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.
Does CBD Affect Your Testosterone Levels?
When it comes to finding products to support your health, wellness, and lifestyle, finding one source for all these products can be challenging. But here at Axis Labs, we offer just that. While we’re perhaps best known for a line of leading sports nutrition supplements, we’re also excited to offer some of the finest CBD products available. As an innovator in not one but two different fields, we’re always looking for ways our customers can use our products to more effectively enhance their health.
With the recent explosion in popularity of hemp and CBD products, we have received hundreds of questions from our customers about how they can use their CBD products in tandem with the sports and health products we offer. In particular, our customers have asked us about the connection between CBD and testosterone. After all, there’s some evidence to suggest that marijuana may impact an individual’s testosterone levels.
But can the same be said for the other cannabis compound, CBD? As ardent supporters of the mantra “knowledge is power,” we want to better inform our customers so that they can use our products in a way that is meaningful for them. As such, let’s take a look at some of the research and studies behind these two naturally occurring chemicals.
Before we get too far into our research, let’s take a minute to familiarize ourselves with some of the terms and ideas we will be discussing. While those who are familiar with the bodybuilding and health and fitness worlds are already likely aware of what testosterone is and how it affects their performance, they may not understand the role of CBD in their health. Conversely, those who have put time into understanding cannabis and its effects may not recognize the benefits that testosterone can offer them.
What is CBD?
CBD is just the abbreviation for cannabidiol. It’s one of many cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis plants like hemp. Because of its chemical makeup and repository of nutrients and vitamins, CBD has the potential to be used in a variety of ways to enhance your health. While the FDA has no official guidelines or regulations about the use of CBD, hundreds of studies have found promising evidence that it can be used for purposes like:
Another often discussed cannabis compound is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. While they both are derived from cannabis plants, they are not the same compound. THC is the psychoactive component and marijuana that leaves you feeling “high.” CBD, on the other hand, actually serves to counteract the psychoactive effects, which can help you feel centered and laid-back.
Your Endocannabinoid System
Surprisingly, your body is naturally ready to make use of cannabinoids. That’s because there’s a network of receptors within your body that make use of these compounds. This is called the ECS, or the endogenous cannabinoid system. This system is made up of primarily to cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor is primarily found in your nervous system, organs, and connective tissues. CB2 can be found in the systems related to your immune system.
The ECS plays a pivotal part in human health, largely because it intersects with many of the systems in your body. You’ll find endocannabinoid receptors in places like organs, your brain, hormonal glands, tissues, muscles, and even cells. Essentially, the ECS helps your body maintain homeostasis. It’s for this reason that many people turn to CBD as a way to manage pain, recover from injury, and achieve a greater subjective sense of wellness.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that is naturally produced in the primary sex organs of the human body. Typically, testosterone is first produced during puberty and continues throughout your life, eventually slowing after the age of 30 or so. This hormone plays a role in many of the body’s functions. Primarily, it is related to your sex drive and the production of sperm in men. It also plays a notable role in the development, growth, and maintenance of both bone and muscle. In other capacities, testosterone also plays a part in fat storage in the body and the production of blood cells. The production and distribution of testosterone in your body is controlled by your brain and pituitary gland.
Your body will naturally begin to slow its production of testosterone as you age, however low testosterone levels can impact your overall health. In fact, it can impact your body in a variety of surprising ways, including:
- Changes in mood
- Recurring feelings of fatigue
- Increased weight gain
- Thinning body hair
- Lessened muscle mass and more delicate bones
- And more
So now that we know how these two compounds interact with your body, we can begin to understand how they might interact with each other. Studies have found that when you introduce cannabinoids to your system, they bind with your body’s natural cannabinoid receptors. When the CB1 and CB2 receptors interact with cannabinoids, your body suppresses its production of testosterone. While this might sound bad, you have to remember that CBD does not bind to these receptors. In fact, THC is the only cannabinoid that binds to CB receptors.
Your Endocannabinoid System and Testosterone
The ECS can play a role in your body’s ability to produce testosterone. That’s because your ECS and your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis interact with each other. Your HPA is the part of your body responsible for creating testosterone. In order for your body to produce testosterone, signals are to be sent from the brain and hypothalamus. From there, your pituitary gland activates the luteinizing hormone which leads to the production of testosterone from the Leydig cells.
CBD and Testosterone
Within sperm cells, the pituitary gland, and your Leydig cells, you’ll find cannabinoid receptors that can have an impact on your testosterone production. So if some cannabinoids are bad for testosterone production, what does CBD do? There’s a body of evidence to suggest that CBD could play a role in balancing your testosterone levels. That’s because CBD has the potential to slow down the production of testosterone, while simultaneously limiting the breakdown of testosterone in the liver. Similarly, it does not lower the levels of circulating serum testosterone in the blood.
Indeed, CBD can actually help stimulate the production of testosterone and other ways. This cannabis compound has shown promise in limiting the production of prolactin and cortisolhormones, two neurotransmitters that can slow your level of production of testosterone. That’s because both these hormones are produced in your body in response to stress. Whether it’s physical or mental, lower testosterone levels are a natural response to stress.
After an intense workout, your body needs time to recover. That’s because cortisol is also released after exercise. A workout is a form of physical stress that engages the same “fight or flight” response as emotional stress. Heightened levels of cortisol can have an impact on your physical health over time. Your tissues will begin to break down, proteins will not synthesize as quickly, and your body will not properly convert protein to glucose which inhibits the development of muscles and leads to increased body fat. By limiting the amount of stress in your life, you can help your body naturally produce more testosterone. From an emotional standpoint, CBD is known for its anxiolytic effects. That means that some individuals may find that they feel more relaxed after using a CBD product than before. Numerous studies have found that CBD is an effective addition to treatment plans for both social and general anxiety disorders. By limiting the amount of emotional stress you feel, you can help your body produce more testosterone.
It’s no wonder then that many people are turning to cannabis products like CBD for their post-workout recovery needs. CBD is praised for its natural anti-inflammatory effects. This is because CBD is packed full of essential fatty acids. Omega’s 3 and 6 offer you a variety of post-workout benefits, like counteracting inflammation, limiting joint pain, and helping to keep your arteries smooth and clean. This means you can recover from your workouts more quickly, and limit the amount of stress you place on your body, thereby improving your testosterone production.
As an added benefit, the essential fatty acids found in hemp extracts like CBD oil, have been shown to also help increase testosterone production. A year-long study in Spain conducted in 2010 looked at testosterone levels in the intake of certain fats. The study found a positive association between the ingestion of polyunsaturated fats like omega-3 and 6 and luteinizing hormone concentrations. Ultimately, the study found that subjects who increase their intake of essential fatty acids saw increased and improved testicular function, which likely helped improve their levels of production of testosterone.
Should You Use CBD to Support Your Testosterone Levels?
So, what should we take away from all of this? First, it’s important to recognize that cannabis compounds of all kinds are going to impact your testosterone levels, primarily because it can affect the overall production of the hormone.
Second, it’s important to remember that research is still being invested in the CBD and testosterone relationship. Most evidence now suggests that the use of CBD in your day-to-day activities will very likely not lead to an increase of testosterone in your body. However, it is suspected that the use of CBD does not have an adverse effect on your testosterone levels either. In fact, some would argue that the benefits that CBD has to offer may have a net positive benefit on your overall testosterone levels.
To naturally improve your testosterone levels, most specialists recommend that you concentrate on prioritizing sleep, cultivating a healthy and balanced diet, shed excess weight, exercise regularly, find ways to reduce stress, and make use of testosterone boosting supplements if need be. Of course, CBD can be utilized in all of these measures and more. Therefore, when paired with all of the above, plus, the use of a premium quality testosterone boosting supplement, you might find that CBD oil plays a positive role in managing or improving your testosterone levels.
Axis Labs offers premium quality CBD and testosterone boosting supplements. Lab tested for purity and potency and gym proven by bodybuilders across the country, our products can help you meet your health and fitness goals faster. Browse our complete collection of both testosterone supplements and CBD-based products and order yours today. For more information, we invite you to visit our blogs where we regularly post new articles and updates about both of these topics.
Many people have discussed the benefits of CBD, but can it interrupt your bodybuilding efforts in other ways? Take a look at the connection between CBD oil and testosterone with Axis Labs.