How Does Marijuana Affect Hormones?
Does Marijuana Affect Hormones?
Hormones are one of the most powerful systems in the body. They impact stress and mood regulations, appetite, sleep and even body temperature. So you may wonder how marijuana consumption affects your hormone levels? Here is what you need to know.
Hormones are the “body's chemical messengers [which] travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs.” The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is another system that helps regulate the body. Cannabis interacts with both the ECS and hormones which is why marijuana has a direct impact on appetite, stress and fertility.
Marijuana and appetite
We all know that the “munchies” often come along with consuming marijuana. It is well known that cannabis increases appetite and intensifies the pleasure we experience while eating which is why medical marijuana is such a great treatment for cancer, HIV/AIDS and wasting syndrome patients.
Marijuana influences leptin hormone levels which helps regulate food intake, energy expenditure and the body’s natural body weight (also known as set point). The higher your body fat percentage, the higher your leptin hormone levels are. It has been shown that marijuana consumers have lower levels of leptin on average which points to why marijuana consumers tend to have lower body fat percentages, obesity rates, BMIs and a smaller waist size.
Marijuana and stress
Cortisol is “nature’s built-in alarm system. It’s your body’s main stress hormone. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear.” Consuming marijuana with THC elevates your cortisol levels. The effects of this elevation vary based on how frequently one consumes marijuana. For those that do not consume frequently, this spike in cortisol levels can increase blood pressure which can heighten anxiety. For those who use it more frequently, they can become habituated to this spike which lowers their response to stress.
A spike in cortisol is also an important hormone used when getting up in the morning. These levels slowly decline as the day goes on. For frequent cannabis consumers, this cortisol peak in the morning may lessen, sometimes making it more difficult to get up and start the day.
Marijuana and fertility
When it comes to cannabis use and fertility, the findings have been conflicting. A recent study showed that marijuana disrupts the gonadotropin-releasing hormone which leads to reduced estrogen and progesterone levels. This can make it difficult for one to get pregnant.
There also has been a positive link when it comes to female sex drive and marijuana which can actually help one get pregnant. Another recent study showed women who used marijuana before intercourse reported an increase in sex drive and a improvement in orgasm versus women who did not use. Overall, the research is mixed and much more needs to be done to definitively say how marijuana affects fertility.
If you or someone you know has more questions about how medical marijuana can affect your hormones, reach out to us and we can get your questions answered by one of our doctors!
If you are a Virginia resident suffering from a medical condition you think may benefit cannabis, you're likely eligible for medical marijuana treatment.
Click here to learn more about what Virginia Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (888) 633-5808 and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process and schedule you for an evaluation appointment.