CBD and Testosterone
Since CBD has become legal in the United States, researchers have been diving into the health benefits of this cannabinoid. The more we learn about CBD, the more we realize what this hemp plant extract is capable of. People are getting increasingly excited about using CBD for chronic health issues ranging from anxiety, to seizures, to inflammatory conditions, to chronic pain, with excellent results. But can CBD also be used for testosterone?
One area of particular interest to men is CBD and testosterone. Testosterone plays a role in sex drive, sexual function, body composition, and overall well-being. Men have been curious if the phytocannabinoid, CBD, could help them boost testosterone levels, or if CBD could potentially hinder their body’s testosterone production.
To answer this question, we will need to understand how the body regulates testosterone, what factors and health conditions can cause low testosterone, and how CBD may influence these processes.
What Causes Low Testosterone?
In males, testosterone is produced by the Leydig cells of the testes. First, a small gland in the brain, the hypothalamus releases a hormone, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Next, GnRH tells another small gland in the brain–the pituitary–to release two hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
These two hormones, FSH and LH, then travel to the testes where LH stimulates the Leydig cells to produce testosterone, and FSH stimulates sperm production.
There are several causes of low testosterone. As males age, they naturally produce less testosterone. After the age of 40, testosterone production decreases by 1% each year.
Also, the body can convert testosterone to estrogen through the aromatase enzyme. This enzyme is produced by fat cells, therefore being overweight can cause a man to turn a more substantial proportion of his testosterone into estrogen, thereby decreasing his total testosterone levels.
Inflammation can also play a role in low testosterone. Inflammation can increase the enzyme aromatase, which then lowers testosterone by increasing its conversion to estrogen. Furthermore, low testosterone can increase inflammation, creating a vicious cycle.
High-stress levels may also decrease testosterone production. Studies show that high cortisol levels, which are triggered by high levels of stress, leads to a decrease in the production of testosterone.
Other conditions that decrease testosterone production include:
- Previous steroid use
- Injury to the testicles
- Head injury
- Medications such as opioids and corticosteroids
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Liver or kidney disease
- Chronic disease
- High prolactin
What Are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone can affect each man differently. The symptoms a man experiences also depends on what stage of life he is in. For example, low testosterone during puberty can delay secondary sexual characteristic development, such as pubic hair, penile growth, and voice changes.
If a man experiences low testosterone after puberty, during his adult life, common symptoms may include:
- Decreased sex drive and function
- Depression and irritability
- Issues concentrating and remembering
- Low muscle mass and bone mass
- Increased fat mass
Each individual is different and may experience some or all of these symptoms. Also, many of these symptoms are shared with other conditions, such as hypothyroidism, depression, and chronic stress. Therefore, low testosterone could be contributing to these symptoms; however, there may be more factors at play than merely a testosterone imbalance.
How Do I Know if I Have Low Testosterone?
The best way to know if you have low testosterone is by running lab tests. Your doctor can order a panel of hormone labs which look not only at testosterone, but other hormones such as estrogen, prolactin, thyroid, and sex-hormone binding globulin, which can affect hormone balance.
You doctor may also want to look into other causes of testosterone imbalance such as sources of inflammation, kidney and liver function, blood sugar, and your body mass index.
Once your doctor assesses all of these factors, you and your doctor will have a better understanding of whether you have low testosterone and, if so, why.
What Does the Research Say on CBD and Testosterone?
There are numerous causes of low testosterone production. Therefore there is no one-size-fits-all approach. CBD may influence testosterone production through its effect on the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, scattered through the brain and body. When stimulated, these receptors influence behavior, inflammation, pain perception, and more.
There are CB1 receptors in male reproductive organs, including the testes where testosterone is made, as well as in the hypothalamus of the brain, where testosterone production is controlled. Since CBD stimulates CB1 receptors, researchers have begun to look into how CBD may affect testosterone production and regulation.
These findings suggest that CBD may influence testosterone production and regulation. However, it is not clear if it increases or decreases testosterone. More research is needed in this area.
Animal studies using rats found that CBD influences the breakdown of testosterone in the liver. If testosterone is broken down at a slower rate, it means there that circulating testosterone levels will become higher.
What we do know is CBD can influence some of the causes of low testosterone: stress, high cortisol levels, and inflammation.
Research shows that CBD is effective at reducing inflammatory cytokines by stimulating the CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. As previously mentioned, inflammation can lead to lower testosterone levels.
Also, there is strong evidence to support that CBD helps to lower anxiety and stress levels. Stress and anxiety are triggers for cortisol release, which is another cause of low testosterone.
In summary, there is potential for CBD to help increase natural testosterone production; however, we still require more research.
Is it True That Marijuana Can Affect Testosterone Levels?
You may have heard that using marijuana can impair fertility and testosterone levels in men. According to the research, there is some truth to this. You may be wondering if this applies to CBD products as both CBD and marijuana are from the same plant family, Cannabis Sativa.
Studies that looked at marijuana use and its impact on male fertility have found there’s a negative impact on male reproductive health. What they reported is that the cannabinoids found in marijuana compete with the human body’s natural cannabinoids. However, unlike CBD oil, marijuana contains high levels of 9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana.
These researchers also found that it is THC, not CBD, which has a negative impact on male fertility.
It is important to note that CBD oil is derived from the industrial hemp plant, not the marijuana plant. The industrial hemp plant contains only trace amounts of THC, to begin with, and CBD products are further processed to remove THC. Since CBD products in the United States must contain less than 0.3% THC, these research findings do not likely apply to CBD oil.
Animal studies have also found that THC reduces testosterone production in the testes. Also, other animal studies found that both THC and CBD can increase, or decrease testosterone production, depending on the dose. Keep in mind, these studies were performed on rats, so human studies are necessary to confirm these findings.
While it is true that marijuana appears to impact testosterone levels negatively, CBD products are entirely different in composition. We, therefore, cannot assume that CBD will have the same effects on male hormone production as marijuana.
Final Thoughts on CBD and Testosterone
The CBD industry is exploding, and people are excited by the many uses of CBD with very few side effects. Men are questioning whether or not CBD could influence their testosterone production, either positively or negatively.
What we do know is likely marijuana harms testosterone production. This is due to the THC content, which CBD products do not contain.
CBD may be useful in boosting testosterone through its anti-inflammatory, and stress reducing effects, which are two reasons men may experience low testosterone. Also, CBD may slow the rate of testosterone breakdown in the liver.
To date, there has not been enough research to know the effects of CBD on testosterone levels with certainty. What we need is more studies and tests regarding humans, to understand how CBD truly affects testosterone.
Testosterone can give that virility and vitality that allows you to take life by the horns and seize the day. Find out if CBD is useful for increasing testosterone.
Can CBD Oil Affect Your Testosterone Levels?
Posted on September 9th, 2020
Since CBD is now legal in the United States, researchers have been looking into the potential health benefits of this cannabinoid. As we acquire more information regarding CBD, the more we will understand all the capabilities of this hemp plant extract. People are becoming increasingly delighted about using CBD for various issues such as inflammatory conditions, seizures, pain, and symptoms of anxiety – with excellent results. However, the real question here is, “can CBD oil be used for testosterone?”
Undoubtedly, CBD and testosterone is one area of particular interest to men. Generally speaking, testosterone plays a vital role in body composition, sexual function, sex drive, and overall well-being. You may be curious whether the phytocannabinoid, CBD, might help to enhance testosterone levels, or whether CBD might potentially inhibit their body’s testosterone production.
Before we answer this question, we’ll have to understand how the body controls testosterone, what health conditions and factors can bring testosterone, and how CBD might influence these processes.
The Causes of Low Testosterone
In men, testosterone is created by the Leydig cells found in the testes. For starters, the hypothalamus (a tiny gland in the brain) releases a hormone known as (GnRH) gonadotropin-secreting hormone. Then, GnRH tells the pituitary (another tiny gland in the brain) to release two hormones: luteinizing hormone (LH) and the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
Next, these two hormones, LH and FSH, travel to the testes where the former triggers the Leydig cells to release testosterone, and then FHS triggers sperm production.
In general, there are many causes of low testosterone. As men age, they naturally make less testosterone. According to health experts, testosterone production reduces by 1% every year after the age of 40.
What’s more, the body can create estrogen from testosterone via the aromatase enzyme. Since this enzyme is made by fat cells, being overweight could cause males to turn a large portion of their testosterone into estrogen. In turn, this may decrease the overall testosterone levels.
Inflammation might also play a significant role in low testosterone. Since inflammation might increase the enzyme aromatase, it then may reduce testosterone by boosting its conversion to estrogen. Low testosterone could also enhance inflammation, thus, a vicious cycle.
Another cause of low testosterone production is high-stress levels. Several studies prove that high cortisol levels, stimulated by high-stress levels, could result in a reduction in testosterone production.
Below are other conditions that may reduce testosterone production:
- High prolactin
- Chronic disease
- Kidney or liver disease
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Medications such as corticosteroids and opioids
- Head injury
- Injury to the testicles
- Previous steroid use
The Symptoms of Low Testosterone
Generally speaking, low testosterone production can affect every male differently. What’s more, the symptoms a man experiences rely on what life stage he is in. For instance, low testosterone production in puberty might delay secondary sexual characteristic development, including voice changes, penile growth, and pubic hair.
If a man has low testosterone after puberty, in his adult life, common symptoms might include:
- Increased fat mass
- Low bone mass and muscle mass
- Problems concentrating and remembering
- Irritability and depression
- Reduced sex drive and function
Each person is different and might undergo some or all of the above symptoms. Most of these symptoms are also shared with other conditions, including chronic stress, depression, and hypothyroidism. As a result, low testosterone might be contributing to these symptoms. Nevertheless, there could be other factors at play than just a testosterone imbalance.
Identifying Low Testosterone
The ideal way to find out whether you have low testosterone is by running several lab tests. Your doctor might request a panel of hormone labs that look like testosterone and other hormones like thyroid, prolactin, estrogen, and sex-hormone binding globulin that could be affecting hormone balance. Furthermore, your doctor might want to examine other causes of testosterone imbalance, including blood sugar, liver and kidney function, your body mass index, and sources of inflammation.
After your doctor analyzes all of these factors, you will both have a better understanding of if you have low testosterone production and, if so, why.
CBD and Testosterone: The Research So Far
Since there are many causes of low testosterone production, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Generally, CBD might affect testosterone production through its influence on the endocannabinoid system. In general, the endocannabinoid system constitutes two cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2 – scattered through the body and brain. Upon stimulation, these receptors affect pain perception, inflammation, behavior, etc.
In male reproductive organs, there are CB1 receptors, such as testes where testosterone is created, and the brain’s hypothalamus where testosterone production is regulated. Because CBD works with CB1 receptors, many researchers have started to find out how CBD might influence testosterone production and regulation.
According to these findings, CBD might affect testosterone production and regulation. But it is not evident whether it increases or reduces testosterone. More research is required in this particular area.
Rats were used in one animal study, which discovered that CBD affects testosterone’s breakdown in the liver. When testosterone is broken down at a relatively slower rate, it suggests that circulating testosterone levels will also be higher. We know so far that CBD may affect some causes of low testosterone, such as inflammation, high cortisol levels, and stress.
Research suggests that CBD may effectively decrease inflammatory cytokines by triggering the endocannabinoid system’s CBD receptors. And as aforementioned, inflammation could result in lower testosterone levels.
What’s more, there is strong evidence to suggest that CBD may help to reduce stress levels and symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety and stress are common triggers for cortisol production, which is also a cause of low testosterone.
Simply put, there is potential for CBD to help boost natural testosterone production. But we still need more research.
Marijuana and Testosterone Levels: What’s the Relation?
You might have heard that using marijuana could impair testosterone levels and fertility in men. Based on several studies, there’s some truth to this. You might be worried whether this applies to CBD products since both marijuana and CBD come from a similar plant family called Cannabis Sativa.
Most studies that have looked into marijuana application and its effect on male fertility have realized that there is a negative effect on male reproductive health. According to their report, the cannabinoids present in marijuana usually compete with the body’s natural cannabinoids. But, as opposed to CBD oil, marijuana consists of high levels of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is marijuana’s psychoactive component. Besides, these researchers realized that it is THC and not CBD, which brings a negative effect on male fertility.
It’s also worth noting that CBD oil is obtained from the industrial hemp plant, and not the marijuana plant. Typically, the industrial hemp plant consists of trace amounts of THC, to start with, and some CBD products are further processed to eliminate THC. Because CBD products in the U.S. must be comprised of less than 0.3% THC, those research findings would not apply to CBD oil.
According to several animal studies, there is much evidence that THC decreases testosterone creation in the testes . Other animal studies also discovered that both CBD and THC could boost, or reduce, testosterone production, based on the dose. Don’t forget that these studies were conducted on rats; therefore, human studies are required to confirm these particular findings.
It is evident that marijuana seems to affect testosterone levels negatively. However, CBD products are completely different in composition. Therefore, we can’t assume that CBD will have similar effects on male hormone production, like marijuana.
Should You Use CBD for Your Testosterone Levels?
Suppose you want to naturally boost your testosterone levels. In that case, health experts recommend that you focus on prioritizing sleep, finding ways to reduce stress, exercise regularly, shed excess weight, cultivating a healthy and balanced diet, and making use of testosterone boosting supplements when need be. CBD may be helpful in those areas. So, when combined with all of the above, and the use of a high-quality testosterone boosting supplement, you may realize that CBD oil could play a role in regulating or enhancing your testosterone levels.
CBD Oil and Testosterone: Conclusion
The CBD industry is thriving, and people are excited by the many uses that CBD presents with very few side effects. Undoubtedly, men are questioning if or not CBD might affect their testosterone production, whether negatively or positively.
All we know so far is that marijuana likely influences testosterone production. Primarily, this is because of the THC content, which not all CBD products contain. However, CBD might be useful in increasing testosterone through its stress-reducing and anti-inflammatory effects, which are two common reasons men might experience low testosterone. What’s more, CBD might slow the rate of the liver’s testosterone breakdown.
As of now, there hasn’t been enough research to be sure of CBD’s impacts on testosterone levels. However, more studies and tests concerning humans may help us gain a better understanding of how CBD affects testosterone.
There are many causes of low testosterone production, however CBD oil may help testosterone production through its influence on the endocannabinoid system.