In recent years, cannabis has been making news as the new game-changer in the medical world. A growing number of researches are bringing its therapeutic benefits into the limelight against the conservative legality issues. Just the way medical cannabis can drive away your anxiety, depression, etc. and improve your mental performance, it can also enhance physical health. As such, it promotes testosterone levels in male smokers. But that isn’t all. Read along to know some astounding facts about the association of cannabis with testosterone and male reproductive health.
A study by Harvard University Researchers
Recently, a new dimension to the whole controversy of cannabis and male reproductive health has surfaced. The scientists at Harvard University collected and analyzed 1143 semen samples from 662 men between 2000 and 2017. The participants were mostly college-educated white men (mean age was about 36 years) who were seeking fertility treatments at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Centre.
Apart from semen sample analyses, they had to fill up a questionnaire that noted lifestyle habits like their past and current drug usage. Of the 662 men, 55% reported smoking weed at some point in their lives, but not presently. Only 11% were current smokers. Blood samples of 317 participants were also gathered to study the association of weed with reproductive hormones. The outcomes of this research were incredible:
1. Various Things Nudge the Testosterone Level and Cannabis is one of Them
Generally, testosterone levels range between 300 and 1000 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Since we associate energy, confidence, and sex drive with this male hormone, having higher levels of the hormone becomes a bragging point in men of a specific age group. A 2015 study in JAMA showed that libido in men enhanced when their testosterone readings jumped to around 500 from the considerably low mark of 230.
Starting at the age of 30, testosterone readings in men dwindled by 1% on an average every year. Conditions like a pituitary tumor or testicle injuries also cause hormonal imbalances in men. Stress, obesity, and viral diseases like flu can cause levels to plummet too. While endurance exercises like marathon training or cycling for long distances can make testosterone plunge to lower levels, high-intensity workout and resistance training can improve it. The fluctuations not only occur with age, exercise, or diseases but also regularly. The peak reading comes at around eight o’ clock in the morning, wanes throughout the day to reach a minimum at around eight o’clock in the evening and, henceforth, surges again at night.
Cannabis too can impinge on the testosterone levels, but not necessarily in a negative way. The recent studies contradicted the previous hypothesis of its harmful impact on male reproductive health by showing increased testosterone counts in participants who smoked weed.
2. Sperm Concentration Increases with Use of Cannabis
The semen samples collected and surveyed by Dr. Jorge Chavarro and his team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health showed that the two metrics of male fertility – sperm concentration and count both increased on using marijuana. Even in Denmark, a large scale study on young, healthy men showed that previous and current marijuana smokers had increased levels of testosterone.
The World Health Organization marks 15 million per mL as the threshold for normal sperm concentration. It is interesting to note that only 5% of marijuana smokers had sperm concentration below the threshold as opposed to 12% of the participants who never tried cannabis products.
3. Higher Testosterone Leads to Greater Risk-taking Attitude
Scientists tried to justify the astonishing results of this recent study on cannabis and testosterone by suggesting that marijuana smokers are more fearless risks-takers. In other words, men with higher testosterone counts have a preference for risk-seeking activities like smoking marijuana whose use is still controversial and illegal in many places. However, it is imperative to study the CBD lab report before you buy a cannabis product to ensure quality and safety.
4. Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and its Association with Fertility
Another plausible reason for the out comings of this research is the interaction of the active compounds in marijuana with our endocannabinoid system, which plays a major role in fertility. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is responsible for the production of testosterone in the male body and its function is linked with the ECS receptors. Starting at the hypothalamus, appropriate signals must be sent from the brain to the testes. Subsequent pituitary signals to the luteinizing hormone trigger the production of testosterone in the Leydig cells of the testes. Studies showing improved serum testosterone concentration on the administration of CBD explain this link between endocannabinoids and male reproduction.
Additionally, sperm cells house cannabinoid receptors. The receptors are also found in the pituitary and Leydig cells. Through their presence, they can further regulate the production of testosterone and related indicators of male fertility.
5. CBD-rich Marijuana may potentially Improve Male Fertility
In all possibility, smoking one or two joints now and then can improve sperm quality, perhaps thanks to the presence of cannabidiol or CBD in marijuana. When administered in the body, CBD may stunt the production of cortisol. Cortisol and testosterone share an inverse relation, meaning if one’s level goes up, the other has to go down. So, by reducing cortisol levels, CBD is advocating the production of testosterone.
A vital point of consideration is that if testosterone is not unbound, it is rendered useless. Therefore, the content of free testosterone is of more importance than overall levels of testosterone. CBD may play a significant role here. Experiments on male adult rats show that it reduces the breakdown of testosterone through the liver, thereby, upholding the circulation for a longer time. Such amazing discoveries have paved the way for further research for potential fertility advantages of weed and other health benefits in general. If you have been struggling with fertility issues, now is the time to give cannabis a shot. In this regard, one practice that is becoming increasingly popular among marijuana smokers is harvesting your pot yourself. Growing weed indoors lets you enjoy its therapeutic effects without the potential risk of buying spiked products.