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CBD and Testosterone Levels

By October 7, 2018 No Comments
CBD and Testosterone Levels

It is widely accepted now that CBD can be used to effectively treat pain and anxiety.  New research is shedding light on how it can also impact men’s testosterone levels.  We’re going to look at what the research says and talk about why it’s important to maintain healthy testosterone levels.

How the Endocannabinoid System Affects Reproduction

The body has a sophisticated endocannabinoid system that allows cannabinoids to be dispersed throughout the body, from the nervous system to the spleen, testicles and peripheral nerves.

The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, actually plays an important role in reproduction, as cannabinoid and endocannabinoid receptors can be found in the testicles as well as in sperm.

The ECS is also present in areas of the brain responsible for the release of gonadotropin releasing hormone, GnRG. This hormone triggers the release of luteinizing (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which are pro-reproductive pituitary hormones.

CB1 and CB2 receptors can be found in the HPG axis, which includes the hypothalamus, gonadal glands and pituitary gland. The ECS is one of the primary regulatory feedback mechanisms in the HPG axis. When CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated, it triggers the release of reproductive hormones.

But there’s a caveat here. If the ECS is unhealthy or if the cannabinoid receptors are blocked, it can cause reproductive issues.

How Does CBD Affect Testosterone?

Much of the past research on marijuana has shown that smoking pot can have a negative effect on sex drive and testosterone (study 1, study 2, study 3).

Marijuana is high in THC and relatively low in CBD, although you will find some strains that are higher in CBD but those were not used in any previous studies that we can fin.

It is important to keep that mind when referencing studies on THC and testosterone.  There is no direct correlation between THC & CBD. In fact, they often have completely different results in the human body.

CBD affects the system in a different way, as it does not actually bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors.

It works indirectly in the ECS and through other neurotransmitter systems.

Based on new research and studies, it appears that CBD slows down the production of testosterone while it’s in your system. But it also prevents the liver from breaking down testosterone and it has no effect on circulating serum testosterone in the body.

It also seems that CBD lowers cortisol and prolactin levels in the body. High levels of prolactin and cortisol, which is the key stress hormone, lead to lower testosterone levels. Keeping these levels low will help you preserve your testosterone levels.

That is where we find the best possible use for CBD in terms of T-levels.  If your cortisol is high, you most likely have lower than healthy testosterone levels.  CBD may help reverse the damage from high cortisol and in turn help improve your t-level.

Why is it Important to Maintain Testosterone Levels?

As you age, your testosterone levels naturally start to decline. But taking steps to preserve as much testosterone as possible can help:

  • Increase or Maintain Muscle Mass: Testosterone increases muscle mass and strength by increasing muscle protein synthesis.
  • Improve Erections and Libido: Testosterone is a sex hormone, so low levels can lead to a low sex drive and difficulty getting an erection.
  • Decrease Body Fat: Testosterone plays an important role in regulating glucose, insulin and fat metabolism. When levels decline, the body starts accumulating fat.
  • Fight Depression: Research shows that men suffering from depression often have low testosterone levels. Scientists are still unsure of whether low testosterone causes depression or if depression causes low testosterone. But men who undergo doctor-directed testosterone treatments often report improvements to their mood and depression symptoms.