a substantial impact on testosterone levels, chronic CBD use might result in a notable decline, and hence low testosterone-related symptoms may occur.
However, CBD might still be your buddy when it comes to testosterone. Lifestyle has a huge impact on testosterone production. Therefore, CBD is unlikely to boost testosterone in healthy and fit individuals. CBD can indirectly address low testosterone due to other factors (inadequate sleep, anxiety, etc.) by supporting a healthy lifestyle.
Does CBD improve stamina?
CBD is not only beneficial for post-workout recovery but it has also been demonstrated to improve performance when used before training. CBD improves stamina and overall health by activating and balancing the endocannabinoid system in the human body.
Several studies have found that CBD may be responsible for the decrease in testosterone production. However, its role may be conflicting. In addition to slowing testosterone production, CBD may be able to reduce hormone breakdown in the liver.
CBD is associated with testosterone to a lesser extent, and it is also linked with cortisol. It must be obvious saying that THC is the primary component of cannabis that interacts with testosterone.
THC has an effect on the production of testosterone and other associated hormones. THC can cause cortisol levels to rise. In any stressful situation, our body produces the stress hormone Cortisol. Therefore, blood sugar levels rise and metabolism accelerates. In this case, cortisol production can lower testosterone levels.
However, there is no clear evidence on how cannabis use affects testosterone.