Does Smoking Marijuana Reduce the Body’s Testosterone Production?

 Popular wisdom tells men that testosterone and cannabis do not mix well. You may have already heard about claims that smoking pot can lower testosterone levels. However, with all the information you can get online, it is easy to get confused about whether or not it affects the hormone.

Where and When It All Began

One of the earliest studies connecting cannabis and testosterone was in 1974, which showed that heavy users of marijuana had their testosterone levels cut in half. Therefore, smoking pot at that time was a big no-no for bodybuilders and men in general.

Contrary Evidence

One study that showed the negative effects of cannabis on testosterone is not enough to conclude smoking pot is something to avoid. More studies were performed and later revealed that there are studies with contradicting results.

The same year as the early study above, another group replicated the research and conducted the same tests on a number of subjects. What was puzzling was that the results were not the same. The scientists concluded that marijuana actually had no relationship with the decrease in testosterone levels.

One year later, there was another study that tested which of the two was right: the first study that showed cannabis affected the hormone production or the second one that proved otherwise. This particular third study found out that the second study was the correct one as it supported the claim that cannabis had nothing to do with lowered testosterone.

The finding in the third study was that testosterone did not lower in significant amounts or did not have any change at all. The third experiment conducted the test on 12 men who were from 21 to 38 years. These men varied from occasional users to heavy pot smokers. They were housed for five days in a drug ward where the research was conducted.

After usage and the tests, the researchers found that the testosterone levels remained normal. Some of the men did not see any change in their hormone production. However, the myth persists. After all, “testosterone reduces after marijuana consumption” does sound more interesting than “continue smoking weed because everything is fine.”

Still, the results of the first study were hard to recreate. Another study concluded that smoking marijuana heavily could indeed decrease sperm motility as well as its normal morphology. However, later on, the researchers discarded the results as a part of the hormonal effect. It was considered as such because the men in this study had the sperm problems reverted even after they stopped smoking.

Casual Smokers May Be in the Clear

If you do not smoke weed that much and you do not label yourself as a heavy marijuana user, your testosterone levels may not be affected. According to one study, you are a casual user if you smoke 5.1 joints weekly.

On the other hand, if you are a heavy user, you may want to ease your usage, especially if you have been eyeing on increasing your testosterone levels.