How Does Weed Affect Muscle Growth?
Weed and muscle growth? Well, that’s controversial.
These days, most people know that weed isn’t that bad for you. It can be debated whether it’s actually more healthy than alcohol.
But does smoking weed affect muscle growth and athletic performance?
Does it affect the hormonal milieu in your body? Does it promote weight gain or even weight loss?
First of all, I do smoke weed occasionally, but that’s not what it’s about today.
But lately, I reconsidered that habit of mine. If you studied the effects of cannabis use on the testosterone levels – you’d reconsider it as well. But more on that later.
Cannabis, marijuana, sativa, weed, dope, ganja – there are many names. you might remember the legendary scene from the classic Pumping Iron, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger smoked a joint.
So, hey – if the king of bodybuilding could build ones of the best bodies on this planet while smoking weed, then everybody can do that, right?
In this article, you will learn more about the effects of smoking weed in the context of muscle growth and fat loss.
We all know that certain athletes train and live in completely different conditions.
It would be simply stupid if one wanted to transfer the principles of a well-trained Schwarzenegger to a natural beginner.
What follows is a scientific, objective review of weed, based on the lead question, “What if cannabis was an ordinary supplement?
Let’s get right into it.
How does Weed affect Muscle Growth & Fat Loss?
The concept of homeostasis has its roots in biology and refers to the active balance between anabolic (i.e. tissue building) and catabolic (i.e. tissue degrading) activities that cancel each other out.
This ensures that the status quo is kept and no changes are realized. (End result is, for example, a relatively constant body weight with the same composition over many years).
Attempting to reduce body fat mass or grow muscle is – at least for the most part – a significant departure from the body’s homeostasis.
An intended departure that affects either the anabolic or catabolic activity of the body.
If your body gets signaled that it HAS to adapt, a change takes place in the body tissue (as the catabolic side dominates, you lose muscle or fats, if the anabolic side dominated, the other way around).
When this process is complete, your body will go back to homeostasis will reach a new equilibrium in which it will adapt to the current condition of the body.
The reason why I mention all this is due to the way weed works – which, of course, also applies to smoke. Or to put it more specifically:
1. Cannabis can improve survival at the cellular level or induce cell death.
2. Cannabis can inhibit or even induce/enhance the action of the adenyl cyclase enzyme. – Important for human tissue.
3. Cannabis can provide a balance between neurogenesis and neurodegeneration.
4. Cannabis can both increase and reduce estrogen.
5. Cannabis can reduce or increase carnitine palmitoyltransferase expression and activity – depending on the cell type.
6. The activity (agonism) of cannabinoid receptors of THCs can even be counteracted by other components of cannabis.
The use of cannabis seems to be able to affect a whole range of body functions through the cannabinoid system. Some reactions appear to have a positive effect on homeostasis some don’t. Pretty confusing isn’t it?
Weed: Ingredients & Metabolism
Weed, or known as cannabis, contains the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol. the actual name is delta-9-tetrahydohydro-cannabinol, but let’s stay with THC.
THC affects not only the nervous system but also the endocannabinoid system and thus has a certain influence on the perception and the psyche of humans.
The exact potential for addiction and harmfulness is a controversial topic in today’s society.
As with alcohol, chronic cannabis users show tolerance development, but there are many advocates who claim that cannabis use is less harmful than alcohol and can even be healthy.
Cannabis use is a double-edged sword – a coin with two sides, it has advantages and disadvantages.
It is the only plant known to date that acts on the endocannabinoid system of the body (consisting of the receptors cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2)).
The perceived “high” is the result of acute consumption. Only a few know that the THC is stored in the fatty tissue, from where it finally licks “droplets” and enters the circulatory circuit (which is why you fail at a drug test weeks after consumption).
The metabolism of THC occurs through hydroxylation and oxidation reactions via the liver.
The THC leftovers are excreted via urine.
Weed & Testosterone
Now it gets a bit more interesting.
What is the effect of weed on the body’s own testosterone levels?
Studies in rats given a dose of 3-6 mg/kg for a test period of 36 days show that testosterone levels have been reduced by as much as half (already at 3 mg/kg).
The decrease is thought to be due to the decrease in 3?HSD activity, an enzyme crucial to testosterone synthesis.
Another study shows an inhibitory effect of gonadotropin-induced testosterone synthesis as a result of THC administration.
In addition, there is also a correlation between THC and progesterone, a sex hormone.
Testosterone reduction was also demonstrated by Barnett in 1983.
In this study, the subjects received intravenous THC over a period of 50 minutes. The testosterone level in the test group decreased significantly over the subsequent hours compared to the placebo group (5.5 +/- 0.5ng / mL placebo group vs 3.5 +/- 0.5ng / mL THC group.)
All points in one direction:
“In humans, the results are somewhat mixed. Not all studies show a decrease in testosterone yet the significance of the result is a ‘minor, statistically insignificant’ drop to 1 / 3rd suppression of testosterone levels. Overall, it appears to be a suppression of free levels of testosterone in males and females after smoking cannabis. “(Source)
Interestingly, such results were not found in isolated THC administration, suggesting that other components of cannabis sativa are responsible for the decrease in endogenous testosterone levels. (Source)
I think it should be clear: if you want to build muscle mass, you need high testosterone levels, because the more testosterone, the better.
Further hormonal effects from smoking weed affect some other key hormones.
The Cone study notes a short-term increase in growth hormone (from 1ng / mL to 2ng / mL) compared to the control group.
The luteinizing hormone, on the other hand, decreases in acute cannabis use (in the male: responsible for sperm maturation, in the woman responsible for ovulation), although this effect does not seem to be of a long-term nature.
Smoking weed also causes an increase in the circulating cortisol level (stress hormone).
Weed and Body Fat
One last point that may be worth addressing is the impact of cannabis use on body fat.
Cannabidiol (a phytocannabinoid) contained in cannabis has the properties of an adrenergic ?-2 agonist (which is responsible for the stimulation of adrenoceptors).
Thus, the substance acts in the exact opposite direction of the popular fat burner supplement Yohimbine. This basically means that it has a beneficial effect on the maintenance of fat deposits. -No one wants that.
So if you want to lose body fat, you’d better drink a cup of green tea instead of rolling a joint.Does smoking weed affect muscle growth and athletic performance? You will learn more about the effects of smoking weed on muscle growth and fat loss.
Cannabis and Muscle Growth
Jan 8, 2018 · 4 min read
With the legalization of marijuana, this question has been asked many times, and while people who enjoy smoking it say, “of course not! Those studies were done on rats,” and those who don’t, say, “of course it does, it increases estrogen, gives you the munchies, and you get fat,” there’s definitely more to the story.
What is Marijuana
Marijuana (has a lot of nicknames, but it sci e ntifically known as cannabis). In most states, it is illegal, and the effects of this drug come from a chemical called THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol). Use of marijuana is hotly contested and for good reason. When searching scholarly articles and even anecdotal evidence, we are left with more questions than answers.
Effects of Marijuana
There are more studies about the effects of medical marijuana rather than recreational (obviously). With this in mind, you have to do your own research and draw conclusions. The American Academy of Family Physicians states that long-term use of marijuana lowers testosterone levels in men. We know from science 101 that lower levels of testosterone mean less muscle mass. If you know anyone who has ever had to supplement testosterone before, they will also tell you that low levels of this also leave you feeling sluggish (which could translate into less exercise overall).
THC is also stored in fat cells (which produce estrogen, the more bodyfat you have, the higher the estrogen levels are), and when you break down bodyfat (lipolysis) to lose weight, you can even become reintoxicated. So if you are trying to make weight for a competition and drop enough bodyfat, your blood THC levels could potentially disqualify you from an event.
The major benefit associated with medical marijuana is pain relief. People who deal with chronic and neuropathic pain were found to have a huge reduction in pain and stress-related hormones. In the study made famous by Neuropsychopathology in 2009, chronic pain sufferers found that nearly half of patients had at least a 30 percent reduction in pain, while only 18 percent reduction in the placebo group.
Metabolic and Nutritional Effects:
THC has been shown to decrease human growth hormone and increase dopamine (and therefore, ghrelin). While it might make you feel good in the moment, due to the way your body processes this, you will feel hungry, even if you have just eaten. Some anecdotal evidence shows that some smokers have an increased ability to smell, which may also make food more enjoyable because it will seem more flavorful. The scent of food is a huge part of the eating experience because you force air through the nasal passages as you chew. It does not decrease your metabolism, but increases your appetite for carbohydrate-rich and fatty foods.
For those who smoke marijuana, it may result to better oxygenated tissue, as it acts as a vasodilator. Depending on the sport and the task, this could prove beneficial for sport.
Muscles-Tension, Relaxation, and Myopathy:
For those people who have seizure disorders or any other frequent twitching or muscular tightness marijuana has proven to be successful treating this as well. These patients have sometimes found that they are able to participate in daily activities and do normal tasks with little to no help. Marijuana reduces muscular tension, aches, and pains.
There are some new studies out there that definitely show negative effects of cannabis use on heart muscle,
Athletic and Cognitive Performance:
Ingesting or smoking marijuana impairs reaction time, hand-eye coordination, perception, and divides attention for up to 36 hours after usage. One study using licensed airplane pilots demonstrated that marijuana led to a huge increase in major and minor errors and deviations from flight plans, even when the pilots had practiced the patterns and routes previously. And just in case you’re already hot and bothered about this one, it was actual human pilots in this study (not mice).With the legalization of marijuana, this question has been asked many times, and while people who enjoy smoking it say, “of course not! Those studies were done on rats,” and those who don’t say, “of… ]]>