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. CBD can impact different hormones, but is testosterone one of them? Learn how CBD affects testosterone levels in your body and whether or not you should use it to boost them. As the cannabis industry grows, more and more people are asking whether or not CBD can lower testosterone levels. Here's what we know so far.
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.
CBD Oil and Testosterone: Does It Affect Hormones?
The question about CBD and testosterone (and other hormones, for that matter) is one of the most frequently asked questions that we’re being hit lately — and we believe this is the right moment to elaborate on this subject.
After all, hormones play an important role in influencing and regulating a wide range of physiological and psychological processes.
So, does CBD affect testosterone?
Studies suggest that CBD, indeed, impacts testosterone levels — but we don’t know yet to what extent.
Here we explain the relationship between CBD and testosterone based on the cannabinoids’ interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) — the most important regulatory network in all mammals.
Does CBD Affect Hormones?
Before we discuss the topic of CBD and testosterone, it’s important to understand how hormones work in the first place.
Hormones are specific chemical messengers that enable one part of the body to communicate with another, so the body is constantly working in a state of equilibrium.
As a whole, the hormones and the glands they’re produced in are known as the endocrine system.
Glands occur throughout the body, releasing specific hormones into the bloodstream so they can travel to different systems and organs in your body.
This, in turn, builds a communication network that provides your body with biological feedback.
The most important functions of hormones are:
- Sex drive
Hormone levels naturally fluctuate depending on the time of the day, a person’s stage of life (e.g. pregnancy, adolescence, or menopause).
Hormones are also prone to imbalances throughout different stages of life. These imbalances can trigger different disorders, which can turn into chronic illnesses.
One of the major difficulties faced today is the impact of environmental toxins on our hormones. These include industrial chemicals, plastics, and pesticides that mess with the endocrine system.
How CBD Affects Hormones
CBD uses three different mechanisms to regulate hormonal functions.
Cannabinoid receptors occur throughout the body and respond to our naturally-produced endocannabinoids. When the endocannabinoids bind to these receptors, this can change the way hormones are secreted, altering their impact on target organs.
Since CBD indirectly modulates the endocannabinoid system (ECS), it has the potential to alter the synthetic and secretion of hormones in a similar way to endocannabinoids.
Hypothalamus is the brain’s region where most changes in hormone synthesis take place upon the activation of CB1 receptors. This triggers a series of hormonal reactions that send their messages to other glands, which then release and secrete their own hormones as a natural course of action.
CBD can impact the ‘volume’ of signals received at a target organ from a hormone. The reaction of a cell receptor for specific hormones can be either amplified or dampened by cannabinoids — increasing or decreasing the strength of the message.
Hormones need to be broken down and flushed from the system once they have performed their function so that homeostasis can be maintained in the body. CBD can alter the pace at which enzymes break hormones down.
What is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a naturally-produced hormone that occurs in the primary sex organs of the human body. It is usually first produced during puberty and continues throughout life, eventually slowing after a person breaches the age of 30.
Testosterone plays an important role in many of the body’s functions. To begin with, it regulates your sex drive and is responsible for the production of sperm in men. It also helps in the development, growth, and maintenance of muscles and bones.
Other functions of testosterone include fat storage and the production of blood cells. The pituitary gland is where testosterone in your body is produced and distributed.
Low testosterone levels have been associated with:
- Mood swings
- Increased weight gain
- Thinning body hair
- Feelings of tiredness
- Loss of muscle
- More fragile bones
CBD And Testosterone: What’s the Role of the ECS?
The ECS is a system in the mammalian body that regulates all biological functions in the body through its receptors and chemical messengers known as endocannabinoids.
Among the many critical functions of the ECS is reproduction — the major reason why we’re discussing the relationship between CBD and testosterone.
The ECS is also used to provide the primary regulatory feedback to the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. Upon the activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors, the reproductive hormones are also stimulated.
But, unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have a direct affinity to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Instead, it indirectly influences the ECS through gentle signaling and inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down endocannabinoids.
If CBD had the ability to bind to CB1 receptors, it could produce adverse effects on testosterone levels and the male reproductive system.
Research suggests that CBD could play a role in balancing testosterone levels. One early study on CBD and testosterone found that the male reproductive function in animal subjects could be influenced by both THC and CBD.
Another study published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology concluded that CBD might reduce the production of testosterone, but not to such an extent as THC.
What CBD cannot do, however, is lower the already-circulating serum testosterone levels in the blood, as indicated by a study posted by Drug Metabolism and Disposition that was performed on rats.
When you stop taking CBD, testosterone production should revert to its normal levels.
How Does CBD Affect Testosterone Levels?
The American Psychological Association outlines ongoing stress over an extended period of time as one of the main causes of lowered testosterone production, resulting in a reduction of sex drive and libido. Sometimes, chronic stress can even lead to erectile dysfunction or impotence.
Studies have shown that CBD can help increase the body’s testosterone levels by signaling the ECS to produce more of the hormones.
In a study released in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, CBD demonstrated anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) qualities.
The authors reported that CBD could be a natural way to treat social anxiety and general anxiety disorders along with cognitive behavioral therapy.
By reducing the amount of psychological stress a person experiences, CBD can help their body produce more testosterone and thus help to boost sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg.
When your body is chronically stressed, it takes a toll on your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infections as a result. In males, infections to the testes, prostate gland, and urethra can impact their reproductive functioning, including the concentrations of testosterone.
Research has shown that CBD also interferes with the release of cytokines, which are proteins involved in acute and chronic inflammation.
How Other Compounds In CBD Oil Can Help Regulate Testosterone Levels?
The essential fatty acids found in hemp extracts, such as CBD oil, have been shown to boost testosterone production.
A 2020 study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology investigated the association between fat intake and reproductive hormone levels among healthy human participants.
The study found that ingestion of polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3 and 6, can increase hormone concentrations.
Ultimately, the research team showed that people who consume more essential fatty acids experienced enhanced testicular function, directly translating into higher levels of testosterone.
Should You Use CBD to Support Testosterone?
It’s important to note that all cannabinoids are going to affect your testosterone levels because of their relationship with the ECS.
Research is still being fueled into CBD and testosterone. The majority of evidence suggests that using CBD daily won’t increase your testosterone levels, but it’s not going to decrease them either.
However, by influencing certain processes in the brain, CBD can ease stress, reduce pain and tension, help us achieve more restful sleep, and regulate other functions that contribute to higher testosterone concentrations.
So, while CBD oil alone won’t directly affect your testosterone levels, its balancing effects on the endocannabinoid system can make it a desired side effect.
Other Hormones Affected by CBD
Testosterone isn’t the only hormone affected by CBD. Here’s how the cannabinoid may interact with other hormones in your body.
Although no study has directly analyzed the effects of CBD on thyroid hormones, the ECS is engaged in regulating their levels.
Endocannabinoids encourage the sparing and storage of energy, partially by lowering thyroid hormone levels.
CBD could theoretically act on thyroid hormones both ways, as it can both dampen and amplify the activity of endocannabinoids. Whether CBD may decrease or increase thyroid hormones depends on your thyroid’s overall health.
Researchers found that anandamide suppresses TSH only in normal and in hypothyroid conditions (high TSH), and not in hyperthyroid conditions, where TSH is low.
The above suggests that CBD, as well as endocannabinoids, have adaptogenic properties, helping to balance individuals according to their own needs.
Estradiol E2 (Estrogen)
Estrogen levels influence sexual development, fertility, and susceptibility of females to certain diseases such as breast cancer.
Studies using CBD in cell cultures found that it suppressed estrogen production directly by blocking an enzyme that converts testosterone into it (aromatase).
Aromatase blockers are used to lower estrogen levels in cases of post-menopause and breast cancer. CBD can also speed up the breakdown of estrogen by acting on p450 enzymes in the liver.
However, these antiestrogenic effects of CBD haven’t been replicated on animal or human models so far.
Moderate to high amounts of CBD were not linked to changes in estrogen after 90 days in female monkeys.
Growth hormone signals the regeneration and reproduction of cells, aiding the body in healthy growth and development.
Increased growth hormone contributes to :
- Enhanced ability to burn fat
- High energy levels
- Increased muscle muss
- Improved exercise capacity
- Stronger bones
CBD hasn’t been shown to affect growth hormones, unlike THC, which has been shown by observational studies to lower the growth hormone levels in adults.
Insulin is a key hormone in regulating your metabolic health. It has a great impact on energy levels and body weight.
In a recent study, CBD was able to help those with diabetes by reducing high levels of insulin while maintaining correct blood sugar levels. In other words, CBD sensitizes muscles and liver cells to absorb more sugar, helping to maintain its stable concentrations.
CBD also reduced body weight gain in rats by reducing insulin.
Low doses of CBD haven’t been shown to affect the insulin level of patients.
That being said, a 2018 study showed that frequent cannabis users have 16% lower fasting insulin levels than non-users, and since CBD is the second major cannabinoid in the plant, it can either enhance such effects in THC or provide these benefits on its own (which may not be experienced with lower THC levels).
Also known as the stress hormone, it signals the body of an upcoming danger. Short-term cortisol spikes are beneficial and mean that we’re actually aware of potentially dangerous things in our environment.
CBD has remarkable stress-relieving properties. It acts as a braking system on the stress response by influencing the GABA neurotransmitter, which slows down the nervous system. It can also affect cannabinoid receptors in the hypothalamus — the brain’s region that is connected to adrenal glands. This interaction slows down the release of cortisol and allows us to relax.
Human studies have proved that CBD modulates cortisol release, pointing to it as the major reason why people use CBD for stress and anxiety.
Key Takeaways on How CBD Affects Testosterone
Although CBD doesn’t directly affect testosterone levels, in the long run, it can facilitate certain processes in the body that help it maintain high levels of this hormone. This is possible thanks to the modulatory actions of CBD on the endocannabinoid system, which is engaged in reproductive functions.
CBD can reduce stress, improve your sleep, lower anxiety, ease pain and inflammation, and improve your metabolic health — all of which contribute to proper testosterone levels.
If you’re not used to cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, you may experience some initial changes in your hormones. However, as your endocannabinoid system gets accustomed to CBD, these hormones will eventually return to their normal levels.
To wrap it up, we recommend consulting a doctor experienced in cannabis use before embarking on a CBD regimen or using it as an adjunct treatment.
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- MInguez-Alarcón, L., Chavarro, J. E., Mendiola, J., Roca, M., Tanrikut, C., Vioque, J., Jørgensen, N., & Torres-Cantero, A. M. (2017). Fatty acid intake in relation to reproductive hormones and testicular volume among young healthy men. Asian journal of andrology, 19(2), 184–190. https://doi.org/10.4103/1008-682X.190323
- Dobovišek, L., Krstanović, F., Borštnar, S., & Debeljak, N. (2020). Cannabinoids and Hormone Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Treatment. Cancers, 12(3), 525.
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Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
Cannabis and Testosterone: Does CBD Lower Testosterone?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the hot-favorite cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, loved by people all across the globe. This obsession is for several reasons, mainly because of CBD’s huge plethora of benefits. CBD’s exceptional potential to improve the quality of life has led users to wonder if CBD affects testosterone or does CBD lower testosterone.
CBD can closely interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, which supervises and controls multiple mechanisms, including hormonal production. A lot is happening in your body, and hormones have most of the charge over your body’s mechanisms.
Ever wonder how your body manages to operate in harmony day after day? Yes, you got it right. It’s all about those hormones helping your body communicate well. Testosterone is a significant male hormone that regulates sperm production, sex drive, and several other functions. 
Our expert analysis brings forth several facts regarding the relationship between CBD and testosterone. This write-up is all about our diligent research on the most frequently asked question; Does CBD increase or decrease testosterone? Stick around to learn more.
What Is Testosterone?
Just like other hormones, testosterone is a chemical messenger that operates in your body to induce certain physical and chemical changes in the body. You might be wondering if testosterone production is confined to male bodies, but that’s not the case. Females produce testosterone as well but in a comparatively smaller amount.
Males have Leydig cells in their testicles that are typically involved in the production of testosterone. There are a plethora of functions accomplished by testosterone in men’s bodies. Some of the following are:
Production of sperm
Sexual arousal and sex drive
Distribution of fat in different parts of the body
Maintenance of bone mass
Development of muscles and promotion of increased strength
Production of new red blood cells in the body.
If your body fails to produce sufficient amounts of testosterone due to any persisting health factor, you may become infertile. The major reason is that testosterone helps you produce healthy sperm. On the contrary, if testosterone production increases in women, it might lead to infertility.
Also, to understand everything better, it’s substantially important to know the sites where testosterone is produced in your body. The pituitary gland and the brain critically govern the level of testosterone in your body.
CBD’s interaction with Hormones
Let’s discuss the link between cannabis and testosterone, or more specifically, at what points does cannabidiol interact with the maintenance of hormonal levels. There are a few ways that CBD may impact, enhance, or diminish the production of certain hormones in your body.
Production of hormones:
The glands in your body are fully covered with cannabinoid receptors, which the endocannabinoid system directly controls. CBD interacts with the ECS and cannabinoid receptors of the body. This ultimately empowers CBD to have an indirect charge over the production of hormones as well. This way, it can alter the patterns of hormonal production and impact the organs.
Mostly when the CB1 receptors are activated, the whole process is initiated by the hypothalamus, which has charge over hormonal synthesis. Ultimately a series of chemical messages are forwarded to other glands that trickle down and trigger the production of hormones as a response.
CBD possesses a remarkable ability to influence, diminish or enhance the volume or strength of the hormonal message sent to the glands for triggering them to produce hormones. Also, it can impact the sensitivity level of the receptors in the glands.
This way, CBD can influence the “response” mechanism of the Respective hormonal glands to increase or decrease the production of various hormones. Experts believe that this is exactly how CBD can impact the production of hormones.
Breakdown of hormones
How Does CBD Affect Testosterone Level?
Several studies bring forth different factors that need to be arranged in order to better comprehend the effects of CBD on production.
Does CBD lower testosterone? According to the results of a recent experiment on monkeys, CBD was found to increase the production of LH and FSH hormones. The doses used were a lot higher than people generally consume. However, surprisingly there was no change in testosterone level until the dose was exceptionally increased to an unrealistic level. It displays that CBD doesn’t show any substantial impact on the level of testosterone. 
The following studies suggest that CBD may reduce the production of testosterone in the body.
CBD was shown to have adverse effects on testosterone production in mice and rats. However, this experiment involved extensively high doses of CBD that are practically not used. 
An enzyme called 17α-hydroxylase actively produces testosterone in the testes. CBD can directly inhibit this enzyme, thereby preventing testosterone levels from declining.
Medical science potentially lacks proper literary work to elaborate on the effects of CBD on human beings. We need more practical trials on humans to have more explicit results in this regard.
Does CBD Increase Testosterone In Any Way?
One important point to consider is that all the studies that support the concept of CBD inhibiting testosterone levels have used extremely high doses of CBD. Also, as testosterone levels are also decreased by stress and inflammation, CBD might help improve the production of testosterone through its assistance in fighting off stress and inflammation in the body.
With all this said, we recommend you to exercise regularly and not consume extensively high doses of CBD. Make sure to track your doses and give yourself frequent breaks to revive the body’s regular production of hormones.
For those still wondering does CBD lower testosterone? CBD doesn’t show any substantial impact on reducing testosterone production in human beings if used in average doses.