Modified on: 30/10/2023
How does smoking marijuana affect testosterone levels?
Let’s look at what testosterone is and how taking cannabis or hashish interacts with its production, and the main processes it regulates.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is the male hormone par excellence, as it is responsible for typically masculine traits, such as a beard and a big voice.
It has many different functions in the body, but in this article, we will only look at the main ones, particularly those directly related to sexuality.
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In addition to the fundamental role this hormone plays in the development and growth of the individual at all stages, from foetus to adulthood, testosterone is responsible for regulating sexual desire, erection and its maintenance, and sexual satisfaction. Not only that, it ensures fertility and regulates sperm production in terms of quality and quantity.
But let’s now look at how cannabis consumption can interact with these essential functions.
Cannabis and sexual activity
There are essentially two ways cannabis can be a powerful ally for sexual activity.
The greatest enemy of satisfactory sexuality is undoubtedly the dreaded erectile dysfunction for men and women.
This term refers to the inability to achieve a penile erection or the difficulty in maintaining it long enough to complete intercourse.
Although it is not yet discussed too openly, this problem affects more people than we think, and its causes can be various.
First of all, the so-called performance anxiety is a problem caused by two factors, one internal to the subject experiencing it and one linked to the environment in which the subject lives and the consequences that this has on him.
In the first case, anxiety is triggered by psychological causes: fear of not being up to scratch or of being judged, for example.
The well-known anxiolytic properties of CBD may be an essential ally in curbing this problem, as they act by relaxing the mind and thus favouring a more carefree and consequently more satisfying performance.
Secondly, the cause could be related to a hormonal imbalance, often resulting from the environment in which one lives or is raised.
There are pathological forms of erectile dysfunction generated by the effects of pollution on testosterone production.
Men produce much less testosterone than in the past due to substances such as oestrogen and dioxin, which are contained in extremely high levels in the food we eat. These substances appear to have a negative effect on testosterone production, and not only that. The number of spermatozoa is also affected and is significantly reduced.
Even in this situation, cannabis can prevent the accumulation of these toxic substances in the fatty tissue and promote their expulsion.
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Effects of marijuana on sexual life
Marijuana appears to improve the sex life of its users.
According to science, it seems that taking cannabinoids (in the form of CBD flower, e.g.) in limited quantities helps people approach sex in a more relaxed and casual way.
According to American sex therapist Lawrence Siegel, THC acts on brain receptors linked to sexual pleasure and arousal, activating them.
Another function of tetrahydrocannabinol that should not be underestimated, particularly in this case, is disinhibiting, which is extremely important as it enables sexual activity to be engaged more freely and spontaneously. Cannabis also helps to reduce performance anxiety and heightens sensitivity.
The voice outside the choir
Among the multitude of favourable opinions on the consequences that cannabis use can have on the body, and in particular on the sexuality of those who use it, the opinion of Dr Andrea Militello, Italy’s best urologist andrologist of 2018, stands out.
According to the doctor, although marijuana indeed enhances sexual activity from a fundamental emotional point of view, it is equally valid that the situation changes considerably when observed from a clinical perspective.
According to Dr Militello, cannabis abuse “can cause erectile dysfunction and male infertility“.
Concerning studies on male sexual function in relation to marijuana use, the collected data offer a sometimes contradictory overview, but what emerges quite clearly is that “marijuana may improve the subjective experience of sexual intercourse, while potentially contributing to erectile dysfunction in a dose-dependent manner, i.e., increasing in relation to the amount taken”.
No mention was made of the risks related to the intake of cannabis sporadically and in small amounts.
As is often the case, science provides us with different scenarios on the same issue.
In this case, to sum up, it is pretty clear that the use of marijuana can provide a more than valid solution to specific problems, such as performance anxiety, if we consider the short-term effects. Still, at the same time, it is not without more than undesirable side effects if it is abused in the long term.
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