CBD has so many benefits - but what does it do to your testosterone? Whether you have had issues with regulating this hormone in the past, or are simply worried about the effect CBD and cannabis Sativa can have on your testosterone’s wellness, then this article is for you.
Although CBD is something that consistently requires more study, as research on it has been partly (or fully) impeded or made difficult through laws surrounding its mother drug, marijuana, here you will be able to find out what we know so far. So, will CBD increase or decrease my testosterone levels? Will it do anything at all?
What Are The Causes of Low Testosterone?
Testosterone is responsible for a lot of things in a man’s body. It is a sex hormone that is used to regulate your sex drive (also called the libido), bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells as well as sperm.
Testosterone in your body is converted into estradiol, which is a form of estrogen. As you age, it is likely that your testosterone production will diminish, which will also diminish the amount of estradiol in your body. This means it is often difficult to define whether issues associated with testosterone deficiency are fully or partly caused by an estradiol deficiency as well.
It is expected that as men get older, their testosterone production will lower by one percent every year after they turn forty. It is also quite difficult to understand where the line is for testosterone deficiency since different men produce different amounts of testosterone naturally.
However, the main symptoms of low testosterone production in men include a reduction in lean mass, muscle size, and leg-press strength. Body fat was increased with the decrease of estradiol. Both the decrease in estradiol and testosterone caused changes in libido and erectile function.
Your body can also create estrogen from your fat cells, which produce an enzyme called the aromatase enzyme. This means that being overweight can cause you certain issues with your testosterone, which may be overshadowed by the amount of estrogen in your body.
Inflammation can also increase the enzyme aromatase, which again could cause your testosterone to lower since this enzyme can turn your testosterone into estrogen. Low testosterone can also make inflammation worse, which turns this into a vicious cycle.
Another thing that can decrease testosterone production is high stress levels. There have been several studies showing that high cortisol levels, which are produced by high-stress levels, can lower your body’s ability to produce testosterone.
Some other causes of low testosterone are:
- High prolactin
- Chronic disease
- Kidney or liver disease
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Medications such as corticosteroids and opioids
- Head injury
- Injury to the testes
- Previous steroid use
If you have low testosterone production, there are several things that might happen. Your symptoms might also be different depending on the stage of your life that you are in. When a child is going through puberty, low testosterone can delay certain developments, such as voice changes, penile growth, and pubic hair growth.
Later in your life, other issues can occur, such as:
- Increased fat mass
- Low bone mass and muscle mass
- Low sperm production
- Problems concentrating and remembering
- Irritability and depression
- Reduced sex drive and function
- Male fertility decrease (infertility)
You might also experience these symptoms through other conditions such as chronic stress, depression, and hypothyroidism. Check with your doctor if these symptoms are truly coming from lower testosterone levels.
How Do You Identify Low Testosterone?
The only way that you can confirm that you might have a lower than average testosterone level is by having your doctor run lab tests. They can request a full hormone panel that not only looks at your level of testosterone, but also looks at your levels of other hormones such as your thyroid, prolactin, estrogen, and sex-hormone binding globulin.
Hormone imbalance can be quite a dangerous thing so it is good to check if everything is alright every now and then. Your doctor might also ask you to test your blood sugar, liver and kidney function, your body mass index, and sources of inflammation, which can also cause similar symptoms to low testosterone levels. After all of this, they will be able to tell you whether the problem comes from a low level of testosterone or not.
How Does CBD Affect Testosterone?
Considering how much variety there is in the world of testosterone and testosterone production, there is no single solution or single way how CBD (or cannabidiol) affects your testosterone levels. There is evidence that CBD might affect your testosterone production through the endocannabinoid system (the CB1 and CB2 receptors), however, more research needs to be done on the topic.
What we do know is that there are CB1 receptors in your reproductive organs (your testicles), as well as in your brain’s hypothalamus. Because CBD products interact with these receptors, we know that it does indeed have an effect on your body’s production of testosterone. We do not know, however, whether CBD increases or decreases your testosterone levels.
One study done on rats shows that CBD can affect your body’s testosterone breakdown process in the liver, essentially slowing it down. This means that there would be higher levels of testosterone circulating in your body at one time.
Another thing that is important to mention is that CBD has been shown to decrease certain symptoms that may cause low testosterone production on their own, namely inflammation and stress (high cortisol levels). CBD interacts with inflammatory cytokines, decreasing them by triggering the body’s endocannabinoid system. By lowering your body’s inflammation, CBD indirectly lowers your chances of decreased testosterone production.
It has also been shown through several studies that CBD can reduce your body’s stress levels and anxiety. These things can cause high cortisol levels, which can cause low testosterone production. This means that CBD can also indirectly help prevent a decrease in your testosterone production by helping you feel calmer and less stressed.
While there is a fair to strong chance that CBD oil might help you prevent a drop in your testosterone, there is still also some truth to what you might have already heard people say before - that marijuana use could impact your testosterone levels and your fertility negatively.
Essentially, this is because the cannabinoids that you find in marijuana have been shown to compete with your body’s naturally produced cannabinoids in the pituitary gland and adrenal gland. However, the main cannabinoid present in marijuana that has been found to do this is tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, the psychoactive component of weed.
CBD does not contain this chemical, or if it does, then it is only trace amounts (less than 0.3 percent) since it is derived from the industrial hemp plant, while marijuana is derived from the marijuana plant. This means that you are much less at risk for it affecting your testosterone levels if you are a CBD user rather than a marijuana user.
So, in case you are a marijuana user that is considering making the shift to CBD, then it might be useful to know that while marijuana has been found in many animal studies to decrease your levels of testosterone, CBD has not. This means it might just be time to make that change.
Should You Use CBD For Your Testosterone Levels?
As we have seen in the section above, it is uncertain whether CBD boosts or even decreases testosterone production in the human body. However, this does not mean that there are no ways in which we know you can prevent low testosterone production using CBD.
In order to naturally boost your testosterone levels on your own, health experts tell us that you should get good sleep, reduce the stress levels in your life, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, eat healthy food, and have a balanced diet. You can also take supplements that boost your testosterone levels, in case your doctor feels they could be helpful to your wellbeing.
CBD can help you do almost all of these things, thereby indirectly helping you maintain regular testosterone production. CBD can help you feel less stressed and anxious and therefore allowing you to sleep better and produce less cortisol.
It can also help manage your eating habits, as you are less likely to stress eat. At the same time, lower stress levels will likely also help you focus on other things, such as exercising and eating better foods, because you will have a healthier and more focused mind.
What Are The Health Benefits Of CBD?
Outside of CBD’s slightly uncertain results with testosterone, there are other health benefits that CBD has that have been more deeply studied and confirmed. These range from helping you with (slightly) minor issues in life, such as mild pain and acne, to helping you deal with terrible illnesses such as epilepsy syndromes and the physical fallout from cancer treatment.
1. It Can Relieve Pain
CBD is able to reduce regular and chronic pain by binding to your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is responsible for regulating a whole bunch of stuff in your body, such as sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response. CBD is able to reduce inflammation in this system by interacting with cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters, which is especially useful for people with long-lasting, chronic pain of some sort.
2. It Could Reduce Anxiety and Depression
This one is a well-known one. Anxiety and depression are terrible disorders that affect a large number of people in the world today, often incapacitating their patients from resuming their day-to-day activities.
CBD has been shown in a decent number of studies to decrease the symptoms of both of these disorders, allowing people to deal with them in more effective ways. Although these illnesses are often treated with pharmaceutical drugs, some people have found that they prefer natural, less addictive ways to deal with them and have shifted over to using CBD for them.
3. It Can Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms
Cancer and cancer treatments have absolutely awful side effects. CBD can help you take care of nausea and pain that may arise from chemotherapy as well as help you lower your stress and anxiety levels that may have arisen from your diagnosis.
4. It May Reduce Acne
This is not a very well-known one but it can be quite useful to the nine percent of people that suffer from acne. CBD can help you reduce the incidence of acne on your skin by stopping the production of sebum, which is an oily secretion that worsens or causes acne on your skin. CBD also prevents and takes care of inflammation, which can be another cause of acne.
4. It Might Have Neuroprotective Properties
CBD can be a very helpful tool for certain neurological disorders. It has been found to be extremely helpful for childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
This is especially helpful since sometimes medications are not able to reduce the symptoms of these syndromes. This substance can also help cognition and to reduce symptoms of certain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
6. It Could Benefit Heart Health
CBD can also lower your blood pressure, which can address and reduce the symptoms of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects which can again aid in the reduction of the incidence of heart disease.
More studies are needed, but CBD is thought to provide the following health benefits:
- Antipsychotic Effects
- Substance Abuse Treatment
- Anti-Tumor Effects
- Diabetes Prevention
What Are Some Of The Side Effects Of CBD?
As with almost anything else out there that you can take or consume, there can be certain side effects or downsides to it. CBD is considered a very safe substance, so you should not be too worried about these side effects, however, you should know what CBD use can cause. So,
- It can cause drowsiness
- It can cause gastrointestinal issues
- It can cause dry mouth
- It can interact with other medications (avoid taking with medications that have a grapefruit warning)
- It can cause nausea
Since CBD can be sold in many different forms - you have CBD oils, CBD gummies, tinctures, and even vapors - that means that it would be impossible for us to tell you just how much you should take at once and how often in order for you to avoid these downsides. We advise that you talk to a professional about how much is recommended and the way to take it through which you would better absorb it.
Although this article (as well as no other article out there) can tell you just how CBD affects your testosterone levels, we hope that you leave this page feeling better informed on how we know it can indirectly do so. At the same time, CBD has incredible properties that can improve your life and health in many other ways that are not related to your testosterone.
If you arrived at this article looking for a definitive answer about how your testosterone levels would change and you feel that you have not gotten it, you can leave that question for your doctor and their testosterone supplements. Instead, you're leaving leave this article armed with the knowledge of how CBD has been known to help depression, anxiety, pain, and other issues ranging from minor inconveniences to terrible illnesses.
If you are, however, really concerned about your testosterone levels, then you can leave this article knowing that there is a significant amount of evidence showing how THC and cannabis plant use negatively affects testosterone, and close to zero evidence showing how CBD does anything to decrease it.
So, unless your doctor says otherwise, it is very likely that your testosterone will be just fine if you are taking CBD.