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CBD and Testosterone: How Does the Cannabinoid Affect Hormones?

Bethan Rose

by Bethan Rose

April 9, 2024 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho Medically reviewed by Dr. Abraham Benavides
CBD and Testosterone: How Does the Cannabinoid Affect Hormones?

There are many things that cannabis and its ingredients can do. As more research is conducted, the list of health benefits grows. One recent discovery indicates that the cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) might just be the next big thing for treating testosterone imbalances.

Studies have outlined that CBD a non-psychoactive cannabinoid rich in anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties — may help to boost the body’s testosterone levels. The research on THC, by contrast, is contradictory, but chronic or excessive use could do the opposite.

CBD’s ability to increase testosterone is thanks to its stress-reducing and ECS-signaling properties. The ‘endocannabinoid system’ (ECS) is a complex cell signaling network responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body. When cannabinoids like CBD indirectly influence this intricate network, it begins producing more of the testosterone hormone. 

Why is Testosterone Important?

Testosterone plays an important role in male and female health. Aside from regulating libido, muscle mass and strength, bone mass, and the distribution of fat in the human body, testosterone also contributes to sperm and red blood cell production in biological men (e.g., people assigned male at birth).

A small amount of men’s circulating testosterone is turned into a primary type of estrogen known as estradiol. An enzyme called aromatase is responsible for converting testosterone into estrogen, not just for women but for men, too. 

In men, estrogen modulates libido, spermatogenesis, and erectile function. Biological women, on the other hand, depend on the testosterone-estrogen combination for the development of secondary sex characteristics and the repair of female reproductive tissues.

A man who suffers from low testosterone may have the following symptoms:

  • Reduced sex drive 
  • Low energy levels
  • Reduced confidence
  • Depression/mood swings
  • Low iron levels (anemia)
  • Bone weakness
  • Lack of erections

How Does Testosterone Interact with the ECS?

The endocannabinoid system’s role in testosterone production is quite significant. The ECS and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) a major neuroendocrine system are renowned for communicating with each other to produce testosterone in the Leydig cells of the testis.

When men endure extreme stress or anxiety, they can experience a drop in testosterone levels. This is where CBD, which has natural anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects, could come in handy. 

In fact, certain studies have shown that CBD may serve as a valuable addition to social and general anxiety disorder treatment plans, meaning that a consumer could limit their emotional stress and, consequently, produce more testosterone. 

Why You Should Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

Veriheal has satisfied millions of patients nationwide by giving them access to these benefits

  • Larger purchase limits
  • Peace of mind
  • Enhanced legal protection
  • Access to higher potency strains
  • Save up to 25% on cannabis purchases
  • Skip the line at the dispensary

A recent and large-scale 2023 study of over 1,000 people showed that older men taking CBD oil in either full spectrum or isolate form were less likely to have low testosterone, diabetes, and daytime drowsiness.

Ways to Use CBD to Raise Testosterone Levels

  1. Inhalation (Smoke/Vape) 

Current smokers or vapers are likely to go down this route, since it’s a familiar route of administration that they feel comfortable with. When compared with other methods of CBD administration, vaping offers the fastest and most effective delivery results. 

After the cannabis plant’s compounds are inhaled via the lungs, a large proportion of them enter the bloodstream swiftly and effects will usually surface within five minutes. Inhalation is the fastest and most bioavailable method known, especially for CBD, which can be absorbed up to 45% here.

  1. Ingestion (Edibles) 

Be prepared to wait longer for CBD’s effects when it is consumed in edible form. The human gut absorbs cannabinoids at a slower rate.

Most people who consume CBD edibles will usually feel the peak between 1.5 hours and four hours post-ingestion. It should be noted that the bioavailability of CBD ranges from 6-20%, so these products are not necessarily recommended for the maximum effects.

  1. Sublingual 

Sublingual CBD products are fast, convenient, and discreet, and allow for fast-acting and long-lasting effects (anywhere in the range of 2-8 hours). A CBD oil-filled tincture is a prime example of a sublingual product. Apply the tincture onto or beneath the tongue with a dropper for absorption within 15 minutes.

Buying CBD from a Trusted Supplier

Whatever method of administration you choose, it’s important to remember that CBD products differ in quality. If you are considering CBD to boost testosterone levels, then select the highest standard of hemp products from a reliable supplier.

Start by asking where they source their CBD from. Ask for proof of third-party lab testing called a “Certificate of Analysis”, and check customer reviews. Always consider the potency and find out if the company is licensed to sell CBD. 

Although CBD is legal in 50 U.S. states, some states and local jurisdictions may still require a license to sell CBD. Online and offline retailers are required to have a business license. It’s worth seeking out a seller that specializes in hemp-derived CBD, as opposed to marijuana-derived CBD; since the latter may contain traces of the psychoactive compound THC, and could therefore cause a consumer to fail a drug test.

Note: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe treatment based on the information provided. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.

This article was originally published in September 2022 and was most recently updated in April 2024.

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